As described in my November 2020 blog, in September 2020, the Washington State Department of Ecology submitted a report to the Washington State legislature requesting funding for an adjudication of the water rights in two watersheds, the Nooksack River Basin (WRIA 1) and the Lake Roosevelt and Middle Tributaries (WRIA 58).
The state legislature passed the biannual budget for 2021-2023 on April 25, 2021 (ESSB 5092). The budget is now on the governor’s desk awaiting signature; he is anticipated to sign it in the coming days or weeks. The budget fully funds Ecology’s request to prepare and file for adjudication for WRIA 1 and WRIA 58. Sec. 302(11)(a). However, it directs Ecology to not file for adjudication in WRIA 1 until June 1, 2023. Id.
We will be keeping a close eye on advancements toward adjudication as June 1, 2023 approaches. In the meantime, if you are concerned or curious about how adjudication might affect your water rights, we recommend that you contact a local attorney with experience in water law.
Disclaimer: This article and blog are intended to inform the reader of general legal principles applicable to the subject area. They are not intended to provide legal advice regarding specific problems or circumstances. Readers should consult with competent counsel with regard to specific situations.
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