Washington Water Trust

Working to restore our state's rivers and streams.

Dungeness Watershed

AT A GLANCE
whereDungeness Basin, Olympic Peninsula
whatWWT is developing a water exchange to benefit streams and aquifers, and to mitigate for new water uses under the Instream Flow Rule implemented January 2, 2013. WWT is also operating a late-season leasing program.
whoWWT in partnership with Dungeness Water Users Association, Clallam County, Ecology and Jamestown S'Klallam Tribe and other basin stakeholders.
whyTo balance new human water resource needs with the need to protect and restore Dungeness Basin streams and aquifers.
whenAugust 2008- present
New instream flow rules are being established in basins throughout Washington by the Department of Ecology to set minimum levels for water in streams and address out of stream water use. 

In the Dungeness Basin, an instream flow rule was developed in cooperation with basin stakeholders to address surface and ground water management. Washington Water Trust (WWT) partnered with Ecosystem Economics to develop the Dungeness Water Exchange in collaboration with Clallam County, Jamestown S’Kallam Tribe and Ecology. The primary objective of the Exchange is to support some new, sustainable water allocations in the basin while restoring and protecting stream flows in the Dungeness River, its tributaries and small independent streams. The project is divided into two overlapping phases. Feasibility, strategy, and design of the exchange were completed in 2011. The Dungeness Water Exchange launched on January 4, 2013.

First Instream Leases in the Dungeness

In 2009, Washington Water Trust offered a late-season water lease program to irrigators for the purpose of restoring flows to the Dungeness River. Partnering with the Dungeness Water Users Association and nine different irrigators, the 2009 program added an additional 2.5 cfs (cubic feet per second) to river flows during the lowest flow period August-September. Irrigators were paid by the acre to cease irrigation during the last month of the irrigation season so that increased flows could remain in the river for endangered salmon species.