Surface water in the Yakima River Basin has been fully adjudicated and it is recognized that existing water rights exceed the amount of water available. It is also recognized that the withdrawal of water from a permit exempt well reduces the amount of water available in the Yakima River and that this reduction impairs senior water right holders from obtaining their full water allocation. This impairment of a more senior right is a violation of the state's prior appropriation doctrine ("first in time, first in right"). The YCWRS water supply is a "mitigated water supply" that mitigates for this impairment of offsetting the reduction in surface water caused by each well with senior water rights owned by the YCWRS.
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The Yakima County Water Resource System (YCWRS) is a county owned and operated water system that provides "mitigated" water supplies for the withdrawal of water from a groundwater permit exempt well. The YCWRS holds senior water rights and allows the use of such rights by the public when wells are constructed and metered according to YCWRS procedures.
Using a YCWRS permitted well is one way an applicant for a building permit or land use permit requiring potable water can obtain evidence of the legal availability of water.
A YCWRS domestic well permit may be obtained when an applicant applies to the Yakima County Public Services Department for a building permit or land use permit that required potable water.
There are several steps required to obtain a YCWRS well permit. Further instructions are noted on the last page of the permit. Department staff can also guide you through the process.
The initial cost of a YCWRS domestic well permit is $650.00, payable at the time of application. In addition, a new YCWRS customer is responsible for the cost to install a water meter on their well at an estimated cost of $500.00 for the meter. (Labor is not included in this estimate)
The annual cost for a YCWRS domestic well permit is the total of the ready to serve charge and the water consumption charge. The ready to serve charge is $35.00 per quarter or $140.00 annually. The water consumption charge is based on the amount of water used and is calculated based on meter readings using the fee schedule contained in the water system ordinance.
Yes. An application for a building permit to improve, repair, or replace a residential structure that was permitted prior to January 1, 2018 that is served by an existing permit-exempt well is exempt from the requirement. In addition, applications for building permits for the buildings that do not require potable water such as a shed, barn, or garage are also exempt from the requirement.
Starting on January 1, 2018 an applicant for a building permit or other development permit that requires potable water is required to provide evidence that their proposed use will be served by an adequate water supply when they submit their application to the county for approval.
A supply of water that is adequate to serve a land use in terms of (a) water quality, water quantity and (b) legal availability.
(a) What evidence is required in terms of water quality and quantity?
(b) What evidence is required in terms of the legal availability of water?
Means a well (existing well or proposed well) withdrawing water under the groundwater permit exemption contained in RCW 90.44.050.
RCW 90.44.050 - Permit to Withdraw
After June 6, 1945, no withdrawal of public groundwaters of the state shall be begun, nor shall any well or other works for such withdrawal be constructed, unless an application to appropriate such waters has been made to the department and a permit has been granted by it as herein provided: EXCEPT, HOWEVER, That any withdrawal of public groundwaters for stock-watering purposes, or for the watering of a lawn or of a noncommercial garden not exceeding one-half acre in area, or for single or group domestic uses in an amount not exceeding five thousand gallons a day, or as provided in RCW 90.44.052, or for an industrial purpose in an amount not exceeding five thousand gallons a day, is and shall be exempt from the provisions of this section, but, to the extent that it is regularly used beneficially, shall be entitled to a right equal to that established by a permit issued under the provisions of this chapter: PROVIDED, HOWEVER, That the department from time to time may require the person or agency making any such small withdrawal to furnish information as to the means for and the quantity of that withdrawal: PROVIDED, FURTHER, That at the option of the party making withdrawals of groundwaters of the state not exceeding five thousand gallons per day, applications under this section or declarations under RCW 90.44.090 may be filed and permits and certificates obtained in the same manner and under the same requirements as is in this chapter provided in the case of withdrawals in excess of five thousand gallons a day.
An approved water purveyor is an entity that owns a public water system approved by either:
Provide a letter from the owner (purveyor) of a Group A or Group B water system that was approved prior to January 1, 2018, that states the water system's ability to provide water to an applicant's project is sufficient evidence of an adequate water supply for an applicant's project.
An applicant proposing to use a Group A or Group B water system approved after January 1, 2018, must go through an "Adequate Water Supply Review and Determination".
Other purveyors (not a complete list): Buena Water, Crewport, City of Moxee, Not Hill Water, Parker Water, Terrace Heights Water, City of Toppenish Water, City of Yakima, Zillah Water Systems.
A shared well is a term that describes a well that is used to serve up to two (2) water connections. A shared well requires approval from YHD. (i.e.: Single family residence and an ADU (Accessory Dwelling Unit) on the same parcel; or single family residences on two (2) separate parcels.)
Shared wells typically have a 100' well control zone and require additional approval for structures that are (or proposed to be) located within the 100' control zone.
No. The new county ordinance only affects new development permitted after January 1, 2018, that is proposing to use a permit exempt well as its potable water source.
No. Only new building permits issued after January 1, 2018 are subject to the new regulations.
Yes. An application for a building permit to improve, construct an addition, repair, or replace a residential structure that was permitted prior to January 1, 2018 that is served by an existing permit-exempt well is exempt from the requirement to provide evidence of an adequate water supply.
Note: Adding an Accessory Dwelling Unit (ADU) would typically require a metered/well permit.
Yes. If an existing well is decommissioned for quality or quantity purposes then a new permit-exempt well may be drilled without approval from Yakim County.
No. However, you will need evidence of the legal availability of water when you apply for a building permit. In addition, if you plan on applying for a YCWRS domestic well permit in the future, then you need to make sure that your well is deep enough to meet the YCWRS well depth requirements prior to drilling your well. The Yakima County Water Resources Division will determine the appropriate depth for new wells and existing wells.
An applicant who submits a building permit or other development permit after January 1, 2018, that requires potable water is required to provide evidence that their proposed use will be served by an adequate water supply when they submit their application to the county for approval.
If you do not have irrigation water available or have no used your well for prior irrigation, then a YCWRS domestic well permit allows the legal use of your well for any purpose up to a maximum daily withdraw of 5,000 gallons per day.
Yes. When you submit the building permit application for the new house (or an accessory dwelling unit), you will be required to provide evidence that the new home or ADU will be served by adequate water supply. (The pre-existing house is exempt from this requirement.)
No. Stock watering is primarily regulated by the State through the Department of Ecology, not the County. As long as you continue using the well for just stock watering, you do not need a permit from the county.
The subdividing of land requires an applicant to provide evidence that the lots created by the subdivision will be served by an adequate water supply when they submit their application to the county for approval. The following procedures apply for applicants choosing to utilize a YCWRS domestic well or wells as evidence for adequate water supply:
(a) Applications for a subdivision relying on a new shared well or new Group A or B water system are required to install the well and connect each lot prior to the finalization of the plat. Each lot will be required to obtain a YCWRS domestic well permit and install a water meter on their property at the time they submit an application for a building permit for a building that requires potable water.
(b) Application for a subdivision relying on individual wells to serve each lot is required to include a plat note on the final plat that commits future owners of the vacant lots to provide evidence of adequate water supply prior to the issuance of building permits. Additionally, the applicant will also be required to sign and record a restrictive covenant that also commits future owners of the vacant lots to provide evidence of adequate water supply prior to the issuance building permits. Each lot will be required to obtain a YCWRS domestic well permit and install a water meter on their property at the time they submit an application for a building permit for a building that requires potable water.