Metering your water use

Example of water use meter that is used to automatically report metered water use.
Based on how much water is used and its source, certain water users must meter their water use. Metering water use allows us to ensure compliance with water rights and helps us manage a limited natural resource.

Metering is required for certain uses

Not all water right holders are required to report water use, but they are required to keep the most current five years of metering records on site. Below are some examples of water uses that requires metering:

  • All new surface water uses
  • All existing surface water uses greater than one cubic foot of water per second
  • All new water right permits issued in the 16 fish-critical watersheds
  • Some water uses in water-short areas
  • Some mitigated water uses
  • Some uses of water from reserves

Special circumstances

Yakima River Basin — Yakima County Superior Court requires holders of confirmed water rights to meter their water use. Yakima County Superior Court issued a metering order (pdf) for all confirmed surface water right holders in Benton, Kittitas, and Yakima counties, except tribal lands. Close to 3,000 water rights have been confirmed as part of the Yakima River Basin adjudication.

  • Large water diversions of one cubic foot per second (cfs) or greater are required to meter and report their diversions to us.
  • Smaller diversions must meter and retain the data for the most recent five years, and make it available to us on request.
  • Yakima River Basin map 

Note: In 1994, the court ordered Yakima, Tieton, and Naches rivers' mainstem water users who divert one cubic foot per second or more to install and maintain measuring devices, to report their use to the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation, and to notify the Bureau in advance of any adjustments to their diversion rates. Those requirements remain in place and are not changed by this order.

Office of Columbia River — The Legislature directs us to collect and publish metering data from water users who divert or withdraw water from the Columbia River corridor. The Columbia River corridor consists of the Columbia River from Bonneville Dam to the Canadian border, the Snake River up to Lower Monumental Dam, and any use within a mile of each bank of these river reaches.

Reporting your metering data online

Most water metering reports are due every year by January 31. Use the links below to access your reporting account or to request a new account:

For additional help:

Meter forms and information

Laws & rules

Revised Code of Washington (RCW):

Washington Administrative Code (WAC):