Skagit River basin mitigation program

The Skagit River Basin Mitigation Program offers a limited quantity of mitigation water to landowners with parcels located within the mitigation zone. This Mitigation Program is made possible by a purchase of water from Seattle City Light, in the Upper Skagit watershed. The purchased water will be used to offset new impacts to the Skagit River from certain new domestic groundwater uses.

The mitigation zone is based on modeled groundwater interactions between the Skagit River, where mitigation water is being released by Seattle City Light, and adjacent river deposits. There is a buffer around tributaries because no mitigation water is available to offset impacts to these streams. Landowners can use the interactive map to determine eligibility for mitigation through this program.

How to determine if you are eligible for mitigation water

We developed an interactive map that allows landowners to search for mitigation eligibility by parcel. To search, you will need the parcel number of the property. If you do not know the parcel number, it can be found on the Skagit County Property Search website. The mitigation program covers portions of Skagit County along the Middle Skagit River.

This map is intended to help landowners determine eligibility before applying to Ecology for a Proof of Mitigated Water Supply document or drilling a well. The county requires that landowners have a Proof of Mitigated Water Supply document before applying for a county building permit within this mitigation zone.

Conditions of water use

Securing a Proof of Mitigated Water Supply from Ecology is a first step toward receiving a county-issued building permit. However, other local regulations exist that may limit building on your property (e.g., various setback requirements, limitations on development within the floodway, and requirements to hook up to an available public water supply). A Proof of Mitigated Water Supply does not guarantee approval at the county level and is not available to landowners who may be served by a public water system or are seeking to establish a Group A water system. This document is solely a recognition of legal water availability.

Once issued, the Proof of Mitigated Water Supply includes a number of conditions on water use:

  • The well must be located within the mitigation zone.
  • Water use is limited to an annual average of 318 gallons per day for combined indoor and outdoor domestic use.
  • A remote-read meter (e.g., cellular-based telemetry) must be installed on the well to report water use.
  • Proof of Mitigated Water Supply documents are attached to the original parcel and are non-transferable.
  • Mitigation is only available for single domestic purposes.

Once approved, landowners may bring this document to Skagit County as proof of available water. You will be required to record the final document with the Skagit County Auditor at the time your county-issued building permit is issued.

How to apply

Landowners with parcels that are wholly or partially within the mitigation zone are eligible to apply to Ecology for a Proof of Mitigated Water Supply document.

There is no cost associated with submitting an application. Applications will be processed on a first-come, first-served basis. If there is high demand there may be a delay in our response to applications. Applications submitted for parcels outside of the mitigation zone or submitted without proper documentation, including proof of ownership, will be rejected.

Follow instructions on the form to fill out and return a completed application.

If you have questions about how to apply, please contact Jess Yates.