Water Resource Inventory Areas

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Water Resource Inventory Areas (WRIA) were formalized under Washington Administrative Code (WAC) 173-500-040 and authorized under the Water Resources Act of 1971, Revised Code of Washington (RCW) 90.54. Ecology was given responsibility for the development and management of these administrative and planning boundaries. These boundaries represent the administrative underpinning of this agency’s business activities. The original WRIA boundary agreements and judgments were reached jointly by Washington's natural resource agencies Ecology, Department of Natural Resources, and Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife in 1970 and were updated in 1998 and 2000.


  • Ecology Website]
  • WRIAs are organizational units for state-led Salmon Recovery and Lead Entities systems.
  • Individuals in the ecosystem industry alternately pronounce this acronym as "Why-ruh" or "Wry-uh".
  • WRIAs differ form HUCs in that adjacent coastal watersheds are integrated into the the nearest WRIA for the purpose of administration.