Buying & Selling Water


Do you need water? Or have water available?

Ecology has set up the Washington Water Exchange as a service to help water users locate or sell water available for transfer.

DISCLAIMER: The information posted on the Water Exchange is provided by users and has not been approved, reviewed or verified by Ecology.  By providing the Water Exchange, Ecology does not imply or suggest that the information posted is accurate or true nor does Ecology attest to the validity of the water rights claimed.  It is up to the parties involved to contact each other and decide if a legal transaction is possible.

To post water exchange information:
Please contact Chris Anderson at (360) 407-6634 or

Transfer of Water Rights: People with existing water rights may offer to transfer those rights. A transfer (i.e., changing the source of the water, where it is used, or how it is used) of a water right might involve transferring a water right from one farmer to another or from one city to another. All transfers or changes of water rights as well as any other changes or transfers need to be submitted to Ecology for approval. If they are permanent, the applications will be placed in line with other change applications. In the Yakima Basin, the Yakima County Superior Court has jurisdiction over temporary transfers, not Ecology, pursuant to Pre-Trial Order #12.

Validity of water rights: The existence of a "paper" right does not guarantee that the right actually exists or exists in the amount or location stated on the document. Ecology staff can give you information, but they can only give you a formal opinion or determination regarding a water right’s validity once you submit an application for change or transfer. If you have concerns about the validity or scope of the right, consider consulting an attorney or professional in the field.


Things you may want to ask a “seller:”

  • Has the water been put to beneficial use with no breaks of five or more years? (If not, it is subject to relinquishment.)
  • Is the water right valid?
  • Is the water right a permit, certificate or a claim?
  • What is the water right number or claim number?

Ecology’s program for buying or leasing water for state fish resources:
Ecology may be interested in leasing or purchasing valid water rights to alleviate conditions affecting the state's fishery resources using drought financial assistance funding. For more information contact:

Gary Steele
Office of Columbia River
Trust Water Rights Coordinator
Phone: (509) 249-6299