Department of Environmental Conservation

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Water Withdrawal Permits and Reporting

For Municipal, Industrial, and Commercial Facilities

image of water supply pipe

The state's waters are used for domestic, municipal, agricultural, commercial, industrial, power, environmental and recreational purposes. Previously, only public water supply withdrawals required permits. The new law, effective in August 2011, extends this requirement to all water withdrawal systems with the capability to withdraw 100,000 gallons per day or more ("threshold volume"). The capacity is determined by totaling all groundwater and/or surface water sources independent of how they are plumbed or their designation, such as for redundancy, etc. Such systems (with some exceptions) must be permitted and water use reported annually on the designated Water Withdrawal Reporting Form (PDF, 1.9 MB) Please note that this form does not work with "Chrome" internet browser.

Facilities exceeding the threshold volume must apply for a permit and file a water withdrawal report annually.

For details regarding regulations, permitting, reporting, conservation requirements, pumping tests and water well decommissioning, please see the list of webpages under the heading "More about Water Withdrawal Permits and Reporting" at the bottom of this webpage or in the left margin.

Forms are available online for applying for a water withdrawal permit, permit modification, permit renewal, or permit transfer.

More details on water withdrawal permit application procedures are available from The Division of Environmental Permits.

The standard procedures for processing water withdrawal applications have been updated due to the change in the Water Withdrawal Law passed in 2011. Those procedures are available in the Water Withdrawal TOGS 3.2.1, Technical and Operational Guidance Series, "Processing Water Withdrawal Permit Applications" (PDF, 2.89 MB).

Agricultural Facilities

Please note that the definition of the threshold volume for agricultural facilities is different than that for non-agricultural facilities. Information regarding Agricultural Water Withdrawals can be viewed on a separate webpage.

Water Withdrawal Information

Water withdrawal data is available for use by the public and interested groups in the formats listed below:

  • Environmental Facilities Navigator - The Environmental Navigator displays a series of interactive maps showing features of New York State's environment in their geographic context.
  • NYS GIS Clearinghouse - Data regarding water withdrawals. A link for this site is located in the right hand margin of this page under "Link's Leaving DEC's Website".
  • Google Earth - DEC water withdrawal map data viewed in Google Earth. Must download software from Google (see link in right column under "Links Leaving DEC's Website).

More about Water Withdrawal Permits and Reporting:

  • Water Withdrawal Permits - Water Withdrawal Permits are required for any withdrawal of 100,000 gallons per day or more.
  • Water Withdrawal Permit Renewals, Transfers, & Modifications - Permit renewal applications must be provided 30 days before the current water withdrawal permit expires. Permit modification applications must be provided before a facility with a current permit undergoes a change, upgrade, or modification to its water withdrawal system that would affect the source, use, or capacity of the system.
  • Annual Water Withdrawal Reporting - Any facility capable of withdrawing water at or above a rate of 100,000 gallons per day must report usage to DEC annually
  • Water Conservation Requirements - Beneficial near term and long range water conservation measures can be adapted as necessary to reflect local water resource needs and conditions.
  • Pumping Test Procedures - Pump test results must be submitted as part of any Water Withdrawal Application involving a new or additional groundwater source.
  • Water Well Decommissioning - Proper decommissioning (abandonment) of water wells will prevent contamination of the aquifer via the unused well. These recommendations apply only to potable water supply wells.
  • Decision Tree for Water Withdrawal Permitting - Use this decision tree to determine if your facility is required to obtain a DEC Water Withdrawal Permit.
  • Decision Tree for Annual Reporting of Water Withdrawals - Use this decision tree to determine if your facility is required to submit an annual water withdrawal report.