3.15 Water Appropriation and Use Permit

3.15 Water Appropriation and Use Permit
Question: Am I planning to perform an activity that withdraws water from the State’s surface and/or
underground waters?
Why do I need this approval?
In order to conserve, protect, and use water resources of the
State in the best interests of the people of Maryland, it is
necessary to control the appropriation or use of surface and
underground waters.
This permit is required for any activity that withdraws water
from the State's surface and/or underground waters unless
exempted below.
What laws or regulations give MDE the legal
authority to issue this approval?
STATE: Environment Article, Title 5, §5-203 and §5-501
through §5-516 and §5-5B-01 through §5-5B-05, Annotated
Code of Maryland; COMAR 26.17.06 and COMAR
What is the process to get this approval?
1) Obtain local land use zoning approvals and check for
consistency with county water and sewer plan.
2) Submit application for technical review and include:
a. Map of project location and service area or structure;
b. For subdivisions: a preliminary plat with lot sizes;
c. Explanation of water use;
d. Average daily use calculated on an annual basis;
e. For groundwater withdrawal, average daily use during the
month of highest use; and
f. For surface water, maximum daily use.
3) Submit plans and specifications for any facility or structure
or conduct and submit special evaluations as requested.
4) A site inspection may be performed by the Department to
obtain additional information.
5) Appropriation requests for an annual average withdrawal
of more than 10,000 gallons per day (gpd) (as a new request
or increase) will receive a detailed package of instructions for
completing the application. These instructions may include
aquifer testing, other technical analysis and are provided after
the applicant completes the one-page form. Agricultural
users are provided technical assistance by MDE in the
permitting process. All applicants proposing a new use of
increase of 10,000 gpd will be required to include certified
notification of contiguous property owners and certification
of compliance with Business Occupations and Professions,
Article 12, §205, Annotated Code of Maryland (water
conservation technology).
6) Requests for an annual average withdrawal of more than
10,000 gpd as a new request or increase are advertised for a
public information hearing.
Forms for notice of exemptions, locations of water
management strategy areas and permit applications can be
downloaded from the MDE website
Before I apply for this approval, do I need to get
any approvals from the local or federal
County planning and zoning approval;
County water and sewer plan approval;
Is this approval directly related or contingent on
other approvals?
3.14 Well construction permit
3.18 or 3.19 Wetlands permit
3.25 Waterway construction permit
Are there any other requirements?
EXEMPTION: Uses exempt from the water appropriation and
use permit process are:
1) Extinguishing a fire;
2) Agricultural use under 10,000 gallons/day;
3) Individual domestic use except withdrawals for heating and
4) Temporary dewatering during construction if:
a) The duration of the dewatering including intermittent nonpumping periods is expected to be less than 30 days; and
b) The average water use does not exceed 10,000 gallons/day.
5) Other users of ground water less than 5,000 gpd as an annual
a. that is not for a community water system, as defined by the
Safe Drinking Water Act; or;
b. that is not within a water management strategy area; and
c. the user files a notice of exemption with MDE at least 30
days prior to the beginning of the use or prior to the expiration
date for an existing permitted use.
PRE-APPROVAL: An applicant must provide satisfactory
proof that the proposed withdrawal of water is reasonable and
the impacts on the water resource and other users are
acceptable. In addition, the proposed use must be consistent
with the local planning and zoning requirements and the county
water and sewer plan.
POST APPROVAL: The project must meet withdrawal limits
and may be required to meet periodic reporting, environmental
and other requirements specific to the permit.
How long should I expect it to take to get this
approval once I submit a complete application?
Appropriation Requested
Under 10,000 gallons per day
10,000 gallons per day or more
Turnaround Time
90 days
18 months
Once I get this approval, how long will it last?
Maximum of twelve years
How much will this approval cost?
No fee.
Do I need to know any additional information?
The approved withdrawal must begin within two years of
approval. Permits are subject to a review every three years and
are not transferable to new ownership without written
authorization by the Department.
Who do I contact with additional questions?
John Grace
Water Supply Program
[email protected]
(410) 537-3714
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