Water right records can be searched on the Water Resources Explorer by:
- Document/record number.
- The name of the person to whom the water right was issued.
- 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 staff, 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 us.
Links to water right documents allow the user access to scanned images of water resource documents that include:
- Water right certificates, water use permits, applications for water use, and claims of water use
- The authorized, claimed, or requested quantity of water (both current and annual) and number of irrigated acres
- The purpose of water use, priority date or date of first use, as well as the name of record
- Information regarding metering, if required
- Information not maintained directly by us or USGS flow data from stream gauging stations
Evaluating a water right document
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 associated with the property. 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:
Here are 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 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: