Issue 500 Water Right Decisions - Archive

This page is being maintained as an archive of past information and will not be updated.

Implementing the Water Resources Budget for Fiscal Year 2012

The 2011 operating budget provided as follows: $500,000 of the state general fund appropriation for fiscal year 2013 is provided solely for processing water right permit applications only if the Department of Ecology (Ecology) issues at least five hundred water right decisions in fiscal year 2012.  If Ecology does not issue at least five hundred water right decisions in fiscal year 2012, the amount provided in this budget proviso will lapse and remain unexpended.  The budget proviso also provides that Ecology maintain an ongoing accounting of water right applications received and acted on this fiscal year and post such information to  Ecology’s internet site. 

To ensure that Ecology meets and/or exceeds the goal established by the State Legislature for water right decisions, Ecology has prioritized water rights processing.  As a result, Ecology staff have needed to defer some work in other water rights categories including permit management, plan review, seasonal changes, enforcement, and technical assistance.  Ecology is also engaged in a process to continue to improve efficiencies in water rights processing and permit management during this fiscal year.

2012 Legislative session - 3ESHB 2127 Part 3, Section 302(b) provisioned "For the purposes of this subsection, applications that are voluntarily withdrawn by an applicant do not count towards the 500 hundred water right decision requirement."

As of June 2012, Water Resources Program staff have made 689 water rights decisions (per the amended budget proviso that does not allow the counting of voluntary withdrawals), and the program has also worked on 171 applications that were voluntarily withdrawn by the applicant, resulting in a total of 860 water right applications being taken out of the pending application line in this fiscal year.  During that same time period Ecology received 400 applications.

The following two tables are provided to track the number of applications that have been received and the progress towards the 500 water right decision goal for fiscal year 2012.  The water right decision totals below do not include withdrawn applications.

Water Right Applications Received

 

Water Right Decisions Made *

Month Year Change Applications New Applications Total Month Year Change Applications New Applications Total
July 2011 25 6 31 July 2011 21 61 82
August 2011 31 15 46 August 2011 42 84 126
September 2011 20 17 37 September 2011 16 22 38
October 2011 16 12 28 October 2011 28 21 49
November 2011 12 10 22 November 2011 24 16 40
December 2011 20 11 31 December 2011 18 18 36
January 2012 13 21 34 January 2012 34 75 109
February 2012 30 8 38 February 2012 22 22 44
March 2012 17 15 32 March 2012 17 22 39
April 2012 22 12 34 April 2012 21 9 30
May 2012 27 22 49 May 2012 45 24 69
June 2012 10 8 18 June 2012 9 18 27

Total

243 157 400

Total

297 392 689

* Does not include applications that are voluntarily withdrawn by the applicant (Withdrawal)

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