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a water withdrawal or terminate a registration.
annual water use data.
fees for registered water withdrawals.
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Contact information
For information on this page, contact:
Water Use Program
WI Department of Natural Resources
Water Use Section DG/5
PO Box 7921
Madison WI 53707-7921

Water use fees

Annual Water Use Fee Requirements

Annual Water Use Fees are required for all registered surface and groundwater withdrawals statewide. Water withdrawers are required to register their withdrawal with the DNR if they have the capacity to withdraw 100,000 gallons per day or more from groundwater or surface water (roughly 70 GPM).

The information on this page can also be found in the Fee Fact Sheet [PDF 129 KB].

Base Fee

An annual base fee of $125 applies statewide.

The $125 annual fee is assessed per property, not per individual well or water source. For example, if a property includes three high capacity wells and one surface water source the $125 annual fee will be assessed once for the property.

One property is defined in NR 850.03(3) as "all contiguous land controlled by one owner, lessee, or any other person having a possessory interest. Lands under single ownership bisected by highways or railroad right-of-ways are considered contiguous". Wells and surface water sources owned by the same owner, but not on one contiguous property will be assessed separate $125 annual fees.

Great Lakes Basin Fee

An additional fee is assessed for persons withdrawing more than 50 million gallons per year from surface water or groundwater within Great Lakes Basin. You can determine if you are in the Great Lakes Basin using this map or the DNR Surface Water Viewer.

The fee is based on an increasing block structure. The Great Lakes Basin fee increases as the withdrawal amount increases. The Water Use Fee Calculator includes the base fee and the Great Lakes Basin specific fee.

» Water Use Fee Calculator

Fee Payment

You will receive an invoice from the DNR after you have submitted your annual water withdrawal report. Invoices are due annually by June 30th. You may pay your invoice online. However, you will need to know your invoice number and billed amount.

If you have lost your invoice, you may contact the Water Use Program to request a new copy of your invoice or your invoice number.

Small Business Fee Cap

The annual fee per property for a small business, as defined in S. 227.114 (1), in the Great Lakes Basin is capped at $1125 ($125 base fee + $1,000 Great Lakes Basin fee). The annual fee (for other than small businesses) is capped at $9,625 for any one property or a single public water supply.

If the business associated with your water withdrawal qualifies as a small business as defined in s. 227.114(1), please complete the Water Use Fee Cap Certification for Small Business Form #3500-117 [PDF] and return to:

Wisconsin DNR
Water Use Section DG/5
P O Box 7921
Madison WI 53707-7921

Why is the DNR collecting new fees? How will the money be used?

The fee revenue will be used to help sustainably manage the quantity and quality of water in the state to ensure that water is available to be used to protect and improve our health, economy, and environment now and into the future.

Revenue from the water use fees will be used to:

  • Document and monitor water use through the new registration and reporting requirements
  • Implement the Great Lakes Compact through water use permitting and regulating diversion of Great Lakes Basin waters
  • Help communities plan water supply needs
  • Build a statewide water conservation and efficiency program
  • Develop and maintain a statewide water resources inventory
Last revised: Wednesday November 09 2016