Water Rights

Department of Ecology Water Rights Map. Use the tool to look up your property to see whether there is a water right. 


Assessing your Water Right.  Property owners may want to verify a water right prior to purchasing land, or water users may seek to change or transfer an existing right. https://fortress.wa.gov/ecy/publications/documents/971804wr.pdf


Water Availability in your Watershed/WRIA. This is the Washington State Department of Ecology webpage that offers a great overview to water rights, the pending State Supreme Court Case (Hirst Decision), FAQs for landowners wanting to build new wells, etc. http://www.ecy.wa.gov/programs/wr/rights/wrpenapp_avail.html


Quilcene-Snow Watershed Focus Sheet (WRIA 17).  This information provides a starting point for potential water users in determining the best strategies for securing water for a future project or proposal in this area.



What counts as a permit-exempt use of groundwater?

You need a water right permit or certificate from Ecology before withdrawing groundwater, but there are four exceptions for small uses:

·         Providing water for livestock (no gallon per day limit)

·         Watering a non-commercial lawn or garden one-half acre in size or less (no gallon per day limit, however limited to reasonable use)

·         Providing water for a single home or groups of homes (limited to 5,000 gallons per day)

·         Providing water for industrial purposes, including irrigation (limited to 5,000 gallons per day but no acre limit)

Although these permit-exempt uses don’t require a water right permit, you are still subject to state water law