About the State Engineer's Office

Contact Administration: 307-777-6150

Brandon Gebhart, P.E. 

State Engineer 

The Wyoming Constitution defines that all natural waters within the boundaries of the state are declared to be the property of the state. The Wyoming State Engineer's Office is charged with the regulation and administration of the water resources in Wyoming.


Wyoming water law operates under the prior appropriation doctrine, or "first in time - first in right". Those holding an earlier priority water right are allowed to receive their full portion of water before those with junior rights may receive water under their right.

Water rights can be issued to anyone who plans to make beneficial use of the water. Recognized beneficial uses include: irrigation, municipal, industrial, power generation, recreational, stock, domestic, pollution control, in-stream flows, and miscellaneous. Water rights holders are limited to withdrawals necessary for the purpose. For example, irrigators are allowed to divert up to 1 cfs (cubic foot per second) for each 70 acres under irrigation.