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File #: 21-0179    Version: 1
Type: decision Status: Passed
File created: 2/8/2021 In control: Land Use & Environment Committee
Agenda date: 2/18/2021 Final action: 2/18/2021
Title: Deschutes Watershed Restoration and Enhancement Plan
Attachments: 1. Watershed Restoration and Enhancement Committee Webpage
Title
Deschutes Watershed Restoration and Enhancement Plan

Recommended Action
Committee Recommendation:
Move to approve the Utility Advisory Committee's (UAC) recommendation of support for staff representation on the Watershed Restoration and Enhancement (WRE) Committee to vote on the Deschutes WRE Plan (Plan) for submittal to the Washington Department of Ecology (Ecology).

City Manager Recommendation:
Move to approve the Utility Advisory Committee recommendation.

Report
Issue:
Whether to support staff representation on the WRE Committee to vote on the Plan for submittal to Ecology for evaluation and possible rulemaking.

Staff Contact:
Donna Buxton, Groundwater Protection Program Manager, Public Works Water Resources, 360.753.8793

Presenter:
Donna Buxton, Groundwater Protection Program Manager

Background and Analysis:
The Deschutes WRE Committee
The 2016 Washington State Supreme Court "Hirst Decision" changed how counties decide to approve or deny new building permits that propose to use domestic (permit-exempt) wells for a water source. In response to this decision, the Legislature passed the 2018 Streamflow Restoration law (law; RCW 90.94). The law supports water availability for both salmon recovery and homes in rural Washington. It requires local watershed planning to improve streamflows and clarifies the process for counties to issue building permits for homes using a permit-exempt well.

As required by the law, Ecology convened the WRE Committee to estimate the impact of permit-exempt well withdrawals on streamflows. The WRE Committee proposed projects and regulatory actions to offset this impact, while providing a net ecological benefit to the Deschutes watershed over a 20-year period.

The Deschutes Watershed Plan
The Plan provides a collaborative path forward to address technically and politically complex issues in regional water resources management. The WRE Committee prepared the Plan with the intent of implementation. Plan recommendation pr...

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