General provisions.

(1) This chapter applies to all surface and groundwaters within the Dungeness River watershed of water resource inventory area (WRIA) 18, as defined in WAC 173-500-040, excluding the Elwha-Morse watershed basin. The rule covers the area from the Morse-Bagley watershed divide in the western portion of the basin, to the Bell-Johnson watershed divide on the eastern portion of the basin (the WRIA boundary). Please see WAC 173-518-140, Maps.
(2) The department of ecology (ecology) adopts this chapter under the authority of the Watershed planning (chapter 90.82 RCW), Water Resources Act of 1971 (chapter 90.54 RCW), Water code (chapter 90.03 RCW), Regulation of public groundwaters (chapter 90.44 RCW), Minimum Water Flows and Levels Act (chapter 90.22 RCW), and Water resource management (chapter 90.42 RCW); and in accordance with the Administrative Procedure Act (chapter 34.05 RCW).
(3) This chapter applies to the use and appropriation of surface and groundwater in the Dungeness River watershed begun after the effective date of this chapter. Unless otherwise provided for in the conditions of the water right in question, this chapter shall not affect:
(a) Existing surface and groundwater rights established prior to adoption of the state surface water and groundwater codes, or by water right permit issued under state law;
(b) Existing groundwater rights established under the groundwater permit-exemption where regular beneficial use began before the effective date of this chapter;
(c) The ability to serve water to a parcel that is part of a group domestic use under the groundwater permit exemption, provided the new use begins within five years of the date water was first regularly and beneficially used by one or more parcels in the group, and the group use remains within the limit of the groundwater permit exemption; and
(d) Federal and tribal reserved rights.
(4) In adopting this chapter, ecology generally enacts recommendations from the 2005 Elwha-Dungeness watershed management plan. The plan recommendations were approved on April 15, 2004, by the Dungeness River and Elwha-Morse management teams, groups composed of a broad range of local water interests. The Clallam County board of commissioners approved the plan on June 7, 2005. Ecology has used plan recommendations as the foundation for developing this rule.
[Statutory Authority: Chapters 90.54, 90.22, 90.82, 90.03, 90.42, and 90.44 RCW. WSR 12-23-054 (Order 07-17), ยง 173-518-010, filed 11/16/12, effective 1/2/13.]
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