Chapter 173-557 WAC
Spokane River and Spokane Valley Rathdrum Prairie (SVRP) Aquifer
Water Resources Management Program
(Spokane River WRMP) and amendment to WAC 173-555-010
Overview of Rule Making
We are developing an instream flow rule to protect the Spokane River.
The purpose of an instream flow rule is to protect and preserve water in
streams for “instream resources” including fish, wildlife, recreational
uses, wastewater management, and hydropower. An instream flow rule will
also give the river a water right, much like we give individuals, farms
The rule will apply to the mainstem of the Spokane
River and that portion of Spokane County within the boundary
of the Spokane Valley Rathdrum Prairie Aquifer.
Once an instream flow is set Ecology will use the rule as a regulatory flow
threshold to determine whether there is water to withdraw for new uses
while still protecting fish and other instream resources.
making proposes a new rule for the Spokane River and Spokane Valley
Aquifer. The Little Spokane River has an instream flow rule in
Chapter 173-555, adopted in 1976. Geographically, part of the
new proposed rule area overlaps the Little Spokane River rule area.
To clarify how each rule applies to new uses of water in the area
where the two rules overlap, an amendment to WAC 173-555-010 is being
proposed as part of the same rule making process for the new rule.
The only section of WAC 173-555 under consideration for amendment is
010, the general provision that addresses applicability of this rule.
Ecology is not considering amendment to any other parts of the rule.
Input on other sections of this rule will not be considered in the
context of this rule making.
information about what is included in this rule making process please
related rule-making documents.
Public Participation and Information
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Spokane rule-making process.
Ecology developed a preliminary draft rule and held a public open
house/workshop to explain the rule and answer questions. At this stage
in the rule development process we are evaluating public input on the
preliminary draft rule and preparing the proposed rule language that
will be filed with the Code Reviser's Office later this summer.
Process of development
Ecology’s process for developing a rule includes gathering input from
affected stakeholders and the public and following the steps for rule
adoption set in State law.