Cost reimbursement

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Let us help you review your water supply needs

We ask anyone who needs a water right (new, change, or transfer) to submit a Pre-application Consultation Form and meet with us to review your water supply needs and project proposal. See the Related Links section for additional information and our Form.

Cost reimbursement processing is an option for expedited water right processing and may result in a faster decision on your water right application. The downside of cost reimbursement processing is that you (the applicant) pay the full cost of processing your water right application. Costs are paid to us and one of our pre-qualified consultants. Cost reimbursement processing does not guarantee approval of your water right application.

Naches River, Ecology

We do not accept all water right applications for cost reimbursement processing. Our decision depends on our current workload priorities. Additionally, your application may not be accepted for cost reimbursement processing if it appears likely to result in a denial.

If you are considering cost reimbursement processing and do not already have a water right application on file, we strongly recommend that you fill out a Water Right Pre-application Consultation Form and send it to the region office that serves the county where your proposed project is located. Once we receive your form we will schedule a meeting with you to discuss your proposed project and whether cost reimbursement processing may be an option.

During the meeting, we will review important information that may help you decide whether or not to pursue cost reimbursement processing, including:

  • The regulatory environment and whether water is available for your project
  • The number of pending water right applications within the same water source
  • The likelihood that your proposed project will result in an approval
  • Approximate costs and timeline associated with cost reimbursement processing

If your application is accepted for cost reimbursement processing, you will contract with us under a Cost Reimbursement Agreement, which ensures that we are reimbursed for our time, and separately with one of our pre-qualified consultants. The only exception to this is if your proposed project is expected to diminish a water source where there are pending (senior) water right applications.

In this case, you may have to pay to process the senior applications within the same water source or request that we initiate coordinated cost reimbursement processing to share the proportionate cost of processing all applications within the same source. Under coordinated cost reimbursement processing, you still have a Cost Reimbursement Agreement with us, but we contract with one of our pre-qualified consultants and bill you for our time as well as the consultant’s time and expenses.

The total costs associated with cost reimbursement processing can range from several thousand dollars to one hundred thousand dollars or more. Costs vary according to the complexity of your proposed project and the number of water right applications to be processed. Our staff can discuss estimated costs at the pre-application consultation. 

Currently, the list of pre-approved cost reimbursement consultants includes: