Well Permitting

Well Permitting Services Teaser

 

The State Engineer is tasked with maximizing the beneficial use of the limited water in the state and promoting reliable water supplies. Groundwater, withdrawn through wells, is an integral part of Colorado’s water supply. In order to administer the thousands of wells in Colorado, the State Engineer issues and maintains permits that limit the use of each well pursuant to the Colorado Revised Statutes.

By law, every new or replacement well in the state that diverts groundwater must have a well permit. To obtain a permit, a person must file an application with the State Engineer; these applications are evaluated pursuant to statutory guidelines. 

The Division of Water Resources accepts applications by email, and associated fees can be paid online.  Information concerning related costs for permitting and submittal process can be found below.

To ask a specific question about your particular situation, please use the AskDWR form at the bottom of this page.

 

The Division of Water Resources (DWR) has several types of well permit application forms to assist you in obtaining a permit to construct a new or replacement well, or to register an existing well. Using the correct form will greatly assist you in obtaining the documentation you require to proceed with the construction or replacement of a well in a timely fashion. For more information, please see the new Beginner's Guide to Well Permits or the Applications eForms Dashboard link. 

If the well falls within the Denver Basin or within a Designated Basin, additional rules may apply.  These rules are available at the bottom of this page.  Additionally, for some Groundwater Basins and River Basins, special Use and Measurement Rules apply.  These rules are available under Services, Well Metering subpages in the top navigation.

 

Emergency Replacements

DWR will act upon emergency requests for well permit approval for some replacement well situations, some location changes, and some changes in source/aquifer. See the document, Emergency Well Permit Procedures below for additional information.

Information on all registered well permits can be found through our Well Permit Search Tool and our Map Viewer Tools that are linked on this page. The well permit file will contain the allowable uses of the well, the original permit application, and any available well construction and pump installation records.

 
The Division of Water Resources does not perform water quality testing or maintain water quality records. Prior to purchasing a property with a well and on a continuing basis, consider having the well water tested by a state-certified laboratory. The Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment can provide guidance on this process. 

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Denver Basin

Well Permitting in Denver Basin Areas

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Designated Basins

Well Permitting in Designated Basin Areas

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Important Documents
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Well Permitting Rulemaking  
Designated Basins Rules 7.4.1 and 7.10 (2CCR-410-1)

The Ground Water Commission has initiated the process to possibly amend the Rules and Regulations for the Management and Control of Designated Groundwater in response to a petition submitted by the Plains Ground Water Management District.  The petition requests amendment of Rule 7.4.1.3, and any associated Rules that deal with excluding years from historical evaluations, so as to eliminate from a historical use analysis those years a well is in a conservation plan approved by a Ground Water Management District.  A copy of the petition is available on the FTP website using the link given below.
 
Following an initial public meeting concerning the petition held on March 4, 2021, Staff of the Commission drafted proposed amendments to Rules 7.4.1 and 7.10 and a proposed Statement of Basis and Purpose (both dated June 16, 2021), copies of which are available on the FTP website using the link given below.  A second informal public meeting to discuss the proposed rule changes was held on July 29, 2021.  

 

The Plains Ground Water Management District, and other stakeholders who participated in the meetings, are considering the amendments as proposed by Staff. Additional informal public meetings may be scheduled as needed, after which the matter would be forwarded to the Commission’s Hearing Officer for applicable formal rulemaking proceedings (case no. 20GW12).  
 
This webpage will be updated with additional information on the rulemaking process as it becomes available.  We are also using email to provide information to interested parties that wish to receive updates on the rulemaking process.  All persons wishing to be provided emails must sign up on the Designated Basins Rulemaking Notification List sign-up feature on the Division of Water Resources’ website, using the link below.

 


 

Designated Basins Rules 4.2.8, 5.3.3.4, 5.3.9, 5.11.5, 5.11.6.B, 7.5 and 7.11 (2CCR-410-1)

The Colorado Ground Water Commission has initiated the process to possibly amend Rules 4.2.8, 5.3.3.4, 5.3.9, 5.11.5, 5.11.6.B, 7.5, 7.11 and 14 of the Rules and Regulations for the Management and Control of Designated Ground Water in response to a petition by Staff of the Commission.  Staff’s petition included proposed amendments to the above referenced Rules and a proposed statement of basis and purpose giving the reason for each proposed change (all dated November 1, 2021).  
 
Staff of the Commission held a public meeting on January 6, 2022 and solicited written comments to allow for input on the proposed amendments.  As a result of the input received, Staff revised its proposed amendments to the Rules, including eliminating any proposed amendment of Rule 5.3.3.4, and revised its proposed draft statement of basis and purpose (both dated February 3, 2022).

 

The Notice of Public Rulemaking Hearing dated February 8, 2022 and other documents relative to the rulemaking (case no. 21CW30) are available on the FTP website using the link given below.

The Commission’s Hearing Officer held a public rulemaking hearing on April 4, 2022, and on April 21, 2022 issued his recommendations concerning adoption of amendments to the rules (available on the FTP website using the link given below).  The Commission considered the proposed amendment to the Rules in its meeting of May 20, 2022, and will resume its consideration of the proposed amendments in its meeting of August 12, 2022.
 

This webpage will be updated with additional information on the rulemaking process as it becomes available.  We are also using email to provide information to interested parties that wish to receive updates on the rulemaking process.  All persons wishing to be provided emails must sign up on the Designated Basins Rulemaking Notification List sign-up feature on the Division of Water Resources’ website, using the link below.
 

 

 

The Rulemaking for Statewide Nontributary Groundwater (2 CCR 402-7) has been terminated, effective 4/15/2021.  Please view the documents describing the reason for termination.

Secretary of State Notice regarding Rulemaking Termination & Additional details regarding Termination of Rulemaking

This webpage will be updated when a future Rulemaking has been rescheduled.

 

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Well Permitting Rules & Regulations