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 water withdrawal systems with the capacity to withdraw 100,000 gallons per day or more ("threshold volume") to obtain a Water Withdrawal Permit.

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.

Systems exceeding the threshold volume (with some exceptions) must obtain a water withdrawal permit and report water use annually on the designated Water Withdrawal Reporting Form (PDF) (this form does not work with "Chrome" browser).

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 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 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). Information regarding Agricultural Water Withdrawals can be viewed on a separate webpage.

Agricultural facilities must report water use annually on the designated Agricultural Water Withdrawal Reporting Form (PDF).

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:

  • 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 (leaves DEC website) - Data regarding water withdrawals.
  • 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.
  • Agricultural Water Withdrawals - Guidance on agricultural withdrawal, registration, permitting, & reporting.
  • Long Island Water Withdrawals - Long Island Well Program information, reporting, and application guidance for water withdrawals. This page supplies specific reporting documents for Long Island permittees.
  • 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 (Non-Agricultural) - 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 for Water Withdrawal Permit Applications - 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.