Climate change is likely to increase the frequency and severity of droughts, causing declines in mountain snowpack and impacting statewide water supplies. Our Water Resources program supports sustainable water resources management to meet the present and future water needs of people and the natural environment, in partnership with Washington communities.
An obligation to future generations
Historically, Washington residents have enjoyed an abundance of water, but water availability is no longer a given.
Population growth and economic development are fueling increased demands for water. These demands are often in conflict with the need to restore stream flows to save fish from extinction, and the pressures of climate change and warming temperatures increase the need to address these challenges.
As competing demands and environmental threats to water resources loom larger than ever, there is increasing public awareness of water supply issues across the state. We are committed to meeting the challenges and working creatively and collaborative to address current and future water needs of people, farms, and fish.
The program's work
The Water Resources program focuses on:
- Monitoring statewide water supply
- Managing water supply projects and water recovery solutions
- Overseeing water rights
- Streamflow restoration
- Protecting streamflows
- Regulating well construction and licensing
- Ensuring dam safety
Committees and work groups
The program convenes and supports several committees and work groups:
- Water Resources Advisory Committee, a forum about water resources management in Washington
- Water Transfer Working Group, which reviews and authorizes water right transfer proposals in the Yakima River basin
- Well Construction Technical Advisory Group, which develops and revises well construction statutes and regulations
- Water Supply Availability Committee, a group of experts who evaluate statewide water supply conditions
Laws, regulations, and policies
Our work is guided by the following regulations, laws, rules, policies, and case law: