Friday, April 1, 2011

Statewide water right information available on-line

By Ann-Marie Sweeten, Water Resources Program, IT Section Manager

CLICK TO ENLARGE!Information on more than 230,000 active water right and claim records in Washington State is now available at your fingertips! Ecology recently released an interactive Web map providing direct public access to all water right records in the Water Resources Program database. This includes records dating back to the late 1800s.

The Web map application, named “Water Resources Explorer,” is an efficient and easy-to-use tool for anyone researching water rights or claims, or seeking to obtain a water right in Washington State. Consultants, real estate agents, local government workers, elected officials, and holders of existing water rights — among others — will find this web tool a valuable resource.

Search: Do it your way

The Explorer home page has a map of Washington State (taken by satellite) along with various search criteria. Typically, you start by zooming in on the map to the general area of interest, and then use one of the search tools to draw a square or other shape around the area you are interested in. Or you can search by criteria shown on the left side of the Web map:
  • water right: document/record number; name of the person or organization to whom the water right was issued; the type of record; priority date

  • address of the water right

  • location of the water right: county, city, watershed, township/range/section

  • location of the water right: latitude/longitude, Washington plane coordinates.

Your results will provide extensive information about any water right or claim, including the quantity of water, purpose(s) of use, source, all related documentation (application, permit etc.) and even whether the right is metered or if there is a low-flow provision attached to it.

Help is only a click away

Ecology’s introductory page on Water Resources Explorer provides you with a range of supportive information on using and understanding the application. An instructional video walks you through several types of searches. Preparing your computer and browser is explained. And on the Explorer page there is a Help link that will answer many common questions.

An efficiency tool: everybody wins

Developing the Water Resources Explorer application is one of many efficiency steps being taken by Ecology’s Water Resources Program. The Web map provides information that until now was only accessible by contacting staff at Ecology, through the public disclosure process, or through individual research in an Ecology office. Water right information is now easily accessed directly by users, while at the same time saving state resources by freeing up staff time.

Have a burning water right question? The answer is now only a click away:

No comments: