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Water rights policies & procedures

These policies and procedures are used to guide and ensure consistency in the administration of laws and regulations. They are not formal administrative regulations that have been adopted through a rule-making process. In some cases, the policies may not reflect subsequent changes in statutory law or judicial findings, but they are indicative of our practices and interpretations of laws and regulations at the time they are adopted.

If you have questions regarding a policy or procedure, please contact us.

Water right administrative policies & procedures

Administration of water right permits

Policy number Description of policy and version date
POL 1000 Water Right Administration Policy (Updated 03/30/2015)
POL 1005 Internet Posting of Reports of Examination (01/01/2007)
POL 1015 Diversion or Withdrawal of Saltwater (12/19/1994)
POL-1017 Policy/Interpretive Statement regarding Collection of Rainwater for Beneficial Use (10/09/2009)
POL 1020 Consumptive and Non-consumptive Water Use (10/31/1991)
POL 1021 Priority Processing - Water Budget Neutral Projects (01/21/2004)
POL 1025 Conveying Stockwater Away from Streams (Revised 12/02/1994)
POL 1030 Preliminary Permits (Revised 09/13/2001)
POL 1035 Temporary and Emergency Drought Permits (Revised 09/10/1992)
POL 1037 Permits for Short-Term Water Use (09/10/1992)
POL 1040 Use of Terms that Clarify Relationships Between Water Rights (03/09/2006)
POL 1045 Emergency Water Source Authorization (09/15/2006)
POL 1050 Extension of Time on Water Right Permits Revised (01/20/06)
POL 1060 Recision and Relinquishment of Water Rights (11/22/91)
POL 1070 Administrative Confirmation of the Division of Water Rights Among Multiple Owners Revised (01/20/06)
POL 1070 (form) Request for Administrative Confirmation of Division of a Water Right - Form (07/03/2003)
POL 1120 Conducting Tentative Determinations of Water Rights (08/30/2004)

Changes of water right

Policy number Description of policy and version date
POL 1200 Evaluation of Changes or Transfers to Water Rights (Revised 09/08/2014)
POL 1210 Evaluation of Changes to Enable Irrigation of Additional Acreage or the Addition of New Purposes of Use to Existing Water Rights (Revised 04/13/2018)
POL 1230 Consolidation of Rights for Exempt Ground Water Withdrawals (01/11/1999)
POL 1255 Water Quality, Water Resources, and Shorelands & Environmental Assistance Programs Joint Policy - Roles and Responsibilities for Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) Hydropower Projects (08/15/2010)
POL 1260 Policy to Replace an Existing Well or to Add an Additional Well(s) (09/30/1999)
POL 1260 (form) Showing of Compliance with RCW 90.44.100(3) - Form ECY 040-74
POL 1280 Development Schedules for Water Right Changes and Transfers (09/08/2014)

General water resources

Policy number Description of policy and version date
POL 2005 Water Resources Enforcement (07/22/1992)
POL 2010 Defining and Delineation of Water Sources (02/15/2007)
POL 2015 Water Right Permits for Fire Fighting or Protection (03/14/2008)
POL 2020 Water Use Associated with Heat Pumps (Revised 04/13/2018)
POL 2030 2003 Municipal Water Law Interpretive and Policy Statement (Revised 05/07/2012)
POL 2025 Interpretive Statement on When to Perform a Maximum Net Benefits Analysis (01/31/2005)

Water right administrative procedure

Administration of water right permits

Policy number Description of policy and version date
PRO 1000 Water Right Administration Procedures (Updated 03/30/2015)
PRO 1043A Dispute Resolution, State and Tribal Comments on Water Right Applications (02/11/1990)
PRO 1050 Procedure for Notification of Water Right Actions to the Department of Revenue (10/01/04)
PRO 1210 Calculating and Applying the Annual Consumptive Quantity (ACQ) (Revised 04/13/2018)
PRO 1250 Hydroelectric Projects: Water Rights Permitting and Establishing Instream Flows (2/12/2010)

General water resources

Policy number Description of policy and version date
PRO 2006 Well Drilling License Renewal and Enforcement Actions (01/25/1994)
PRO 2025 Basic Steps for Evaluating Maximum Net Benefits (01/31/2005)

Water resources program guidance

Guidance number Description of document and publication date
GUID 1210 Determining Irrigation Efficiency and Consumptive Use (10/11/2005)
GUID 1220 Guidance for Processing and Managing Trust Water Rights (02/22/2016)
GUID 2005 Levying Civil Penalties (05/13/2009)
GUID 2035 Guidance for Amending Water Right Claims (04/15/2008)
GUID 2040 Ensuring Proper Signature on Applications and Forms (Revised 10/09/2013)
GUID 2045 Water Resources Program Business Team Operating Procedures (11/16/2009)
GUID 4100 Staff Guidance for Administration of Chapter 173-153 WAC Water Conservancy Boards (10/31/2006)