1. The statutory exemption from the permitting requirement for use in watering lawns and noncommercial gardens is not included within the exemption for domestic use. 2. The Department of Ecology lacks the authority to impose lower or different limits on exempt withdrawals of groundwater than are provided in statute by “partially withdrawing” the waters from additional appropriation. 3. The authority of the Department of Ecology to withdraw waters from new appropriations applies to both permitted and permit-exempt uses of groundwater. 4. The Interlocal Cooperation Act is not an independent source of agency authority.
1.Where a property owner wishes to develop land and supply the development with domestic water from several wells, and each well will pump less than 5000 gallons per day but all the wells together will pump more than 5000 gallons per day, the project is a single withdrawal of ground water and is not exempt from the permit requirements of chapters 90.44 and 90.03 RCW.2.There is no statutory provision for intertying, pursuant to RCW 90.03.383, water systems deriving from ground water withdrawals which were exempt from permitting pursuant to RCW 90.44.050; the intertie statute could be applied if the exempt withdrawals applied for a permit, or were consolidated (pursuant to Laws of 1997, ch. 446) with another water right with a permit or certificate.3.If the owner of a water right deriving from an exempt ground water withdrawal applies for a permit for the withdrawal pursuant to RCW 90.44.050, the Department of Ecology would apply the four-element test contained in RCW 90.03.290 in deciding whether to grant a permit.4.There is no statutory or other lawful basis for issuing a water rights certificate to the holder of a water right based on an exempt ground water withdrawal, unless either (1) the owner of the right applies for and receives a permit or (2) the exempt right is first consolidated with a right covered by a permit or certificate.5.There is no current statutory authority for transferring a water right deriving from an exempt ground water withdrawal to a different place of use and/or a different purpose of use pursuant to RCW 90.44.100, RCW 90.03.380 and related laws, unless (1) the owner of the right applies for and receives a permit or (2) the exempt right is first consolidated with a right covered by a permit or certificate.
(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."