Recent Rules

Reports to the Legislature

Instream Flow Data

Instream flow data are provided to inform the public about the amount of water available in the streams and rivers they rely on.

Ecology River and Streamflow Monitoring

See nearly real-time summaries of streamflow around the state.

Watershed Management

Development and Implementation of Watershed Plans

Instream Flows in your Watershed/WRIA

11/09/2016 - A new Washington Supreme Court case impacts permit-exempt well use statewide. Updates to this web page are currently underway. For more information, see: Understanding the Whatcom County vs. Hirst, Futurewise, et al. decision

Ecology is required by state law to retain adequate amounts of water in streams to protect and preserve instream resources and uses (such as fish, wildlife, recreation, aesthetics, water quality and navigation).  One of the best water management tools for protecting stream flows is to set flow levels in regulation.  Specific stream flow amounts protected in a regulation are called "instream flows".

"Setting flows in rule does not put water in streams, and does not affect existing (senior) water rights.  Instream flows protect the river from future withdrawals."

Instream flows in your Watershed (WRIA)

Instream flows have been set in 29 watersheds plus the mainstem of the Columbia River (see Instream Flow Rule status map) and are being developed in several others. The intent is to set instream flows throughout the state.

Choose a watershed/WRIA from the list or map below to see the Instream Flow rule document for the watershed you are interested in.  If you don't know what watershed you are in, you can use our find a watershed/WRIA by zip code and then come back here to link to your rule document.  If there is no linked document, no instream flow has been set for that watershed.

2  San Juan
Lower Skagit
Upper Skagit
6  Island
10 Puyallup/White
11 Nisqually
12 Chambers-Clover
13 Deschutes
14 Kennedy-Goldsborough
15 Kitsap
16 Skokomish-Dosewallips
17 Quilcene-Snow
18 Elwha-Dungeness
19 Lyre-Hoko
20 Soleduc-Hoh
21 Queets-Quinault
22/23 Lower and Upper Chehalis
24 Willapa
25 Grays-Elochoman
26 Cowlitz
27 Lewis
28 Salmon-Washougal
29 Wind-White Salmon
30 Klickitat
31 Rock-Glade
31(A) John Day/McNary
32 Walla Walla
33 Lower Snake
34 Palouse
35 Middle Snake
36 Esquatzel-Coulee
37 Lower Yakima *
38 Naches *
39 Upper Yakima *
40 Alkli-Squilchuck
41 Lower Crab
42 Grand Coulee
43 Upper Crab
44 Moses Coulee
45 Wenatchee
46 Entiat
47 Chelan
48 Methow
49 Okanogan
50 Foster
51 Nespelem
52 Sanpoil
53 Lower Lake Roosevelt
54 Lower Spokane
55 Little Spokane
56 Hangman
57 Middle Spokane
58 Middle Lake Roosevelt
59 Colville
60 Kettle
61 Upper Lake Roosevelt
62 Pend Oreille
63 Mainstem Columbia River
64 Main Stem Snake River


Instream Rule Status Map - November 2016

* Lower Yakima -37, Naches - 38, and Upper Yakima - 39  There are no instream flows set in rule for these 3 WRIAs, however, target flows (enacted by Congress) and instream flow tribal treaty rights (affirmed by the Yakima Superior Court) are in place in the Yakima Basin.  Both target and instream flows are managed by the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation.  Ecology anticipates no other instream flow activities at this time.