For the more information about water resources in the National Park Service, please visit http://www.nature.nps.gov/water/.


What Does the Water Rights Branch Do?

The role of the Water Rights Branch (WRB) is to secure and protect water rights for the preservation and management of the national park system through all available local, state, and federal authorities.

Gros Ventre River, Grand Teton National Park, Wyoming
Streamflow measurement on the Gros Ventre River, Grand Teton National Park, Wyoming (NPS, 2007).

WRB carries out five basic functions:

  • Develop and apply legal and technical strategies to secure and protect water quantity and water rights
  • Provide legal and technical expertise to parks, regions and Washington level staff regarding potential threats to water quantity and water rights at national park units
  • Collect and maintain NPS water-quantity and water-right records
  • Measure and analyze ground and surface water data
  • Educate NPS staff and stakeholders about protecting NPS water rights and water-related resources

Click the image below to view a map showing the national park units where WRB has provided or is providing leadership and assistance.

Map of NPS Units Worked On By the Water Rights Branch

Last Updated: December 13, 2012