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 Program and 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 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.
In addition to the Water Rights Program, branch staff assist in the management of the Wild and Scenic Rivers Program.
Visit our full Water Rights webpage learn more about water resources in parks, current projects, and research and reports.