Community Development

Watershed Planning & Management

A "watershed" is an area of land that drains into a river, lake, or other waterbody.

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621 Sheridan Street
Port Townsend,
WA 98368

Phone: 360.379.4450
Fax: 360.379.4451


Monday - Thursday
9:00 to 4:30                     

closed 12:00 - 1:00 for lunch


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Page last updated: 6/28/2010

New Items

WRIA 17 Instream Flow Rule

After a lengthy public process involving the WRIA 17 Planning Unit, the WA Department of Ecology adopted new rules to manage water use in the Quilcene-Snow Basin of northeastern Jefferson County - also known as Water Resources Inventory Area (WRIA) 17.  The WRIA 17 Instream Flow Rule is part of the state's Washington Administrative Code (WAC 173-517) and took effect December 31, 2009.  The new rules apply to new water rights decisions, not existing water rights.

Learn more and view the following materials:


For updated information on the County's role in ongoing watershed planning & management efforts, contact:

Jefferson County Environmental Health Division

NOTE:  The information below was posted prior to April 2006.  Not all content is up-to-date and some links may be inactive.  Staff is working to archive historical information and keep posted materials current.


The state of Washington is divided into 62 watersheds for planning purposes under the Watershed Planning Act (Chapter 90.82 RCW).  These units are called Watershed Resource Inventory Areas (WRIAs).  Jefferson County is involved in developing and implementing watershed plans for WRIAs 16, 17, 20 and 21.  For a graphic representation of the state's WRIAs and other background information on watershed planning, visit the following source:

Contact the County's Natural Resources program for information on the County's role in watershed planning efforts for WRIAs 16, 17, 20 and 21.

With respect to WRIA 17, the Quilcene-Snow Basin of northeast Jefferson County, the Department of Ecology has initiated rulemaking for the establishment of "instream flows."  The concept would be to establish a water right for ensuring that sufficient flows are maintained in streams to support fish populations.  See Links below for more information.

2005 Instream Flow Activities

The Jefferson County Planning Commission hosted a workshop on August 31, 2005 concerning an instream flow rule being proposed by the State Department of Ecology for the Quilcene-Snow Basin (WRIA 17).  Ecology staff was on-hand to present and answer questions.

Ecology hosted an open house on September 20, 2005 at the USO Building in Fort Worden.

The process is ongoing.  Contact Natural Resources for updated information.


More Information

For more information on the County's role in watershed planning, contact Environmental Health.



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