USFWS
Realty & Natural Resouces
Alaska Region   
 

Water Resources

Arctic National Wildlife Refuge

Inland waters of the Arctic coastal plain, 1002 Area, Arctic NWR*

Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) hydrologists and others assessed the inland water resources of the Arctic coastal plain of the Arctic NWR during the 1980's and 1990's. Investigations focused on the 1002 Area, where water resources were quantified by stream gaging, lake elevation studies, and lake bathymetric surveys. After completing these investigations, the FWS filed applications with the State of Alaska for water rights (instream flow water reservations) on 152 water bodies in the 1002 Area.

Water rights applications for lakes in the 1002 Area
The FWS determined quantity and surface water elevations of the large majority of lakes within the 1002 Area between 1990 and 1993. Between July 6, 1996, and September 11, 1998, the FWS filed water rights applications with the State of Alaska, Department of Natural Resources, for 140 lakes with the purpose of reserving instream flow (lake levels) to protect the habitat, migration, and propagation of fish and wildlife. Though the lakes are located throughout the 1002 Area, the highest concentration of lakes are found near the mouth of the Canning River and in the east-central region around the Jago River. Though the FWS has 1996, 1997, or 1998 priority dates for these 140 water rights applications, the State of Alaska has not adjudicated them to date. Filing for State instream water rights does not diminish the existing, unquantified Federal reserved water rights of the Arctic NWR. The lakes for which water rights applications have been filed are shown on the map of lakes in the 1002 Area along with detailed information about water rights applications.

Water rights applications for rivers in the 1002 Area
The FWS quantified stream discharge of selected rivers in the 1002 Area during the late 1980s and the early 1990s. Between July 1, 1994, and August 5, 1995, the FWS filed water rights applications with the State of Alaska, Department of Natural Resources, for 12 stream segments with the purpose of reserving instream flows to protect habitat, migration, and propagation of fish and wildlife. These stream segments are located within the Tamayariak, Itkilyariak, Salderochit, and Akutoktuk river basins. Though the FWS has 1994 or 1995 priority dates for these 12 water rights applications, the State of Alaska has not adjudicated them to date. Filing for State instream water rights does not diminish the existing, unquantified Federal reserved water rights of the Arctic NWR. The rivers for which water rights applications have been filed are shown on the map of rivers in the 1002 Area. Detailed information about water rights applications for each stream segment can be reviewed by clicking on the highlighted river name in the table below.

Arctic NWR
Stream Segments with Water Rights Applications Filed
Akutoktak River Sadlerochit Spring Creek
Itkilyariak Creek, Lower Tamayariak River, Lower Main Stem
Itkilyariak Creek, Upper Tamayariak River, Lower West Fork
Itkilyariak Creek, West Fork  Tamayariak River, Middle Fork
Sadlerochit Riverk, Lower Tamayariak River, Upper Main Stem
Sadlerochit Riverk, Upper Tamayariak River, Upper West Fork

Stream gage data supporting water rights.

Last updated: September 4, 2008

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