As many of you have heard, the Hirst decision will have impacts across the board when it comes to private land rights and the water below. The Washington State Supreme Court ruled "that Whatcom county failed to comply with the GMA’s requirements to protect water resources. The ruling requires the county to make an independent decision about legal water availability." (Washington Department of Ecology)
This make's the County directly responsible for determining who has water rights and who doesn't. Any mistreatment of this power may end up in litigation and for that reason Spokane County adopted new rules regarding building permits and water rights.
The new process requires lengthy and expensive studies done to prove that the landowner applying for a new well has superior water rights to those streams and rivers that depend on the ground water to flow.
This decision will require legislation to overturn and it's ramifications will be felt for a long time. If you have a piece of land that you hoped to develop one day, those hopes might be dashed.