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:

Record Low Snowpack and a Dry Spring and Summer – Drought Conditions in the Dungeness Watershed

Last year’s statewide drought saw record low flows in the Dungeness River throughout the summer.

Dungeness River Gage 2015

Photo of Dungeness River gage 2015

  Dungeness River Flow 2015

Photo of Dungeness River lowflow 2015

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.

  Dungeness River Water Gate 2015

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.

  Dungeness River Reclaim

Photo of Bell Creek reclaimed wastewater project 2015


Mitigation Certificates

As of March 2016, 101 Mitigation Certificates have been issued to property owners in the Dungeness Rule area.  Here is a breakdown of these certificates:

Mitigation Certificate Type Number of
Certificates Issued
Other Information
Basic Indoor Water ($1,000)   98 7 of these also paid for basic out door water mitigation ($1,000) and 7 paid for extended outdoor water mitigation ($2,000)
Outdoor Irrigation Only     1  
Stockwater Only     1  
Multiple Domestic or Municipal Use     1 Clallam PUD #1 transfer from Bluffs well to Old Olympic and Bobcat Hollow wells
Total  101  

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

Aquifer Recharge - Clallam Conservation District (CCD)

Total Budget: $364,725

  Dungeness River Jakeway Recharge

Photo of Jakeway Recharge Facility (November 2015)

  Dungeness River McComb Recharge

Photo of McComb Road Recharge Facility (February 2016)


Source Substitutions - Washington Water Trust (WWT)

Total Budget: $725,000 (including capital costs of project implementation)

Off-stream Storage - Washington Water Trust (WWT)

Total Budget: $25,000


Mike Gallagher
Phone: (360) 407-6058
Email: mike.gallagher@ecy.wa.gov