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Data tracks changing water needs for cities and industries

JEFFERSON CITY, MO, JULY 11, 2023 – The Missouri Department of Natural Resources is launching a new online reporting system for the state’s major water users. WatURS, short for Water Use Reporting System, allows any person or entity producing 100,000 gallons or more per day (or approximately 70 gallons per minute) to fulfill the requirement of reporting annual water use. The system can be found online at The department’s Water Resources Center will share additional WatURS information later this year to prepare for the next reporting season.

“It’s more important now than ever that we know who our major water users are, where they are located and how Missouri’s water is being used,” said Trevor Ellis, groundwater monitoring chief with the department’s Water Resources Center. “WatURS data allow us to know what the water needs are of our citizens and industries.” 

WatURS data collected from major water users support geologic and hydrologic research, as well as planning efforts for quality of life and economic development initiatives. No information shared by major water users can be used to limit or tax water usage in any way. Missouri has no state-level permitting of water use.

“Our new system is more user friendly for major water users and our staff,” Ellis said. “WatURS replaces our previous online reporting system, which was becoming dated. It also now includes a spatial component. By mapping the information, we are making it easier for major water users to find their account, report their usage and transfer data from old well owners to new well owners. Understanding water use and access by region is also easier for planning purposes.”

Ellis said the Water Resources Center will provide special guidance to major water users later this year to make reporting through WatURS simpler. He added that the Water Resources Center will still accept major water user reporting via mail.

The department has been making an annual inventory of major water users since 1983. Municipalities, businesses or other entities producing 100,000 gallons per day are required to report the volume of water used by March 31 of the year following the usage. The water use reported can be pumped from groundwater wells or diverted via surface water streams, rivers, lakes, ponds, springs or reservoirs. Specific guidelines can be found in Section 256.410 of Missouri Revised Statutes Chapter 256 - Geology, Water Resources and Geodetic Survey.

For more information about WatURS call MoDNR’s Water Resources Center at (573) 368-2175 or visit

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