Waters of the state belong to the public and can't be owned by any individual or group. Instead, a person or group may be granted a right to use a volume of water, for a defined purpose, in a specific place.
Water availability is directly related to how much annual precipitation the state receives. We monitor current water and snowpack supplies and future weather conditions so we can inform the public and other agencies about trends and possible shortages. See more informaton about water availability.
In addition to issuing water rights, we are also responsible for protecting streamflows for fish, wildlife, recreation, aesthetics, water quality, and navigation. We accomplish this by setting instream flows, which are essentially water rights for rivers.
(Benton, Chelan, Douglas, Kittitas, Klickitat, Okanogan, and Yakima counties)
Help desk: 509-575-2597
(Adams, Asotin, Columbia, Ferry, Franklin, Garfield, Grant, Lincoln, Pend Oreille, Spokane, Stevens, Walla Walla, and Whitman counties)
Help desk: 509-329-3400
(Island, King, Kitsap, San Juan, Skagit, Snohomish, and Whatcom counties)
Help desk: 206-594-0193
(Clallam, Clark, Cowlitz, Grays Harbor, Jefferson, Mason, Lewis, Pacific, Pierce, Skamania, Thurston, and Wahkiakum counties)
Help desk: 360-407-0278