Washington State Groundwater Association

Ecology Asks for Ruling on Water Rights

OLYMPIA (14 April 2000) — The state Department of Ecology is taking legal action to determine whether housing developments need a water-right permit for ground water.

Ecology filed a complaint yesterday with the Cowlitz County Supreme Court naming Dan Class, owner of Class Development in Woodland, 11 others and a bank for not having a water right permit for Columbia Crest Estates, which is under construction. The lawsuit asks the Court to interpret an exemption element in state water laws that allows property owners to withdraw up to 5,000 gallons daily from a well without a permit. A similar case was file in Yakima last October.