Western States Water Council

A Voice for Water in the West since 1965

What We Do

Our mission is to ensure that the West has an adequate, secure, and sustainable supply of water of suitable quality to meet its diverse economic and environmental needs now and in the future.

Western Water Policy Positions

Raise water as a critical public policy priority.  Policy positions are vetted with the governors, adopted by the Council, and promoted on behalf of Western States.

Weekly Newsletter

Report and curate state and federal news on water-related issues, as well as other activities and events.

Federal Reserved Tribal and Non-Tribal Water Rights

Support authorization and funding of negotiated settlements between tribes, states, and federal agencies to resolved unquantified tribal and non-tribal water claims.

Water Infrastructure

Recognize and promote active asset management, including consistent funding to address aging infrastructure challenges, future water supply, and water and wastewater treatment needs.

Sharing of State-Level Water Data

Develop and grow the Water Data Exchange (WaDE) Program that streamlines access to water rights and water use data, water quality and other water related databases.

Enhance State and Federal Relationships and Encourage Collaboration

Serve as a forum for Interstate and State/Federal dialogue and action on emerging and ongoing water issues with our Western States Federal Agency Support Team (WestFAST).

Water Quality-Quantity Nexus

Recognize and promote efforts to better manage and balance the interrelationships between the development and allocation of water resources, wastewater treatment, and water quality.

Water-Related Observing Systems and Data

Support the maintenance and expansion of critical observing systems and promote innovation related to the monitoring and reporting of water-related parameters.

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#477 – Abandoned Hardrock Mine Cleanup

Position #477 - September 16, 2021 WHEREAS, the General Mining Act of 1872 allowed individuals to obtain exclusive rights to valuable hardrock mineral deposits on land belonging to the United States without requirements to reclaim the land until the 1970s; and...

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#476 – States’ Water Rights and Natural Flows

Position #476 - September 16, 2021 WHEREAS, the Western States Water Council strongly supports preservation of the States’ inherent right to develop, use, control, and distribute water; and WHEREAS, States have exclusive authority over the allocation and...

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#475 – Bureau of Reclamation Drought Response Program

Position #475 - September 16, 2021 WHEREAS, the Western States Water Council is a policy advisory body representing eighteen states and since its inception the Council has been actively involved in national drought preparedness, planning and response, as well as...

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State Comments on EPA’s Request for WOTUS Recommendations

On September 3, 2021, the public comment period closed on the EPA’s Request for Recommendations: Waters of the United States. The following links are comments submitted by some of our states, sharing their positive and negative experiences under different WOTUS regulatory regimes.

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Testimony: Reclamation Appropriations

On June 24, the WSWC submitted written testimony to the Senate Appropriations Committee’s Subcommittee on Energy and Water Development, and Related Agencies. The testimony supports FY2022 funding requests related to rural water supply projects; dam safety;...

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Western Water Perspectives

In this section, we will post reflective articles on water-related topics that summarize and review what has been done on a particular theme of interest.

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WaDE 2.0 Data Dictionary (Draft)

Background The WaDE data dictionary is a product of a 10-year effort among the western 18 states for an agreed-upon common metadata schema implemented in a data system that is used for sharing water rights and water use data to enable regional analysis that inform...

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#477 – Abandoned Hardrock Mine Cleanup

Position #477 - September 16, 2021 WHEREAS, the General Mining Act of 1872 allowed individuals to obtain exclusive rights to valuable hardrock mineral deposits on land belonging to the United States without requirements to reclaim the land until the 1970s; and...

read more

The Western States Water Council is the preeminent water policy organization in the western U.S. representing as it does 18 western states. From influential positions on federal rules and legislation to support of Landsat missions intended to acquire important water use information, the Council serves it member states like no other entity. My 18-year membership with the Council is one of the most memorable experiences of my service as Wyoming State Engineer.

Pat Tyrrell

Former Wyoming State Engineer

I find the Council to be a provocative forum to discuss how State water supply and water quality program should interact. Western perspectives highlight the unique and confounding aspects of managing water quality in ways that defy uniform application of the Clean Water Act. And there may be no greater champion of the importance of water data programs of the USGS and NRCS than the WSWC.

Tom Stiles

Kansas Dept. of Health & Environment

The Western States Water Council is recognized as a national leader in developing and influencing national and western water policy, while serving as the water arm for the Western Governors’ Association.  The Council provides an excellent forum for states and federal agencies to discuss water issues of mutual interest.  I know that my time on the Council certainly enhanced my ability as a leader on state water issues.

Garland Erbele

Former North Dakota State Engineer

Contact Us

Western States Water Council Office

682 East Vine Street, Suite 7
Murray, UT 84107-5501

(801) 685-2555

(801) 685-2559  (fax)

jgroat@wswc.utah.gov

Julie Groat
Administrative Assistant