Washington Water Acquisition Program Strategy

Finding Water to Restore Streams

This report describes the Washington Water Acquisition Program, a voluntary initiative that offers monetary compensation to water-right holders who are willing to revert all or a portion of their right back to the state to benefit salmon. The Department of Ecology, which manages state water supplies, will hold the water in trust to restore stream flows.

Acquiring water rights is one of many ways to help restore stream flows across the state.  As outlined in this document, the Washington Water Acquisition Program strategy provides a framework that links different approaches and guides future water-rights acquisitions.

Water-right holders who choose to participate in the program can sell, lease or donate all or part of their right. The program is focused on increasing stream flows in 16 basins or “watersheds” across the state experiencing chronic water shortages.  While each basin is unique with its own distinctive set of issues, all water-rights acquisitions need to be undertaken in a consistent fashion to ensure fish actually benefit and the public gets the best possible investments.

Use this link to view, download or order the complete report  This is a large PDF file (13MB)