DNR Appropriation Permit - Preliminary Approval Required by the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources
Well Management Program

Prior to Drilling Well Requiring an Appropriation Permit

The 2013 Minnesota Legislature amended both the statute that regulates water use (appropriation) permits, administered by the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR) (Minnesota Statutes, section 103G.266-.287), and the statute that regulates well notification, administered by the Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) (Minnesota Statutes, section 103I.205). The amendments became effective on July 1, 2013.

DNR – Preliminary Approval to Construct a Well

A water appropriation permit from the DNR is required for any water withdrawal (appropriation) from surface or groundwater equal to or exceeding 10,000 gallons per day or 1 million gallons per year. Effective July 1, 2013, a person constructing a well that will require an appropriation permit for water use must first obtain preliminary approval, in writing, from the DNR, prior to constructing the well. Well construction can proceed only when the preliminary approval is granted by the DNR. The person constructing the well must obtain preliminary approval to construct the well by submitting the following information to the DNR:

  • Location of the well.
  • Formation or aquifer that will serve the well.
  • The daily, seasonal, and annual pumpage rates and volumes that will be requested in the appropriation permit.
  • Other information requested by the DNR in order to complete the preliminary assessment.

After the well is constructed, the person seeking to appropriate the water must then submit an appropriation permit application to the DNR, including the Well and Boring Record, pumping test data, and other supporting documentation.

For more details on preliminary approval, water appropriation permits, and DNR contact information (local DNR Area Hydrologists) and a link to the Preliminary Well Construction Application, see DNR Water Permits website.

DNR—Groundwater Management Areas

Minnesota law allows DNR to designate groundwater management areas and limit total annual water appropriations and uses within those areas. The law has been revised to also allow DNR to require general permits within these areas for appropriations less than 10,000 gallons per day or 1 million gallons per year and water suppliers serving less than 25 persons.

MDH – Well Notification

The well contractor must still submit a well notification and fee to MDH prior to the start of well construction. The notification must be received by MDH between 8 a.m. and 4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday (excluding holidays), except for emergency notifications). A person constructing a well that is located within the jurisdiction of a delegated program must file a notification with, or obtain a permit from, the delegated program prior to construction. However, the plans and specifications (for MDH review and approval) and well notification for a community public water-supply well must be submitted to MDH.

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Updated Tuesday, October 13, 2015 at 09:38AM