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a water withdrawal or terminate a registration.
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annual water use data.
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fees for registered water withdrawals.
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water use data and maps.
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Contact information
For information on this page, contact:
Water Use Program
608-266-2299
WI Department of Natural Resources
Water Use Section DG/5
PO Box 7921
Madison WI 53707-7921

Water use permitting

Background

Effective December 8, 2011, a Water Use permit is required before persons may withdraw water in quantities that average 100,000 gallons per day (equivalent to 70 gallons per minute for 24 hours straight) or more in any 30-day period from groundwater or surface water in the Great Lakes Basin [PDF 764KB]. Examples include public water systems, high capacity well owners, and others who withdraw water from lakes and streams such as fish farms and golf courses.

There are two types of Water Use permits:

  • Water Use General Permit - Required for 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 consecutive days.
  • Water Use Individual Permit - Required for withdrawals that equal at least 1,000,000 gallons per day for 30 consecutive days.

Permit process

Apply for a Water Use Permit
water spray

Contact the Water Use Program by calling 608-266-2299 or by emailing.

General permits for new and increased withdrawals

There are three General Permits available for withdrawals in the Great Lakes basin 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 consecutive days. Withdrawers in the Great Lakes basin have to apply and receive coverage under a General Permit prior to withdrawing at the level requiring a permit.

Note: General Permit applications will be automatically mailed to high capacity well applicants or Chapter 30.18 applicants that have the capacity to withdraw water at a rate of 70 gpm.

Individual permits for new and increased withdrawals

An Individual Water Use permit is required for withdrawals that equal at least 1,000,000 gallons per day for 30 consecutive days. Withdrawers in the Great Lakes basin have to apply and receive a permit prior to withdrawing at the level requiring a permit. If you need a Water Use individual permit, please contact the water use program at 608-266-2299.

Permitting facts

  • There are no Water Use Permit application fees.
  • Existing withdrawers that want to increase their withdrawal to an amount averaging 100,000 gallons per day or more in any 30-day period must apply for a Water Use Permit.
  • All other permits and approvals that you have received for the withdrawal(s) remain in effect. The Water Use permit does not replace or change any of the conditions or requirements of the other permits or approvals.
Last revised: Monday May 06 2013