The Puyallup-White Watershed, also known as WRIA 10, is defined as the area that drains to the Puyallup, White, and Carbon Rivers, which originate on Mount Rainier. It is located in lower Puget Sound in Western Washington, in the northeast portion of Pierce County and the southern edge of King County.
The Puyallup and White rivers’ major tributaries are the Carbon, Clearwater, Greenwater, and Mowich rivers. The watershed includes various other tributary streams such as Voight Creek, as well as Lake Tapps.
Existing water rights
Water rights have been issued in the Puyallup-White Watershed for over 100 years, and as a result most water in the watershed is already legally spoken for or “appropriated.”
In 2018, the Legislature passed a streamflow restoration law in response to the Hirst decision. The law helps improve streamflows to levels necessary to support robust, healthy, and sustainable native fish populations while providing water for homes in rural Washington. It directs 15 local planning groups, including one in WRIA 10, to develop watershed plans that offset impacts from new domestic permit-exempt wells and achieve a net ecological benefit within the watershed.
Find more information about water availability in WRIA 10 including acquiring water, finding existing water rights and learning more about instream flow rules in our Water Availability Focus Sheet linked below: