IDWR sending out 5,000 notices to water users in the Priest River area, requesting water rights claims for adjudication SANDPOINT - (Sept. 7, 2021) - The Idaho Department of Water Resources (IDWR) is sending out approximately 5,000 notices to property owners today, soliciting water right claims for the Clark Fork-Pend Oreille River Basin Adjudication. Notices will initially be sent to all property owners within IDWR’s administrative Basin 97, which includes the Priest River drainage and is primarily located in the northwestern portion of Bonner County bordering Washington. The basin includes the communities of Coolin and Priest River. Later mailings will include property owners within IDWR’s administrative Basin 96. The Clark Fork-Pend Oreille River Basin Adjudication represents Phase 3 of the Northern Idaho Adjudications. IDWR will catalog and confirm all surface and ground water uses claimed in the Clark Fork-Pend Oreille River basins as part of the adjudication process. Eventually, IDWR will file a Director’s report, detailing the department’s recommendations to District Court regarding the elements of each water right. Ultimately, the court issues a decree confirming the elements of each water right. The Northern Idaho Adjudications commenced in November 2008 with Phase 1 - the Coeur D’Alene-Spokane River Basin, followed by Phase 2 – the Palouse River Basin Adjudication -- on March 1, 2017. Notices are being mailed to every property owner within the adjudication boundaries because the location of many existing water uses in the area is not known, officials said. IDWR has records for about 2,700 water rights on file Clark Fork-Pend Oreille River drainages. It is expected that up to 9,000 water right claims will be filed in the Clark Fork- Pend Oreille River Basin Adjudication.

A Notice of Claim is required for all water uses. However, owners of small domestic and/or stock water rights may choose to file a claim now or wait until later in the process. A claim is NOT required to be filed in instances where the individual property owner or water user is not the owner of the water right. Water users who receive all of their water from a city, an irrigation district, water utility district or a company are not required to file a claim for that water. A water delivery organization typically files for the water right used by all its customers or patrons. While filing a claim for small domestic and/or stock water use may be deferred, the procedure for litigating a deferred claim will be more expensive in the future so IDWR recommends filing now. Establishing a water right eliminates questions about water rights for your property that might arise in the future. How much does it cost to file a claim? Claim fees for uses other than small domestic or stock water vary according to the purpose and extent of use. A one-time $25 filing fee applies to domestic and stockwater rights. Typically, a single-family residence with a small yard falls within the small domestic water right category. To file a Notice of Claim, use IDWR’s forms provided online at rights/adjudication/nia/cfprba/. Claims can also be filed and submitted using IDWR’s online claim filing application. A water right claimant may get assistance by making an appointment with a representative at the IDWR regional offices at the following locations:

  1. IDWR, Northern Region, 7600 Mineral Dr., Suite 100, Coeur d’Alene, ID 83815; Phone: (208) 762-2800;

  2. IDWR, State Office, 322 E Front St, Boise, ID 83720-0098; Phone: (208) 287-4800.

For more information, contact Evan Roda, Water Rights Supervisor, Adjudication Section, 208-762-2800.


These can be accessed from the CFPRBA page: