Washington State

Office of the Attorney General

Attorney General

Bob Ferguson

AGO 1984 NO. 19 > Aug 10 1984

(1) Under the State Ground Water Code of 1945, as amended, the extent of protection for the holder of a ground water right established subsequent to the enactment thereof is dependent upon a site‑specific factual inquiry and technical analysis which takes into consideration both the geohydraulic characteristics of the aquifer and the state of pump and well construction technology.(2) The protection afforded such a ground water right holder would not be affected by the pit or quarry operator having authorization from the State to drain water away from the pit or quarry.(3) The protection thus afforded the ground water right holder by the Ground Water Code of 1945 would not be different if the right was established prior to the enactment thereof.(4) A wide variety of public and private entities may exercise the right to condemn water and water rights for a variety of uses; the right to condemn water under RCW 90.03.040 extends to "any person."

AGLO 1976 NO. 22 > Mar 23 1976

The state department of ecology may not condition a water right permit issued under RCW 90.03.290 by providing, pursuant to an administrative regulation, that once such a permit has been in effect for at least twenty-five years the state, upon giving five years' notice, may utilize a certain prescribed formula for the measurement of damages if it exercises its power of eminent domain to condemn the water right embodied in the permit ‑ in lieu of paying full compensation as ascertained by the court or jury under Article I, § 16 (Amendment 9) of the state constitution.

AGLO 1978 NO. 36 > Nov 9 1978

Where a sewer district, acting through its governing board of commissioners, has elected to construct, maintain ad operate a water supply system in accordance with RCW 56.20.015 as amended by § 9, chapter 300, Laws of 1977, such sewer district is then authorized by RCW 56.08.010 to acquire by condemnation ". . . water supply lines located within [the] district and owned by a private water company."

AGLO 1973 NO. 51 > May 10 1973

The department of game is not entitled to compensation under Article I, § 16 (Amendment 9) of the state Constitution when the state highway department acquires property for a highway through an area designated by the game department as a game reserve pursuant to RCW 77.12.040.

AGO 1955 NO. 101 > Jun 15 1955

(1) A county has no right of eminent domain to acquire rights-of-way for public highways within city limits.  (2) A fourth class town may dedicate a street through park property provided that the use of the land for street purposes will not be inconsistent with the use of the remaining land for park purposes.

AGO 1956 NO. 250 > Apr 20 1956

1. House Joint Resolution No. 22 if ratified by the voters in November will permit the State to take immediate possession of property involved in a condemnation action for purposes other than highway right of way. 2. The term "state" as used in House Joint Resolution No. 22 does not include counties, cities, towns and other municipal corporations.

AGO 1956 NO. 295 > Jul 11 1956

Where a city and a county rural library district have joined together to establish and maintain a regional library pursuant to RCW 27.12.080, the city may condemn land for a situs for the library building within the city limits.

AGO 1956 NO. 335 > Oct 26 1956

A school district cannot condemn lands already devoted to a public use.