A water right is a granted permission to withdraw water from a river, stream, or ground water source for a "reasonable" and "beneficial" use.
Water rights vary from very small domestic use water rights to very large state and federal projects to provide water for irrigation districts, hydropower, and cities.
Select a water right to learn more about it.
|0-10,000 acre-feet per year (AFY) Diverted|
|10,000-500,000 AFY Diverted|
|500,000+ AFY Diverted|
|Fish and Wildlife Protection and/or Enhancement|
Showing Stream Gauge sensors from USGS data.
Select a sensor to see if the water is flowing normally.
Providing citizens with better tools for understanding how water is used in our state.
“If you can't measure it, you can't manage it.”Peter Drucker
The primary challenge with water in California is not its scarcity, but rather how we manage it. Many experts have mutually concluded, that a major first step to improving our management of water is by reforming how we account for it. Whether a lack of adequate statements of diversion for surface and subsurface waters, or the existence of a fine grained environmental monitoring network, it is clear that we could do a better job of recording and measuring. New instruments and institutions are necessary to accomplish this. It is not a question of technology, but one of techniques. The technology is available and affordable, but the institutions and practices of how we measure and document our water resources are not fully mature. We must get control of our understanding of what is in the system at any given point. We owe it to ourselves, our economy, and our ecosystem. This effort benefits all stakeholders.
This map is for citizens, journalists, legal professionals, policy analysts, institutional ratepayers, farmers, and water professionals who seek a comprehensive comparison of water usage in our state. By providing an intuitive and searchable interface, we hope to advance the understanding of the geographic distribution of water resources for all stakeholders.
The above interactive map overlays points of diversion (water rights) from data collected by the State Water Resources Control Board, and daily stream gauge values maintained by the U.S. Geographical Survey. It includes a search feature, multiple map layers, and a basic API for retrieving machine-readable data. We are currently optimizing the interface for mobile devices
Data on water rights in California is difficult to navigate, impossible to query, and is not provided in a machine-readable format. This modest prototype demonstrates that we can do better. This is a first in a series of interactive maps that will consolidate data from disparate agencies, and bring clarity to how water is managed, governed, and distributed in the state. ca.statewater.org
We want to encourage other developers to build interfaces and visualizations with the water rights data. JSON formatted water rights data is available through a simple RESTful interface for the following datasets.
The entire current dataset can be found as a mongo database on Github.