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The Department of Ecology's Water Resources Program maintains for the State of Washington various documents and records related to existing or requested water rights and water claims. Water Right Data, Application Data, Claim Data, and Document Images released from the Department of Ecology are provided on an “AS IS” basis, without warranty of any kind.
All private citizen names and addresses obtained from a state database may not be used for any solicitation or commercial purpose.
Water right records can be searched on the Water Resources Explorer (Web Map) by document/record number or by the name of the person the water right was issued to (or the name of the claimant, if it is a water right claim).
The Web Map is an efficient tool for anyone researching water rights or water right claims, or seeking to obtain a water right in Washington State. Consultants, real estate agents, local government workers, elected officials, and holders of existing water rights will find the map a valuable source of information.
The Web Map section and/or quantity report section allows users to query and view data and documents relating to water rights and claims. This includes, if completed, the mapped place of water use and water sources (existing and proposed) for water right certificates, water use permits, applications for water use, and claims of water use as described on the documents maintained by Ecology.
Links to water right documents allow the user access to scanned images of water resource documents that include:
If you are considering purchasing property with an existing water right, water right claim, or transferring an existing water right, do not rely solely on research via the Water Resources Explorer. It is important to verify the validity of the water right by contacting your nearest Ecology office. We suggest that you read the following publications to help you make a more educated decision regarding the water rights you are about to research via the Water Resources Explorer:
Determining the historical use of the water, the validity of a water right, and the appurtenance of the water to the land
Here are some publications that provide information necessary to understand water use authorized by a water right or water right claim:
Is the Claim valid?
A water right claim is simply that – a claim to a water right for a beneficial use which predates the state water-permitting system. The validity of a claim can only be confirmed through judicial processes.
What if I read the information and still have questions or need help with my research?
If you still have questions please contact the regional office that covers your county. If you need assistance with your research you can fill out and submit this form to the proper regional office:
Here are some links to maps and information to help you find your location. Location is a key step towards success when using the interactive map and quantity report sections:
What is a water right and what kind of documents can I expect to find when I am searching?
Water Resources Program Contacts - includes contact information for Water Resources Program staff at Headquarters and the Regional Offices