Water Module   

  Water Module


Data Collection Methods

Water Module »

Washington's Water Quality Regulations

The following are not the full description of the codes. Please obtain the full revised code for the complete description.

90.48.010 Policy enunciated. It is declared to be the public policy of the state of Washington to maintain the highest possible standards to insure the purity of all waters of the state consistent with public health and public enjoyment thereof, the propagation and protection of wild life, birds, game, fish and other aquatic life, and the industrial development of the state, and to that end require the use of all known available and reasonable methods by industries and others to prevent and control the pollution of the waters of the state of Washington.

90.48.080 Discharge of polluting matter in waters prohibited. It shall be unlawful for any person to throw, drain, run or otherwise discharge into any of the waters of this state, or to cause, permit or suffer to be thrown, run, drained, allowed to seep or otherwise discharged into such waters any organic or inorganic matter that shall cause or tend to cause pollution of such waters according to the determination of the department, as provided for in this chapter.

90.54.010 Purpose. The legislature finds that: (a) Proper utilization of the water resources of this state is necessary to the promotion of public health and the economic well-being of the state and the preservation of its natural resources and aesthetic values. (b) All citizens of Washington share an interest in the proper stewardship of our invaluable water resources. (c) Diverse hydrologic, climatic, cultural, and socioeconomic conditions exist throughout the regions of the state. (d) Comprehensive water resource planning must provide interested parties adequate opportunity to participate. (e) The long-term needs of the state require ongoing assessment of water availability, use and demand.

90.54.020 General declaration of fundamentals for utilization and management of waters of the state. Utilization and management of the waters of the state shall be guided by the following general declaration of fundamentals. (1) Uses of water for domestic, stock watering, industrial, commercial, agricultural, irrigation, hydroelectric power production, mining, fish and wildlife maintenance and enhancement, recreational, and thermal power production purposes, and preservation of environmental and aesthetic values, and all other uses compatible with the enjoyment of the public waters of the state, are declared to be beneficial. (2) Allocation of waters among potential uses and users shall be based generally on the securing of the maximum net benefits for the people of the state. (3) The quality of the natural environment shall be protected and, where possible, enhance as follows: (a) Perennial rivers and streams of the state shall be retained with base flows necessary to provide for preservation of wildlife, fish, scenic, aesthetic and other environmental values, and navigational values. Lakes and ponds shall be retained substantially in their natural condition. Withdrawal of water which would conflict therewith shall be authorized only in those situations where it is clear that overriding considerations of the public interest will be served. (b) Waters of the state shall be of high quality. Regardless of the quality of the waters of the state, all wastes and other materials and substances proposed for entry into said waters shall be provided with all known, available, and reasonable methods of treatment prior to entry.

90.54.180 Water use efficiency and conservation programs and practices. Consistent with the fundamentals of water resource policy set forth in this chapter, state and local governments, individuals, corporations, groups and other entities shall be encouraged to carry out water use efficiency and conservation programs and practices consistent with the following: (1) Water efficiency and conservation programs should utilize an appropriate mix of economic incentives, costshare programs, regulatory programs, and technical and public information efforts. Programs which encourage voluntary participation are preferred. (2) Increased water use efficiency should receive consideration as a potential source of water in state and local water resource planning processes. (3) In determining the cost-effectiveness of alternative water sources, full consideration should be given to the benefits of storage which can reduce the damage to stream banks and property, increase the utilization of land, provide water for municipal, industrial, agricultural, and other beneficial uses, provide for the generation of electric power from renewable resources, and improve stream flow regimes for fishery and other instream uses. (4) Entities receiving state financial assistance for construction of water source expansion or acquisition of new sources shall develop if cost-effective, a water use efficiency and conservation element of a water supply plan pursuant to RCW 43.20.230(1). (5) State programs to improve water use efficiency should focus on those areas of the state in which water is overappropriated; areas that experience diminished streamflows or aquifer levels; and areas where projected water needs, including those for instream flows, exceed available supplies. (6) Existing and future generations of citizens of the state of Washington should be made aware of the importance of the state's water resources and the need for wise and efficient use and development of this vial resource. In order to increase this awareness, state agencies should integrate public education on increasing water use efficiency into existing public information efforts.

90.03.005 State water policy--Cooperation with other agencies--Reduction of wasteful practices. It is the policy of the state to promote the use of the public waters in a fashion which provides for obtaining maximum net benefits arising from both diversionary uses of the state's public waters and the retention of waters within streams and lakes in sufficient quantity and quality to protect instream and natural values and rights.

90.03.010 Appropriation of water rights--Existing rights preserved. The power of the state to regulate and control the waters within the state shall be exercised as hereinafter in this chapter provided.

90.03.030 Right to convey water along lake or stream. Any person may convey any water which he may have a right to use along any of the natural streams or lakes of this state, but not so as to raise the water thereof above ordinary highwater mark, without making just compensation to persons injured thereby; but due allowance shall be made for evaporation and seepage, the amount of such seepage to be determined by the department, upon the application of any person interested.

NatureMapping Foundation
  Sitemap |   Contact Us

© 2008 NatureMapping