Dungeness Rule Update – March 2016
The Dungeness water management rule, adopted in January 2013, requires
mitigation of any new groundwater withdrawals. Since the rule’s adoption three
years ago, more than 100 (101 as of March 2016) water mitigation certificates
have been issued, allowing new construction and remodeling to continue and move
forward in the areas under the jurisdiction of this water management rule.
The 2013 Legislature approved $2.05 million to develop projects and acquire
water rights to enhance stream flows, as wells provide mitigation water for
rural development in the Dungeness watershed on the Olympic Peninsula. (For
photos of two recently completed projects see below.)
In 2014 contracts were written for, and/or construction began on, a final
list of projects determined by the local partners who worked with Ecology on
drafting and adopting the Dungeness rule.
In the summer of 2015, over $500,000 in drought relief funds was provided to
assist local governments and tribes in addressing water shortages from the
historic 2015 statewide drought.
Partners in implementing these projects include:
- Clallam County
- Jamestown S’Klallam Tribe
- City of Sequim
- Clallam Conservation District
- Dungeness Water Users Association
- Washington Water Trust
Record Low Snowpack and a Dry Spring and Summer – Drought Conditions in the
Last year’s statewide drought saw record low flows in the Dungeness River
throughout the summer.
Photo of Dungeness River gage 2015
Photo of Dungeness River
Emergency drought relief funding provided to the Jamestown S’Klallam Tribe
to install a series of “water gate” portable flow control structures to
concentrate low river flows so that salmon could migrate upstream.
Photo of Dungeness River portable flow control structure 2015
Emergency drought relief funding was also provided to the City of Sequim to
use some of the City’s reclaimed wastewater to improve flows in Bell Creek.
Photo of Bell Creek reclaimed wastewater project 2015
As of March 2016, 101 Mitigation Certificates have been issued to
property owners in the Dungeness Rule area. Here is a breakdown of these
|Basic Indoor Water ($1,000)
||7 of these also paid for
basic out door water mitigation ($1,000) and 7
paid for extended outdoor water mitigation
|Outdoor Irrigation Only
|Multiple Domestic or
||Clallam PUD #1 transfer from
Bluffs well to Old Olympic and Bobcat Hollow
Capital Budget Summary (Total Capital Budget Funding: $2,050,000)
As of March 2016, several of the Capital Budget funded projects are
completed and the rest are underway.
Water Acquisition - Washington Water Trust (WWT)
Total Budget: $380,000
- Reverse auction. In drought conditions, implement a reverse
auction for drought-year leasing in conjunction with the
Dungeness Water Users Association (DWUA). $166,000 in drought
relief funding was provided to conduct a reverse auction in the
spring 2015. This resulted in 5.6 CFS of Dungeness River water
diversion not being used (water staying in the river) during the
irrigation season which was especially critical during July and
August as river flows got to as low as 58 CFS.
- Dry-year option agreements. Pursue longer term
dry-year option contracts with interested landowners within
irrigation districts and companies.
- Other water right acquisition. WWT will continue to pursue other
water right acquisition opportunities as they arise including
surface and groundwater rights to meet mitigation and
Aquifer Recharge - Clallam Conservation District (CCD)
Total Budget: $364,725
- Design of aquifer recharge sites to the west and east of the
Dungeness River. The Conservation District is coordinating closely
with the Washington Water Trust to ensure that all proposed
projects meet mitigation needs. Design work is completed for
the Pinnell Road Site and the Lewis Road Site.
- Construct infiltration site at the Jakeway location. Working with
the DWUA, Clallam County, and property owners construction
of the Jakeway infiltration site was completed in Fall 2015.
- Construct one additional aquifer recharge project on the east side of
the Dungeness River. Working with the WWT, DWUA, and property
owners to construct and implement an aquifer recharge site on
the east side of the Dungeness that will meet mitigation needs.
Work is progressing on the River Road Site.
Photo of Jakeway Recharge
Facility (November 2015)
- Construct one additional aquifer recharge project on the
east side of the Dungeness River. Working with the WWT, DWUA,
and property owners to construct and implement an aquifer
recharge site on the east side of the Dungeness that will meet
mitigation needs. Work is progressing on the River Road Site.
Photo of McComb Road
Recharge Facility (February 2016)
Source Substitutions - Washington Water Trust (WWT)
Total Budget: $725,000 (including capital costs of project
- Expand groundwater source substitution at the north end of
Clallam Irrigation Company and Cline Irrigation District to switch irrigators to groundwater
in exchange for forgoing surface water use during the late
irrigation season. A five-year agreement
between Clark Farms and WWT to use deep well in place of river
water during late season was signed in 2015. Additional
projects are being considered.
- Explore and implement groundwater source substitution with
stockwater users. Identify potential stockwater users who could
switch from surface water to groundwater for stock water needs.
Work with landowners, irrigation districts and companies and
Ecology to outline and implement these creative solutions for
meeting stockwater and stream flow needs. Work is underway.
- Switch surface water users to reclaimed water. City of Sequim
, Highland Irrigation District, and
Sequim Prairie-Tri Irrigation Company implemented source substitution of surface water for reclaimed
water to meet irrigation needs in the summer of 2015.
- Matriotti Creek groundwater source substitutions. WWT
is working with
local landowners who currently irrigate from Matriotti Creek to
remove diversions from the creek and replace irrigation and
stock water needs with groundwater. The proposal to construct a
middle aquifer well and transfer two surface water rights off of
Matriotti Creek to this new well is underway.
Off-stream Storage - Washington Water Trust (WWT)
Total Budget: $25,000
- Potential off-stream storage site on DNR property off of
River Road. Continue to support assessment and design efforts
for the proposed River Road off-stream storage reservoir on
Department of Natural Resources (DNR) property.
Preliminary design of the site is funded
under a Salmon Recovery Funding Board (SRFB) grant. If the
preliminary assessment and design are favorable, recipient will
support efforts to fund a final design and work with local
partners on implementation.
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