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Water use permitting

If your withdrawal is located in the Great Lakes Basin (Lake Superior or Lake Michigan) and you withdraw water or plan to withdraw water at an average of 100,000 gallons per day or more in any 30-day period from the sources on your property, then you must apply and receive a water use permit prior to withdrawing water. There are no Water Use Permit application fees.

There are two types of Water Use Permits.

  • Water Use General Permit - Required for properties with withdrawals that average 100,000 gallons per day or more in any 30-day period but do not equal at least 1,000,000 gallons per day for 30 days in a row.
  • Water Use Individual Permit - Required for properties with withdrawals that equal at least 1,000,000 gallons per day for 30 days in a row.

INDIVIDUAL PERMIT REISSUANCE – APPLY BY JUNE 1, 2021.

In December 2011, the DNR issued approximately 650 Water Use Individual Permits to owners that had sources on their property that totaled a capacity of 1,000,000 gallons before December 2008. These permits will expire in December 2021. The DNR will mail out materials to all existing individual permit owners by December 11, 2020. Please follow the directions in the letter and forms to apply for your new permit.

All property owners that receive letters and forms must fill out the materials and return them to the DNR by June 1, 2021.

  • If application materials are completed and signed, after review, the DNR will issue General Permits (good until 2036) to property owners that have no change in withdrawal sources but indicate they do not withdraw water at a volume of 1,000,000 gallons per day for 30 days in a row.
  • For property owners with no new or increased withdrawals since 2011, who consecutively withdraw more than 1,000,000 gallons per day, upon receipt and review, the DNR will reissue Water Use Individual Permits.
  • For owners that have new sources that were identified or added since 2011, who wish to increase their withdrawal amount or need to withdraw 1,000,000 gallons per day for 30 days in a row, additional permit materials will be sent to you with your renewal forms. You must complete all forms and return to the department by June 1, 2021. A public notice will be required for those seeking to increase their withdrawal amount by 1,000,000 gallons per day over their current withdrawal amount. The DNR will issue a public notice for all individual permits with increases in July 2021. However, applicants must publish their own local notice within that time period.

If you have questions regarding forms sent or permit reissuance, contact Nicole Clayton: nicole.clayton@wisconsin.gov or 608-206-2510.

GENERAL PERMITS FOR NEW AND INCREASED WITHDRAWALS

Water Use General Permit applications are automatically mailed to high capacity well applicants or Chapter 30.18 applicants in the Great Lakes Basin that have registered their withdrawal. Coverage under a General Permit is required prior to withdrawing at the level requiring a permit.

Apply for a water use permit:
Contact the water use program at 608-266-2299 or by email.

Individual permits for new and increased withdrawals

Withdrawals that equal at least 1,000,000 gallons per day for 30 consecutive days require an Individual Water Use Permit. A permit must be required prior to withdrawing water. Contact the Water Use Program at 608-266-2299 if you plan to withdraw this volume of water.


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