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Agricultural Permits for New or Increased Water Supplies

Agriculutral facilities may be required to be permitted or registered
A farm pond in upstate New York

For the purposes of Water Withdrawal reporting and permitting requirements, an agricultural facility includes the practice of farming for crops, plants, vines and trees, and the keeping, grazing, or feeding of livestock for sale of livestock or livestock products, and the on-farm processing of crops, livestock and livestock products.

All agricultural facilities with a cumulative withdrawal for a single parcel or proximate parcels equal to or in excess of an average of 100,000 or more gallons per day in any 30 day consecutive period (3 million gallons during a 30 day period) must either be permitted, reported or registered depending upon several factors described below. This is also referred to as the threshold volume. Please note that the definition of the agricultural threshold volume is different from that for non-agricultural facilities.

Permit required

A water withdrawal permit is required for an agricultural facility meeting the threshold volume if any of the following conditions are met:

  • A facility not meeting the below exemption, or
  • A facility that previously withdrew less than the threshold volume and was thus exempt from reporting and permitting requirements but later increased its water withdrawal capacity to greater than the threshold volume (unless it meets the below exemption), or
  • An already permitted or registered facility that increases its withdrawal capacity.

Applications for permits are submitted to the permit administrator for each DEC Regional Office. Also please see their web pages explaining the Water Withdrawal Permit Program to learn about application procedures, forms, and other useful information.

Exempt from Permit

Water withdrawals for agricultural purposes that were registered prior to February 15, 2012 or their annual water usage reported to DEC prior to February 15, 2012 are exempt from permitting requirements. However, these withdrawals remain subject to annual reporting and registration requirements.

The forms needed for an agricultural water withdrawal are available online.

Decision Tree

Use the graphic below to determine if you need to obtain a permit for your agricultural facility. To view a larger version, click the image.

Permitting Procedures

Applications for permits are reviewed and decided upon by the Division of Environmental Permits. See their web pages for further information . Regional contacts for each region are also available.

All permit applications must be accompanied by a Water Conservation Program.

See also the NYS DEC Pumping Test Procedures to be used when conducting tests on water supply wells.

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    New York State Department of Environmental Conservation
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