NEWS ARCHIVE:     Age: 4,110 days

See This Full Issue

All Previous Archived Issues


May 17, 2011

[Editor's note: Only people that have a water supply system with the capacity to withdraw 100,000 gallons per day or 70 gallons per minute or more on their property are required to register with the state by June 30, 2011. You are not required to register if you have multiple water supply systems on your property and each system has a capacity of less than 100,000 gallons per day (70 gallons per minute). Please be aware, however, that these types of systems may need a DNR High Capacity Well Approval or a DNR Great Lakes Basin Water Use Permit. The press release below and accompanying web pages have been corrected to reflect this information.]

MADISON -- Industries, large irrigators, cranberry growers and other facilities that have a water supply system that can withdraw 100,000 gallons per day or 70 gallons per minute or more on their property are required to register with the state by June 30, 2011.

Properties with high capacity well approvals or surface water irrigation permits are already registered with the Department of Natural Resources. Operations that pull surface water from a pond, lake, stream or ditch and that are not covered by an irrigation permit that have a capacity to withdraw 100,000 gallons per day must also register by the June 30 deadline, according to Kristy Rogers, the DNR water specialist coordinating the registration program.

A new law requires the registration and annual reporting of water use to enable Wisconsin to understand how much water is being withdrawn, where, and how it's being used, Rogers says.

"Operations most likely needing to register their withdrawals are facilities that take water from ponds or rivers," she says. Examples include aquaculture facilities, cranberry operations, and large farms that withdraw water from ponds and reservoirs.

A withdrawal is the taking of water from surface water or groundwater. Water may be withdrawn through a water supply system such as a well, intake pipe, ditch or other means. Even if the water is returned to the source, the new law still considers it a withdrawal and the registration requirement applies.

There is no fee to register; however, there is an annual $125 fee for each registered property. In addition, very large withdrawals in the Great Lakes Basin, above 50 million gallons per year, are subject to additional fees determined by actual withdrawal amounts. Fees support programs to protect water supplies in Wisconsin.

Anyone with a question about whether they need to register, add a water source to an existing registration, or whether their water use is considered a water withdrawal should contact the DNR Water Use program at (608) 266-2299 or

FOR MORE INFORMATION CONTACT: Kristy Rogers, (608) 266-9254

Last Revised: Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Need an expert?

The Office of Communications connects journalists with DNR experts on a wide range of topics. For the fastest response, please email and the first available Communications Specialist will respond to you.