Washington Court of Appeals Issues Interpretations of State's Water Rights Relinquishment Statue

Published Sep 01, 2009

August/September 2009

In its third decision in four years applying Washington’s water right relinquishment statute, Division III of the Court of Appeals affirmed forfeiture of a water right from the Walla Walla River in Pacific Land Partners, LLC v. Ecology, 150 Wn.App. 740, 208 P.3d 586 (2009), based on nonuse after foreclosure by the federal Rural Economic and Community Development Agency (RECD). In an article published in Western Water Law & Policy Reporter, Tupper Mack Wells attorney Sarah Mack examines the court’s rejection of efforts by the current water right holder to claim various exceptions from relinquishment. The Pacific Land Partners decision underscores the need for continued beneficial use of water rights during and after foreclosure proceedings. For more information, contact Sarah Mack at mack@tmw-law.com.

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