Washington Water Trust

Working to restore our state's rivers and streams.

Dungeness Dry Year Leasing Program - FAQs

Dry Year Leasing programs were offered in 2015 and 2016, no Dry Year Leasing program was offered in 2017. Below you can find the terms and stipulations for our 2015 and 2016 Dry Year Leasing programs, and future programs are anticipated to be offered in a similar format. 

For more information please contact Emily Dick, Project Manager, (O):206.675.1585x100, (C):206.914.9282, emily@washingtonwatertrust.org or Jason Hatch, Project Manager, (O):206.675.1585x103, (C):360.328.2166, jhatch@washingtonwatertrust.org

Who is eligible?
To be eligible for the Dry Year Leasing Program, you must be an active irrigator in one of the seven irrigation districts and companies in the Dungeness Valley:
  • Agnew Irrigation District
  • Clallam Irrigation Association
  • Cline Irrigation District
  • Dungeness Irrigation District
  • Dungeness Irrigation Group
  • Highland Irrigation District
  • Sequim Prairie Tri-Irrigation Company
In addition, irrigators must have irrigated hay, silage, pasture, turf or other commercial crop on at least 5 acres or more between August 15th and September 15th of the previous year to be eligible to participate in the Dungeness Dry Year Leasing Program. Irrigators may own or lease the ground they enroll in the Dry Year Leasing Program. If the ground is leased, permission to participate in the leasing program is required.

When are bids due?
Bids will be reviewed if postmarked no later than April 15, on qualifying dry years and mailed to: 
Washington Water Trust 
Attn: Dungeness Leasing Program 
1530 Westlake Ave N, Suite 400
Seattle, WA 98109

When will irrigators be notified if bids are accepted or not?
Bidders will be notified if bids were accepted by letters, mailed April 30th. 

Why do I need permission from the landowner?
Permission (a signature) from the landowner is required to ensure that the acres accepted into the dry year leasing program will not be irrigated during August 15-September 15 lease period from any source (ditch, well, etc.), and to confirm that there is a lease agreement with the landowner and the irrigator for the specific season. WWT does not need information related to the terms of your land lease agreement.

How much funding is available for  leases?
Funds for dry year leases are allocated by Ecology. Eligible and accepted bids will be funded until those funds are exhausted.

Is there a reserve price?
WWT and Ecology have not established a reserve price (a price per/acre above which they will not pay) for bids. However, bids viewed as too high will not be accepted.

How will compliance monitoring occur?
WWT will seek the review of each eligible bid with the respective District or Company. WWT will sign a Monitoring Memorandum of Understanding with irrigation districts and companies. Accepted bids will be formalized with Forbearance Agreements, signed by each leasing participant, which will include language allowing WWT to access the property to confirm that enrolled acres are not being irrigated. WWT will visit the leased acreage 1 week prior to the leasing period, during the first week and again during the last week to ensure compliance.

If I participate in program, when will checks be issued?
WWT strives to issue checks by November 15.

Will I jeopardize or relinquish my water rights by not using them if I participate in a dry year program? 
Relinquishment of water rights is triggered for non-use of water rights or portions of water rights if non-use occurs for 5 consecutive years. Water leased under dry year programs is put to beneficial instream use, so it will not contribute to the relinquishment of the leased water rights.