Drought Laws (RCW) and Rules (WAC)
Last updated: January 12, 2017
Law which gives the Department of Ecology authority to respond to a drought emergency:
43.83B RCW - Water Supply Facilities
defines a "drought condition" as one in which "the
water supply for a geographical area or for a significant portion of a
geographical area is below seventy-five percent of normal and the
water shortage is likely to create undue hardships for various water
uses and users."
gives Ecology the authority, after obtaining the views of certain
state and federal agencies and receiving written approval from the
governor, to issue orders to address a drought.
(1) gives Ecology specific authority, if certain conditions
are met, to issue orders to "authorize emergency withdrawal of
public surface and ground waters, including dead storage within
reservoirs, on a temporary basis and to authorize associated physical
works which may be either temporary or permanent."
(2) gives Ecology authority to approve a "temporary
change in purpose, place of use, or point of diversion, consistent
with state policy allowing transfer or lease of waters between willing
created a drought preparedness account in the state treasury. The
funds in the account can only be used for activities directly related
to drought preparedness.
Rules adopted by the Department of Ecology to implement Chapter 43.83B RCW:
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