Agricultural Permits for New or Increased Water Supplies
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 capacity to withdraw groundwater or surface water at a rate of 100,000 or more per gallons per day (30 day average) 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.
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.
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 above exemption, or
- A facility that was previously below the threshold volume and was thus exempt from reporting and permitting requirements but later increases its water withdrawal capacity to above the threshold volume (unless it meets the above 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.
The forms needed for an agricultural water withdrawal are available online.
Use the graphic below to determine if you need to obtain a permit for your agricultural facility.
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.