The Water Resources Division (WRD) of the National Park Service works to conserve, protect and restore water resources in America's national parks. WRD provides assistance, expertise, and guidance for aquatic ecosystem stewardship in national parks, so that current and future generations can experience healthy aquatic ecosystems for years to come. 

The Water Resources Division is one of eight divisions that make up the Natural Resource Stewardship and Science (NRSS) Directorate of the National Park Service.The division is comprised of nine programs: Fish, Groundwater, Information Management, Natural Resource Condition AssessmentsOcean & Coastal ResourcesRiversWater Rights, Water Quality, and Wetlands.

Measuring a glagier a Glacier National Park.
What We Do

The Water Resources Division was established to provide science to parks for the protection and management of water and aquatic resources.

Fish jumping
Fish Program

The Fish program provides technical assistance and policy guidance in managing and restoring native fish and their habitats in parks.

Big Thompson River rushes by in Rocky Mountain National Park.

The rivers program provides technical and policy advice regarding hydrologic issues for rivers, streams, lakes, and reservoirs.

Tools used to collect data for water monitoring.
Information Management

The Information Management program supports parks in analysis and archiving of hydrologic data.

Weather monitoring equipment set up in national park.
Natural Resource Condition Assessment

NRCA provides funds and oversight for preparation of resource condition assessments in parks.

Ocean wave crashing on shore
Ocean and Coastal Resources

The Ocean and Coastal Resources Program works to advance ocean and Great Lakes stewardship in the National Park System.

River at Olympic National Park
Water Rights

The National Park Service seeks to protect and conserve surface waters and groundwaters in park units as integral components of ecosystems

Water lapping onto shore at Lake Clark National Park.
Water Quality

The Water Quality program coordinates aspects of water quality protection in national parks.

View looking out over wetlands at Denali National Park.

The Wetlands program provides expertise for protection and management of over 20 million acres of NPS wetlands.

Boats on the edge of a river.
Wild and Scenic Rivers

WSR aims to protect and enhance river resources under the National Wild and Scenic Rivers Act.

Last updated: August 14, 2023