Quincy Basin Water Rights

(Grant County, WA)  Landau Associates is helping clients find and secure valuable water resources and rights in the Quincy Basin where water resources, including artificially stored groundwater (ASGW), are carefully controlled.  Landau Associates provides skillful navigation of the multi-agency jurisdiction of water resources in the Quincy Basin and offers experience and expertise on issues associated with the use of water for development of food processing plants, dairies, vineyards, golf courses, housing and resorts, and internet data centers.

Landau Associates provided comprehensive environmental permitting and due diligence services to support the development of two large data centers comprising more than 500,000 sq. ft. in Grant County. For one data center client, Landau Associates provided wastewater discharge permitting services, completed an assessment of water supply sources, facilitated a water rights transfer, and provided technical oversight for compliance of the drilling and installation of a new water supply well. As a result, the client was able to acquire the water rights needed to meet facility requirements with an uninterruptible water supply. Our experience in the Quincy Basin prompted Landau Associates staff to request a variance prior to drilling which allowed the well to be drilled deeper so that the entire quantity of water authorized under the water right permit could be produced within a single well. This saved time and provided significant cost savings to the client during well construction and subsequent site development. We also helped identify and assess water sources within the Quincy Basin and assessed wastewater discharge options for a second data center being developed in Grant County.   

Landau Associates is also assisting a client with the lease transfer of artificially stored groundwater within the Quincy Basin; this is water that has accumulated underground as a result of the Columbia Basin Project. The transfer involves coordination with the Washington State Department of Ecology (Ecology) and U.S. Department of the Interior Bureau of Reclamation, which have jurisdiction over different components of the groundwater system. Landau Associates will establish the amount of water available for transfer, identify an alternate lessee, and facilitate the change of use and transfer application. Previously, Landau Associates secured a well variance from Ecology so the client could realize the permitted flow capacity.

Additionally, Landau Associates helped secure water resources for the planned residential community of Frenchman Springs in Grant County by providing technical support on a water rights transfer. Staff completed a hydrogeologic evaluation and prepared a beneficial use assessment to support the transfer of water rights. In order for water to be available for the new development, the existing use as irrigation groundwater would have to be negotiated for domestic use by multiple parties. As part of the evaluation and beneficial use documentation, Landau Associates staff interviewed the existing water rights holder to establish historical irrigation and crop rotation practices, assessed available data to characterize local and regional hydrogeologic and geologic conditions, estimated the irrigated acreage, and reviewed irrigation system specifications. Staff also calculated a preliminary water demand and annual consumptive use to demonstrate that water use for the development would not result in an increase in beneficial use. Compiled results were included as supporting documents with the Report of Examination submitted to the Grant County Conservancy Board, which approved the transfer.