Water Rights Program

NPS scientist measures flow of river.

NPS Photo

The National Park Service seeks to protect and conserve surface waters and groundwaters in park units as integral components of water and land ecosystems. The Water Rights Branch in the Water Resources Division was established in 1985 and provides staff expertise and resources to effectively address water-quantity and water-right issues for NPS units throughout the United States. The Water Law Program secures and protects water rights, flows, and lake and groundwater levels for the preservation and management of the national park system through all available local, state, and federal authorities. The Water Rights Branch also assists in the management of the Wild and Scenic Rivers Program.

Contact the Water Rights Branch.

Last updated: August 14, 2023