Abstract The dependence of water line broadening coefficients on the “good” quantum numbers − angular momentum and symmetry of the upper and lower levels − is analyzed for rotational quantum numbers up to J=50. Trends are investigated separately for P-, Q-, and R-branch transitions for the atmospherically important isotopologue of water. Results are presented which were obtained using two different methods: By averaging the broadening coefficients from HITRAN-2008 for small J values and also by averaging of data calculated using a semi-empirical method for higher J. The resulting air-broadening coefficients allow water vapor spectra with millions of weak lines to be calculated with an accuracy reasonable for many applications, for example estimation of sun radiation with low resolution. Sample results of calculations are presented.