Water Resources Center
The department and its Water Resources Center has statutory authority for water quantity issues such as statewide water use and availability, water resources monitoring and planning, drought assessment, flood and hydrology studies, wetland studies and dam safety. Missouri shares its water with bordering states, 26 other states (as either an upstream or downstream state) and two Canadian provinces. The Water Resources staff represents Missouri on water resource issues that traverse political boundaries including the Mississippi, Missouri and White rivers and their basins.
In addition, the Dam and Reservoir Safety program and council are responsible for ensuring dams are constructed, maintained and operated safely. Staff regulate all new and existing non-agricultural, non-federal dams 35 feet or more in height to ensure they meet minimum safety standards.
The Surface Water Section provides technical support by performing water supply analyses, in-stream flow assessments and floodplain studies. The surface water section also administers the collection and analysis of statewide water use data in accordance with the Major Water User Law.
- River Observations and Forecasts – The River Observations and Forecasts page provides a comprehensive view of current river stage and forecasts for nearly the entire state of Missouri.
- Lake Level Observations – Water surface elevations are collected by an automatic recorder at major lakes in Missouri and transferred electronically.
- Reservoir Water Supply Studies
Any surface or groundwater user with a water source and the equipment necessary to withdraw or divert 100,000 gallons or more per day (70 gallons per minute) from any stream, river, lake, well, spring or other water source is considered a major water user in Missouri. All major water users are required by law to register water use annually. The Department of Natural Resources does not regulate the use of water - only the amount of water a major water user has the potential to use.
The Groundwater Staff operates and maintains a groundwater level observation well network for monitoring Missouri’s aquifers. Collection and analysis of groundwater data provides knowledge of available water quantity, aquifer response to water use, groundwater recharge and aquifer characteristics.
Leaky basements and a saturated yard may be the result of poor drainage around your house. Read the new Basement and Yard Water Problems web page to see if this applies to you.
The Dam and Reservoir Safety staff and the Dam and Reservoir Safety Council are responsible for ensuring that all new and existing non-agricultural, nonfederal dams 35 feet or more in height meet minimum safety standards as established by the Dam and Reservoir Safety Law.
The Interstate Waters Staff coordinates issues relating to major river basins that affect Missouri, and provides technical support for negotiations and litigation actions to protect the state’s rights to this water
The State Water Plan staff provide technical support to the Missouri Drought Assessment Committee, and leadership and coordination of State Water Resources.
Wetlands are transition areas between dry land and open waters; however, they are not always wet. These areas can provide habitat for fish and wildlife and recreation areas for people to hunt, fish and enjoy watching nature. Missouri has eight types of natural wetlands including: swamps, shrub swamps, forested wetlands, marshes, wet meadows, fens and seeps, pond and lake borders and stream banks.