The first stage of the adjudication process is the completion of the hydrographic survey. During this process, Hydrographic Survey Bureau and the Litigation and Adjudication Program staff gather all of the information used to legally describe a water right and record it in the report and associated maps filed withthe court. The survey filed by the bureau is presumed by the court to be correct. Any party wishing to dispute these facts bears the burden of proving the survey wrong.
The bureau makes every effort to ensure its information is correct. Staff search county ownership records, State Engineer water rights records, historical records, field surveys, field interviews, historical aerial photography and current aerial photography.
All new hydrographic surveys are based on geographic information systems (GIS) technology and all field measurements are now done with global positioning systems (GPS) receivers.
For more information about the Hydrographic Survey Bureau, contact 505 827-3879 or 7873.