House Bill 2067


Section 1

The legislature finds that water is vital for farms, people, and our communities, and that it is critical for this important resource to be readily available for locally owned family farms to continue growing crops, providing appropriate food supply for consumption, and expanding Washington's export opportunities now and into the future. The legislature therefore finds that when water that is relinquished under chapter 90.14 RCW, it should be reallocated in a timely manner for both out-of-stream uses and to augment instream flows.

Section 2

This section modifies existing section 90.14.180. Here is the modified chapter for context.

Any person hereafter entitled to divert or withdraw waters of the state through an appropriation authorized under RCW 90.03.330, 90.44.080, or 90.44.090 who abandons the same, or who voluntarily fails, without sufficient cause, to beneficially use all or any part of said right to withdraw for any period of five successive years shall relinquish such right or portion thereof, and such right or portion thereof shall revert to the state, and the waters affected by said right shall become available for appropriation in accordance with RCW 90.03.250. For any water relinquished under the provisions of this chapter, at least two-thirds of that water must be allocated to out-of-stream purposes in a timely manner and made available with a priority consideration for locally owned family farms that have been waiting six months or longer for a water permit. One-third of the water relinquished must be made available to augment instream flows and must be managed by the department of ecology, in cooperation with the department of fish and wildlife and with fisheries comanagers. All certificates hereafter issued by the department of ecology pursuant to RCW 90.03.330 shall expressly incorporate this section by reference.

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