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Little Spokane River Water Bank (WRIA 55 Stream Flow Mitigation Certificates)
The Little Spokane River Water Bank provides a property owner within a defined geographic area (known as the approved mitigation area) the opportunity to purchase a portion of water right in the form of a Stream Flow Mitigation Certificate. Water use on a parcel with a certificate is not subject to the regulatory flow established in Washington Administrative Code (WAC173-555). All water rights that have been issued since the adoption of the regulatory flow on January 6, 1976, including permit exempt wells, are at risk of curtailment when flows are below those established in the regulation. In fact, holders of surface water rights from the Little Spokane River for irrigation issued after 1/6/76 have been ordered to shut off during the summer one of every two years. The holder of a Stream Flow Mitigation Certificate is not at risk of curtailment because it is backed by a water right issued before 1/6/76.
Who is eligible to purchase a Stream Flow Mitigation Certificate?
There are two (2) requirements to purchase a Stream Flow Mitigation Certificate:
1. The parcel must be within the specified geographic area (see map), and
2. The parcel must have an existing domestic use, or a building permit must be issued within three (3) years of purchase of the certificate for a building requiring domestic water.
Why would I want a Stream Flow Mitigation Certificate if I have an existing residence?
If your residence was built after 1/6/76 you are technically at risk of curtailment. A Stream Flow Mitigation Certificate is essentially an insurance policy against future uncertainties related to the legal availability of your water supply.
My well was constructed before January 19, 2018. Didn’t the new law (RCW 90.94) grandfather my well?
ESSB 6091 (now RCW 90.94) established that the County could issue a building permit if the building will use a well constructed before January 19, 2018, but it did not relieve the risk of curtailment. As with an existing residence the Stream Flow Mitigation Certificate is essentially an insurance policy against future uncertainties related to the legal availability of your water supply.
Am I required to pay the $500 fee associated with a building permit that will rely on a well constructed after January 19, 2018 if I have a Stream Flow Mitigation Certificate?
If you purchase a mitigation certificate you are not required to pay the $500 fee.
What is the process to purchase a mitigation certificate?
Print and complete the paper application and return in person or by mail to:
Spokane County Water Resources
1004 N. Freya St.
Spokane, WA 99202
Once we receive the application we will contact you to provide details on finalizing the purchase, such as the property covenant, avigation easement, and payment. If you have any questions about the purchase process, please contact us via:
-- Phone at (509) 477-7578,
-- Direct email at firstname.lastname@example.org
What if my question is not answered here?
Review these Frequently Asked Questions for more details, including cost. Click here for a printable PDF.