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Dungeness Dry Year Leasing Program FAQs

Dry Year Leasing programs are cued by state declared drought in the Dungeness (as in 2015, 2016, and 2019). Washington Water Trust is currently managing a 2019 Dry Year Lease Program. Below you can find the terms and stipulations for our past and current Dry Year Leasing programs. Future programs are anticipated to be offered in a similar format. 

For more information please contact  Emily Dick, Project Manager, (O):206.675.1585, emily@washingtonwatertrust.org or  Jason Hatch, Project Manager, (O):206.675.1585, (C):360.328.2166, jason@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 during at least one of the previous two years 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. 

When are participant forms due? Participant forms for the 2019 program will be reviewed if postmarked no later than July 10th, 2019 and mailed to:

Washington Water Trust
Attn: Dungeness Leasing Program
1500 Westlake Ave N, Suite 202
Seattle, WA 98109

When will irrigators be notified if bids are accepted or not? Applicants for the 2019 program will be notified if applications were accepted by email by July 26th, 2019. 

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

Is there a set price? WWT and Ecology may establish a set price or bidding price during drought years that is appropriate to current market prices and funding availability.

How will compliance monitoring occur? WWT will seek the review of each eligible application with the respective District or Company. WWT will sign a Monitoring Memorandum of Understanding with irrigation districts and companies. Accepted applications 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 at least twice during the lease period 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.