Certified water right examiner program

Once you have fully developed your water use permit and filed a proof of appropriation form, we may require you to hire a certified water right examiner to verify your water use. After we have verification of your water use and that you have met the conditions of your permit, we will issue a Certificate of Water Right and send it to the county assessor for recording.

What is a proof examination?

A proof examination is a field visit to verify how much water is being used and that you have met all the conditions of your water permit. It must be performed by a certified water right examiner, who will document the findings in a report called a proof report of examination and recommendations. The certified water right examiner submits the completed report for our review and sends a copy to you.

What is a certified water right examiner?

A certified water right examiner is certified by Washington state to conduct proof examinations and prepare proof reports of examination and recommendation summaries.

To be certified, they must meet all of the following conditions:

  • Be licensed in Washington as an engineer, hydrogeologist, or land surveyor; or appointed as a water conservancy board commissioner; or have at least five years of related work experience
  • Pass the certified water right examiner test
  • Meet continuing education requirements
  • Carry at least $50,000 in insurance or bond

Want to become a certified water right examiner?

We accept applications for qualified persons to be certified as water right examiners. Learn about the application process and how to maintain a certification:

Laws & regulations

Certified water right examiners and the work they do are governed by:

  • Chapter 173-165 WAC — Describes how certified water right examiners are authorized to conduct final proof examinations of permitted water uses. The statute requires permittees to hire a certified water right examiner to complete a proof examination.
  • RCW 90.03.665 — Describes how certified water right examiners qualify and maintain their certification, and what their work entails.