Department of Environmental Conservation

D E C banner

Water Withdrawal Permits and Reporting

The Water Resources Law (ECL Article 15, Title 15) (leaves DEC website) requires all non-agricultural water withdrawal systems with the capacity to withdraw 100,000 gallons per day or more ("threshold volume") to obtain a Water Withdrawal Permit. The definition of the threshold volume for agricultural facilities is different than for non-agricultural facilities. Visit Agricultural Water Withdrawals to learn more.

The capacity of a water withdrawal system is determined by totaling all groundwater and/or surface water sources independent of how they are plumbed or their designation, such as for redundancy.

Systems exceeding the threshold volume (with some exceptions) must obtain a water withdrawal permit and report water use annually. For details regarding regulations, permitting, reporting, conservation requirements, pumping tests, and water well decommissioning, please see "More about Water Withdrawal Permits and Reporting" at the bottom of this page.


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

Application Procedures

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

The standard procedures for used by DEC for processing water withdrawal applications are available in the Technical and Operational Guidance Series 3.2.1 Processing Water Withdrawal Permit Applications (PDF).

Agricultural Facilities

The definition of the threshold volume for agricultural facilities is different than that for non-agricultural facilities. The agricultural threshold volume is defined as the withdrawal of water equal to or in excess of 100,000 gallons per day in any 30-day consecutive period (3 million gallons during a 30 day period). Visit Agricultural Water Withdrawals for more information on agricultural withdrawals, registration, permitting, and reporting.

All agricultural facilities with registered or permitted withdrawals must report water use annually.

Long Island Water Withdrawals

Wells drilled in Kings, Queens, Nassau, and Suffolk Counties are regulated though the Long Island Well Program (6 NYCRR Part 602 (leaves DEC website). For more information view the Long Island Water Withdrawals page.

Water Withdrawal Data

Water withdrawal data are available for use by the public and interested groups:

  • DECinfo Locator - DECinfo Locator is an interactive map that lets you access DEC documents and public data about the environmental quality of specific site in New York State. Look for the Water Withdrawal Annual Report category in the Permits and Registrations information layer.
  • NYS GIS Clearinghouse (leaves DEC website) - Data regarding water withdrawals.
  • Open Data Initiative (leaves DEC website)

More about Water Withdrawal Permits and Reporting: