Water Resources Program

General Information

In Alaska's Constitution, water was declared a public resource belonging to the people of the state to be managed by the state for maximum benefit to the public. All surface and subsurface waters on all lands in Alaska are reserved to the people for common use and are subject to appropriation in accordance with the Alaska Water Use Act. The Water Resources Section adjudicates water rights, provides technical hydrologic support, and assures dam safety.

The Water Management Unit grants water use rights and issues temporary authorizations for the use of water; facilitates the maximum use of the water resource consistent with the public interest; and provides certainty and security of water rights. The Water Maps and Data application allows users access to active Water Right and Temporary Water Use Authorization spatial and tabular data.

The Hydrologic Survey Unit collects, analyzes, interprets, and reports on Alaska's waters, including wetlands, glaciers, and coastal waters; provides scientific advice and hydrologic data on the quantity and quality of Alaska's surface and subsurface waters.

The Dam Safety and Construction Unit protects public safety and property by supervising the construction and operation of jurisdictional dams in Alaska; reviews periodic safety inspection reports; issues permits to construct, modify, repair, operate, remove or abandon dams; and participates in exercises of emergency action plans.

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Survey Tripod on River