Jump to Navigation
Jump to Content

Five Corners Family Farmers v. State

ELR Citation: 42 ELR 20006
Nos. 84632-4, (Wash., 12/22/2011)

The Supreme Court of Washington held that state law does not limit the amount of water that can be withdrawn from groundwater for livestock-watering purposes. Local farmers and environmentalists sought a declaration that the stockwatering exemption from state permitting requirements is limited to uses of less than 5,000 gallons per day. They also sought an injunction ordering a large cattle feedlot operation to cease groundwater use without a permit. But under a plain reading of the law, groundwater withdrawn without a permit for stock-watering purposes is not limited to 5,000 gallons per day. This limitation only applies to domestic uses. The court, therefore, denied the plaintiffs' request for an injunction.