For the more information about water resources in the National Park Service, please visit http://www.nature.nps.gov/water/.
Water Rights Program
The National Park Service (NPS) was established to promote and regulate the use of national park units according to the fundamental purpose of the national park system, "...to conserve the scenery and the natural and historic objects and the wild life therein and to provide for the enjoyment of the same in such manner and by such means as will leave them unimpaired for the enjoyment of future generations." (16 USC 1) Thus, the Service seeks to conserve surface waters and groundwaters in park units as integral components of water and land ecosystems. Water-dependent plants and animals, recreational activities, and scenery are associated with surface waters and groundwaters.
The NPS Water Rights Program uses water rights and other mechanisms to ensure that water-related park resources are conserved for the enjoyment of present and future generations. Water rights are obtained and protected in accordance with state and federal laws and regulations. The NPS Water Rights Branch (WRB) in the Water Resources Division is charged with overseeing the Water Rights Program. WRB was established in 1985 to provide staff and other resources to more effectively address water-quantity and water-right issues for NPS units throughout the United States.
Last Updated: December 13, 2012