For the more information about water resources in the National Park Service, please visit https://www.nature.nps.gov/water/.
The Water Rights Branch (WRB) has prepared and released water-right dockets, hydrologic datasets, and publications in support of water-right activities. Much of this information is available in electronic format at the National Park Service's Integrated Resource Management Application (IRMA). There, you can search for, view, and download documents, reports, publications, data sets, park species lists, and links to additional data sources. Usernames and passwords are not needed.
For many years, the National Park Service (NPS) has assembled dockets (folders) containing documents regarding water rights at national park units. Not all park units have dockets. Some park units only have one docket, and some have more than 100 dockets. In general, the dockets support the establishment and continuous use of water rights held by the national park units. The documents in a docket are divided into eight sections: preliminary information, state water right documentation, land history, legal opinions, administrative agreements, supporting hydrologic data, other supporting information, and maps and diagrams. Not every section in a docket contains documents. The dockets are found in two forms: paper and electronic. The paper dockets are stored at Fort Collins, Colorado, and the electronic can be accessed at IRMA. To find dockets for a particular park unit, open the website and execute a search using the word "docket" and the name of the park unit, less the park unit type, or use the park acronym.
The datasets contain water measurements such as stream discharge, water levels in wells and pools, etc. WRB has prepared hydrologic databases that are available on IRMA. Click here to access a table of WRB databases, sorted first by park unit and then by water source. Hydrologic databases have also been prepared by the U.S. Geological Survey and other agencies for WRB. Click here to access a table of other databases, sorted by park unit and then by water source.
Publications and Reports
WRB has prepared publications and reports that are available on IRMA. Click here to access a table of WRB publications and reports, sorted first by park unit and then by first author's surname. The U.S. Geological Survey and other parties have completed publications and reports for the WRB. Click here to access a table of other publications and reports.
Selected Rulings, Agreements, Stipulations, Decrees, and Orders
Over the years, WRB has participated in state administrative hearings and proceedings resulting in agreements or stipulations between the NPS and various parties; orders or rulings issued by state agencies; and decrees issued by state or federal courts. Click here for a collection of these, sorted by park unit(s), types of document, and issuing office. Not all rulings, agreements, decrees, or orders are listed here. Only those making major contributions to the acquisition and protection of park-unit water rights are catalogued. [The documents will be stored on IRMA by park unit for retrieval.]
Last Updated: November 05, 2014