Washington State law (RCW 90.90.50), required the Washington State Department of Ecology (Ecology) to develop a Columbia River mainstem water resources information system by June 30, 2009. The “Columbia River Mainstem Water Resources Information System” (WRIS) web site meets that requirement by providing basic water use, water right and water claim information along the mainstems of the Columbia River and Snake River as defined in RCW 90.90.030(12).
WRIS is divided into two sections: a water budget and an interactive map application called the Columbia River Water Resources Explorer. The water budget section provides aggregate totals for water allocation and use. The water use information is derived from metering data. It includes water use by river pool and source.
Click to view the water budget.
The interactive map section allows users to view data and documents relating to water rights and claims, including:
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 the Program.
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.
Images of many of the water resource documents.
Click here to use the Columbia River Water Resources Explorer.
Water Resources Explorer FAQ
There are a few requirements for optimal viewing and operation of the web map. Before you go to the map, please prepare your computer and browser. Currently, the only web browser that supports the web map is Internet Explorer 7 or higher. Ecology is working to include other browsers.
Here are a few links to maps and information to help you use Explorer's location search feature. Location is a key step towards success when using the interactive map and quantity report sections:
The Columbia River Water Resource Explorer provides access to maps for all water rights on the Columbia River mainstem. On the tributaries, the access ranges from 100% in Okanogan County to around 25% in Yakima County. Ecology is working on converting the remaining maps to a digital format as the budget allows. That applies only to maps. Information (quantity, source, etc) about the unmapped water rights can be accessed through the Explorer application using the name or record number search feature.
What is a water right and what kind of documents can I expect to find when I am searching?
The Department of Ecology's Water Resources Program maintains for the State of Washington various documents and records related to existing or requested water rights and water claims. Water Right Data, Application Data, Claim Data, and Document Images released from the Department of Ecology are provided on an “AS IS” basis, without warranty of any kind.
State law prohibits the use of private citizen names and addresses obtained from a state database for any solicitation/commercial purpose.