§ 39.34.190. Watershed management plan projects -- Use of water-related revenues
(1) The legislative authority of a city or county and the governing body of any special purpose district enumerated in subsection (2) of this section may authorize up to ten percent of its water-related revenues to be expended in the implementation of watershed management plan projects or activities that are in addition to the county's, city's, or district's existing water-related services or activities. Such limitation on expenditures shall not apply to water-related revenues of a public utility district organized according to Title 54 RCW. Water-related revenues include rates, charges, and fees for the provision of services relating to water supply, treatment, distribution, and management generally, and those general revenues of the local government that are expended for water management purposes. A local government may not expend for this purpose any revenues that were authorized by voter approval for other specified purposes or that are specifically dedicated to the repayment of municipal bonds or other debt instruments.
(2) The following special purpose districts may exercise the authority provided by this section:
(a) Water districts, sewer districts, and water-sewer districts organized under Title 57 RCW;
(b) Public utility districts organized under Title 54 RCW;
(c) Irrigation, reclamation, conservation, and similar districts organized under Titles 87 and 89 RCW;
(d) Port districts organized under Title 53 RCW;
(e) Diking, drainage, and similar districts organized under Title 85 RCW;
(f) Flood control and similar districts organized under Title 86 RCW;
(g) Lake or beach management districts organized under chapter 36.61 RCW;
(h) Aquifer protection areas organized under chapter 36.36 RCW; and
(i) Shellfish protection districts organized under chapter 90.72 RCW.
(3) The authority for expenditure of local government revenues provided by this section shall be applicable broadly to the implementation of watershed management plans addressing water supply, water transmission, water quality treatment or protection, or any other water-related purposes. Such plans include but are not limited to plans developed under the following authorities:
(a) Watershed plans developed under chapter 90.82 RCW;
(b) Salmon recovery plans developed under chapter 77.85 RCW;
(c) Watershed management elements of comprehensive land use plans developed under the growth management act, chapter 36.70A RCW;
(d) Watershed management elements of shoreline master programs developed under the shoreline management act, chapter 90.58 RCW;
(e) Nonpoint pollution action plans developed under the Puget Sound water quality management planning authorities of chapter 90.71 RCW and chapter 400-12 WAC;
(f) Other comprehensive management plans addressing watershed health at a WRIA level or sub-WRIA basin drainage level;
(g) Coordinated water system plans under chapter 70.116 RCW and similar regional plans for water supply; and
(h) Any combination of the foregoing plans in an integrated watershed management plan.
(4) The authority provided by this section to expend revenues for watershed management plan implementation shall be construed broadly to include, but not be limited to:
(a) The coordination and oversight of plan implementation, including funding a watershed management partnership for this purpose;
(b) Technical support, monitoring, and data collection and analysis;
(c) The design, development, construction, and operation of projects included in the plan; and
(d) Conducting activities and programs included as elements in the plan.
[2008 c 301 § 26; 2003 c 327 § 2.]
Finding -- Intent -- 2003 c 327: "The legislature finds that throughout Washington state there are many active efforts to protect, manage, and restore watersheds. The state's river systems provide a variety of benefits for society's many needs, so efforts to protect these watersheds should reflect the diversity of social, environmental, and economic factors that make the state unique.
Yet, there is a conflict between the natural flow of river systems and the way watersheds are governed. From a hydrological standpoint, a watershed is a single, integrated system. But these systems usually flow through a number of cities, counties, and other municipalities as they move from their source to the sea. As a result, many are subject to the full range of management interests, including multiple government entities with jurisdiction over water. In many cases, the political boundaries of government do not align with the hydrological boundaries of watersheds and may actually hinder the implementation of coordinated, cooperative plans. Cooperative watershed management actions by local governments, special districts, and utilities can help maintain healthy watershed function and support the beneficial use of water by these entities and protect the quality of the resource that they use or affect. By participating in cooperative watershed management actions, local governments, special districts, and utilities are acting in the public interest and in a manner that is intended to sustain maximum beneficial use and high quality of water over time and to maintain the services that these entities provide.
Therefore, it is the intent of this act to remove statutory barriers that may prevent local governments from working together in the creation and implementation of cooperative, coordinated watershed plans. In addition, it is the further intent of this act to provide additional authorities to assist in such implementation." [2003 c 327 § 1.]
Last modified: April 7, 2009