There is a Sequim water problem as a result of the Water Management Rule, also known as the Dungeness Water Management Rule.  The rule limits the amount of water you can use on your property, and here’s how it creates a Sequim water problem if you are buying land with a private well.

Sequim Water Problem

Sequim Water Problem

Sequim Water Problem Restricts Water Use

I recently sold a 20 acre parcel where my buyers intend to build a home and have their little Sequim mini-farm.  It’s a beautiful location in the Blue Hole and they have a sweet mountain view, too.  The soil is rich in the Sequim valley in most places, and these clients will have animals, including donkeys.  Since they are outside the Sequim City limits and not on a water trunk line, they will have their own well drilled.  Here’s where the Sequim water problem rears its ugly head.  The state has a rule.  You can only use 150 gallons of water per day from your own well, unless you pay the state a fee.  The average family of four in the U.S. uses between 350 and 400 gallons per day, and apparently in Clallam County the average is 158 gallons per day, because there are so many retirees living here.  Younger families with children will obviously exceed their limit. 

Sequim Water Problem Restricts Mini-Farms

If you purchase the water rights to use more than 150 gallons per day, the rule prohibits using that water for farm animals. Apparently you might get away with a couple of animals, but not three or more horses, cows, or donkeys.  The land I sold happens to have an irrigation ditch on the western boundary, so there will be water for the animals, but that water only flows from April 15th to September 15th each year.  That leaves the animals without water for seven months of the year.

You can find out if a specific parcel of land in the Sequim or Port Angeles area is in the Dungeness Water Management Area by going to this link and typing in the tax parcel number (only use the first 12 digits) and then clicking on the link you will get on the left sideParcel Status.

Sequim Water Rules

This is a very real Sequim water problem.  This is killing land sales for some land owners. This new Sequim Water Management Rule has unquestionably reduced the value of land. My guess is that property owners in Clallam County whose land is effected by this rule have lost millions of dollars in sellable value.  Some buyers who want a mini-farm are giving up on finding land here, and moving to other communities.  If you are a retired couple moving to Sequim to build your home and do not plan to raise livestock for commercial purposes or to have a mini-farm with lots of animals, and if you do not plan to have an orchard or the need to water large areas, you will not be effected by this rule.  For buyers and sellers of vacant land or farmland, the Sequim water problem is creating a great deal of chaos.  But do not conclude from this article that having a mini-farm in the Sequim area is not possible, because it is.  I have helped several families recently acquire their family mini-farm inside the Water Management Area. There isn’t room here to discuss all the options that are available.  The Sequim water problem does not have to kill your dream.

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