Washington State

Office of the Attorney General

Attorney General

Bob Ferguson

AGO 1976 NO. 12 >

If, in order to attain "maximum net benefits" and protect the public welfare and interest against the long range detrimental effects of a perpetual water use not so restricted, the state department of ecology, in issuing a surface water right permit pursuant to RCW 90.03.290, determines to include a provision authorizing use of such waters unconditionally for specified initial period of time (e.g., fifty years), with any authorization to withdraw for further periods of time made dependent upon subsequent determinations by the department involving public needs for the waters involved, that action is likely to be upheld by the courts.