This morning, the Mason County Journal covers the Squaxin Island Tribe’s petition to close the Johns Creek watershed to any further water withdrawals. From the article:
“Since the minimum flow standard was established on Johns Creek back in 1984, there’ve been by our estimate, over 200 exempt wells that have been built in that watershed,” said Jeff Dickison, assistant director of natural resources with the tribe. “That may sound like a lot, but this is a small, discreet watershed.”
As it is, Johns Creek — spawning ground to multiple salmon populations — does not meet the state’s minumum required in-stream flows: in 2008 the lowest stream flow average was four cubic feet per second; the minimum requirement is seven.
Here is the petition itself from the tribe:
Here is some history of the exempt well issue in Washington State.