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Publication Date
6 June 2024

Harmonized Database of Western U.S. Water Rights (HarDWR) v.1



In the arid and semi-arid Western U.S., access to water is regulated through a legal system of water rights. Individuals, companies, organizations, municipalities, and tribal entities have documents that declare their water rights. State water regulatory agencies collate and maintain these records, which can be used in legal disputes over access to water. While these records are publicly available data in all Western U.S. states, the data have not yet been readily available in digital form from all states. Furthermore, there are many differences in data format, terminology, and definitions between state water regulatory agencies. Here, we have collected water rights data from 11 Western U.S. state agencies, harmonized terminology and use definitions, formatted them for consistency, and tied them to a Western U.S.-wide shapefile of water administrative boundaries.

Lisk, Matthew D., Danielle S. Grogan, Shan Zuidema, Jiameng Zheng, Robert T Caccese, Darrah L Peklak, Karen Fisher-Vanden, Richard B. Lammers, Sheila M. Olmstead, and Lara Fowler. 2024. “Harmonized Database Of Western U.s. Water Rights (Hardwr) V.1”. Scientific Data 11 (1). Springer Science and Business Media LLC. doi:10.1038/s41597-024-03434-6.
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