Washington Department of Ecology Adopts New Water Management Rule for the Walla Walla Basin

Published Sep 01, 2007

The Washington Department of Ecology adopted an updated water management rule for the Walla Walla Basin, an area where increased population and economic growth have placed pressure on already‐limited water resources. The Walla Walla Basin, renowned for its vineyards and wineries, straddles the Washington‐Oregon border. In an article in Western Water Law & Policy Reporter, Tupper Mack Wells attorney Sarah Mack addresses the new rule, which applies only to the Washington side of the basin, establishes instream flow water rights, places controls on permit‐exempt withdrawals from the shallow gravel aquifer system, and limits future withdrawals during high flow periods. In a press release announcing the new rule, Ecology Director Jay Manning called the new rule “a critical step in the daunting task before us – restoring stream flows, while meeting current and future water demand.”

The updated rule, which took effect on September 5, 2007, can be found at Washington Administrative Code (WAC) chapter 173‐532. For more information, contact Sarah Mack at mack@tmw-law.com.

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