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PDFWAC 173-100-100

Groundwater management program content.

The program for each groundwater management area will be tailored to the specific conditions of the area. The following guidelines on program content are intended to serve as a general framework for the program, to be adapted to the particular needs of each area. Each program shall include, as appropriate, the following:
(1) An area characterization section comprised of:
(a) A delineation of the groundwater area, subarea or depth zone boundaries and the rationale for those boundaries;
(b) A map showing the jurisdictional boundaries of all state, local, tribal, and federal governments within the groundwater management area;
(c) Land and water use management authorities, policies, goals and responsibilities of state, local, tribal, and federal governments that may affect the area's groundwater quality and quantity;
(d) A general description of the locale, including a brief description of the topography, geology, climate, population, land use, water use and water resources;
(e) A description of the area's hydrogeology, including the delineation of aquifers, aquitards, hydrogeologic cross-sections, porosity and horizontal and vertical permeability estimates, direction and quantity of groundwater flow, water-table contour and potentiometric maps by aquifer, locations of wells, perennial streams and springs, the locations of aquifer recharge and discharge areas, and the distribution and quantity of natural and man-induced aquifer recharge and discharge;
(f) Characterization of the historical and existing groundwater quality;
(g) Estimates of the historical and current rates of groundwater use and purposes of such use within the area;
(h) Projections of groundwater supply needs and rates of withdrawal based upon alternative population and land use projections;
(i) References including sources of data, methods and accuracy of measurements, quality control used in data collection and measurement programs, and documentation for and construction details of any computer models used.
(2) A problem definition section that discusses land and water use activities potentially affecting the groundwater quality or quantity of the area. These activities may include but are not limited to:
Commercial, municipal, and industrial discharges
Underground or surface storage of harmful materials in containers susceptible to leakage
Accidental spills
Waste disposal, including liquid, solid, and hazardous waste
Stormwater disposal
Mining activities
Application and storage of roadway deicing chemicals
Agricultural activities
Artificial recharge of the aquifer by injection wells, seepage ponds, land spreading, or irrigation
Aquifer over-utilization causing seawater intrusion, other contamination, water table declines or depletion of surface waters
Improperly constructed or abandoned wells
Confined animal feeding activities
The discussion should define the extent of the groundwater problems caused or potentially caused by each activity, including effects which may extend across groundwater management area boundaries, supported by as much documentation as possible. The section should analyze historical trends in water quality in terms of their likely causes, document declining water table levels and other water use conflicts, establish the relationship between water withdrawal distribution and rates and water level changes within each aquifer or zone, and predict the likelihood of future problems and conflicts if no action is taken. The discussion should also identify land and water use management policies that affect groundwater quality and quantity in the area. Areas where insufficient data exists to define the nature and extent of existing or potential groundwater problems shall be documented.
(3) A section identifying water quantity and quality goals and objectives for the area which (a) recognize existing and future uses of the aquifer, (b) are in accordance with water quality standards of the department, the department of social and health services, and the federal environmental protection agency, and (c) recognize annual variations in aquifer recharge and other significant hydrogeologic factors;
(4) An alternatives section outlining various land and water use management strategies for reaching the program's goals and objectives that address each of the groundwater problems discussed in the problem definition section. If necessary, alternative data collection and analysis programs shall be defined to enable better characterization of the groundwater and potential quality and quantity problems. Each of the alternative strategies shall be evaluated in terms of feasibility, effectiveness, cost, time and difficulty to implement, and degree of consistency with local comprehensive plans and water management programs such as the coordinated water system plan, the water supply reservation program, and others. The alternative management strategies shall address water conservation, conflicts with existing water rights and minimum instream flow requirements, programs to resolve such conflicts, and long-term policies and construction practices necessary to protect existing water rights and subsequent facilities installed in accordance with the groundwater management area program and/or other water right procedures.
(5) A recommendations section containing those management strategies chosen from the alternatives section that are recommended for implementation. The rationale for choosing these strategies as opposed to the other alternatives identified shall be given;
(6) An implementation section comprised of:
(a) A detailed work plan for implementing each aspect of the groundwater management strategies as presented in the recommendations section. For each recommended management action, the parties responsible for initiating the action and a schedule for implementation shall be identified. Where possible, the implementation plan should include specifically worded statements such as model ordinances, recommended governmental policy statements, interagency agreements, proposed legislative changes, and proposed amendments to local comprehensive plans, coordinated water system plans, basin management programs, and others as appropriate;
(b) A monitoring system for evaluating the effectiveness of the program;
(c) A process for the periodic review and revision of the groundwater management program.
[Statutory Authority: RCW 90.44.400. WSR 86-02-004 (Order DE 85-24), § 173-100-100, filed 12/20/85.]
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