The OWRD has been mapping water rights in a geographic information system (GIS) since 1990. The first pass through at compiling the water rights layers for the state was completed in 1999. Since then the OWRD has completely redesigned its Water Rights Information System (WRIS) and the water right mapping features were migrated to a new data structure that linked directly to WRIS in 2004. The procedures and tools for mapping water right features in the GIS were also rewritten.
As part of the data structure changes we retooled our internal processes. We map all new permits and certificates as they are issued statewide. Any spare time is devoted to cleaning up older rights. In areas where source maps are missing or difficult to interpret we place water right features (Places of Use symbolized by a small diamond shaped polygon) in the middle of the appropriate Public Land Survey quarter-quarter based on the description in the file.
The whole process is described in more detail in our water right mapping procedures document here
(2 MB PDF).
For questions, contact Robert Harmon
, GIS Coordinator.