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.
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.
Any agricultural facility not meeting the above exemption must apply for a permit if its groundwater or surface water taking is in excess of an average of 100,000 gallons per day in any thirty day consecutive period (3 million gallons during a 30 day period). This amount is also referred to as the threshold volume. Applications for permits are submitted to the corresponding Regional Division of Environmental Permits (DEP). Please see their web pages explaining the Water Withdrawal Permit Program to learn about application procedures, forms, and other useful information. You may also speak with a permit administrator in a DEC Regional Office. The forms needed for an agricultural water withdrawal are the same as for other non-potable water withdrawals.
A permit is also required if an agricultural facility that was previously below the threshold volume and exempt from reporting and permitting requirements increases its water withdrawal to above the threshold volume. A new permit must also be acquired when an already permitted facility plans to increase its withdrawal.
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.