The Sequim Water Management Rule, aka the Dungeness Water Rule, was adopted by the Washington Department of Ecology in 2013 to manage surface and groundwater within the Dungeness Watershed, which effects about 3,600 property owners around Sequim. The basic idea is to attempt to manage drinking water and to protect fish, wildlife, and other natural resources.

Sequim Water Management Rule

Sequim Water Management Rule

The Sequim Water Management Rule requires mitigation for any new groundwater withdrawals. In other words, any new water use within the geographic area governed by the rule that is not an allowed private well use, will require the equivalent of what some are calling a tax. Under the rule is it called a mitigation fee.

To implement the Sequim Water Management Rule, the State of Washington works with a non-profit organization called the Washington Water Trust, which administers the water certificates for people who are required to mitigate their water use.

The Sequim Water Management Rule Litigation

A lawsuit has been filed against the Department of Ecology to litigate the validity of the Sequim Water Management Rule (technically the Dungeness Water Rule). The trial is scheduled for October 21, 2016 in Thurston County Superior Court. The facts and the legal arguments are so complex, there is virtually no possibility I can summarize them here, and I was a real estate attorney for 20 years.

You can learn more about the Sequim Water Management Rule at these two sites online:

  1. State Site re Sequim Water Management Rule
  2. Olympic Resource Protection Council

Read our early explanation of the rule at Sequim Water Management Rule.

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