Realtors want revisions to water rule
Published on Wed, Aug 29, 2012
Peninsula Realtors aren’t taking the Dungeness Water Rule lying down.
The rule, proposed by the Department of Ecology in May, will likely be adopted this fall. The rule will require those who drill a well in Water Resource Inventory Area 18 (WRIA 18) to pay to mitigate for their water use. WRIA 18 includes much of rural eastern Clallam County.
Ecology officials say the rule won’t hurt property values. Some Realtors say it already has.
Bill Clarke, public policy director for the Washington Realtors Association, said Job No. 1 is ensuring the rule is revised to provide for a bulk purchase of water rights by the state, a move he said would greatly alleviate both the costs and the bureaucratic efforts that will otherwise be borne by individuals throughout the area.Clarke also took swipes at the rule’s underlying legal theories, noting first that Ecology is incorrect when it says it must adopt “instream flows” for the Dungeness River and a number of additional streams in the valley. Instream flows are defined as the amount of water that is required to ensure the health of the river and the various natural and human resources that depend upon the flow.
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