Measuring Water

Measuring Water

Measuring Water home photo

Since 1993, the water code requires the measurement of all new surface water rights and all existing water rights that meet at least one of the following criteria:

  • Surface water diversions greater than one cubic feet of water per second, or
  • Diversions and withdrawals from surface and ground water sources that support fish stocks classified as critical or depressed by the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife.

Since 2002, Ecology has required measuring devices as a condition in all water right permitting decisions.

In addition, a ruling in a 1999 lawsuit brought on by American Rivers, Center for Environmental Law and Policy (CELP) and other groups requires Ecology to achieve 80% metering compliance in 16 Fish Critical Basins in the state.

Benefits of Measuring Water Use

Measuring water use benefits the public in many ways, such as:
  • Providing a tool for ensuring compliance with water rights.
  • Supplying information for water resource planning and management.
  • Informing water users how much water they are using, and
  • Helping to better manage a limited natural resource.

Meter Forms/Information

Laws and rules governing measuring water

Revised Code of Washington (RCW):

Washington Administrative Code (WAC):

More information - Laws and Rules



Northwest Region
Kellie Gillingham
  Bellingham Field Office
Kelly Hamilton
Southwest Region
Eva Richards
  Central Region
Amy Cook
(509) 454-7887
Office of Columbia River
Philip Lefler
(509) 454-4255
  Eastern Region
Tracy Band



Most water use data is required to be reported to Ecology every year by January 31st.

Design changes that improve the look and feel and ease of use for online reporting.

Returning user?

Login here to submit your metering data.

New user?

Please request an online login account.


Quick Reference Guide - Reporting your water use online

How to properly collect & document water level data from your well

Upper Kittitas Ground Water Rule - Chapter 173-539A WAC

Lummi Peninsula Groundwater Settlement Agreement

Yakima River Basin - Metering and Reporting

Dungeness Watershed - Water Metering Specifications

Quilcene-Snow Watershed - Water Metering Specifications

Office of Columbia River - Metering Program