The Sequim water rule is step toward state control of residential water use. The new Sequim water rule will effect many property owners and especially those who build new homes. The rule will take effect in January of 2013, and if your property is within the designated area, you will be required to have a water meter on your private well. For more background on this rule, see The Dungeness Water Management Rule.
Sequim Water Rule Requirements
There is a great deal of confusion about how it will work, and what the costs will be. The purpose of this article is to simplify what is a very complex subject by getting to the bottom line and sharing what I believe will be required of you and what the estimated costs will be if you are buying vacant land and building a home.
If you own property within the designed Sequim water rule area, you will have to put a water meter on your private well at your own expense. An Internet search for residential water meters shows that costs range from $59 to $300. Add labor to the cost of installing the water meter and the total cost could easily be a few hundred dollars.
Sequim Water Rule and Buying Water Rights
If you are not using any more residential water than you have in the past, you will not have to purchase water rights, but if you are buying a vacant lot and building a new home, this will be classified as a “new water use,” and you will have to purchase water rights. You can read the local law at the Clallam County Website on this subject.
Sequim Water Rule – How Much are Water Rights?
The cost of water rights will be a one-time fee, not a continuing annual fee. This will alleviate a lot of fear about future costs since most people have assumed that these will be ongoing annual or monthly fees. They will not. You only pay for water rights once. How much will water rights be for new uses? Updated 12-21-12: We have word that, depending in the increased volume, the amount will be hundreds to as much as $2,000 or even $3,000 for the maximum. We shall see what is actually works out to be.
Update 1-27-2013: We now have the Dept. of Ecology saying that for 150 gallons per day of residential usage, you will pay a one time fee of $1,000 if you are in the watershed area. Where outdoor water is available, a homebuilder can pay $2,000 for indoor water and enough outdoor water to irrigate 0.06 acres, and for for $3,000, a homebuilder can irrigate 0.13 acres. Larger quantities of water use will be negotiated on a case-by-case basis with the Washington Water Trust.
Needless to say, Sequim residents are extremely unhappy about this as is clear at the long meetings and the boisterous arguments that ensue every time there is another meeting on the Sequim Water Rule.
Last Updated on May 5, 2014 by Chuck Marunde
So, is there a map of the Sequim Water Rule area? Looked at irrigation districts. Does Pt angles have a similar Water Rule area? Irrigation districts? Does one have to buy water rights for existing wells currently under use? Is there pending plans to regulate open irrigation ditches and pipes ? Seems likely.
Yes Ray, here is a link to the map outlining the water management area: http://www.clallam.net/aimsxwebsite/water_rule/viewer.htm
Port Angeles does not have it’s own water management area. This is really governed by the state and county. All wells within this management area will be subject to the restrictions on volume. Anyone who uses more than their allotment can pay a one-time fee, which varies depending on what you intend to do.
How all of this impacts irrigation ditches remains to be seen. Irrigation districts are privately owned, but water use is becoming more and more controlled by government agencies.