The State of Idaho has insufficient water supplies in many basins. Competition for water has spawned a complex system of administering water rights. Administration of water rights has historically been accomplished using paper records. During the 1970s a tabular, proprietary database was developed in conjunction with various mapping techniques. Emerging capabilities of Geographic Information Systems (GIS) are now facilitating administrators in the use of spatial data throughout their decision-making processes. This paper portrays various arenas where GIS is being used to enhance spatial capabilities related to water resources in the state, leading to improved and conjunctive management of surface and ground water.

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