Oklahoma Water Resources Board the Water Agency

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Frequently Asked Questions
Water Use Permitting

Do I need a water use permit from the OWRB?

If you intend to use water for any purpose other than domestic use, Oklahoma law requires that you obtain a permit from the OWRB. Domestic use includes the use of water for household purposes, for farm and domestic animals up to the normal grazing capacity of the land, and for the irrigation of land not exceeding a total of three acres in area for the growing of gardens, orchards, and lawns. Domestic use also includes water used for agricultural purposes by natural individuals, use for fire protection, and use by non-household entities for drinking water, restrooms, and watering of lawns, provided such uses don't exceed five acre-feet per year.

How do I apply for a long-term water use permit?

To apply for a long-term permit to use water, you must submit a Long-Term Application for Groundwater Use or a Long-Term Application for Surface Water Use (both found on our forms page) to our office. The applications must be notarized. Application forms may be submitted in person, by mail, e-mail, or fax. Please also submit the following with the completed application:

  • For all applications the appropriate application filing fee, by check only, must be received by the Board before review of the application can commence. Filing fees are listed in the upper right hand corner of the application. If the filing fee is submitted separately from the application form, please ensure that enough identifying information is noted on the check to associate it with the application, including "Applicant Name(s)", "Stream Water" or "Groundwater", and possibly the legal description of property(s) listed on the application.
  • An application for groundwater use must be submitted with documents showing an interest in the surface of the land dedicated, or ownership of the groundwater rights. These may be deeds, leases, or other legal documents, but may not be tax documents.
  • An application for stream water use is not required to be submitted with land ownership documents, but please be aware that we may request them during the application process and that documents showing that the applicant has access to the diversion point must be received before water use can begin. If they are available, these documents shall be submitted with the application. These may be deeds, leases, or other legal documents, but may not be tax documents.

If you have any questions while completing the forms, please contact the Permitting Section at 405-530-8800.

How do I apply for a 90-Day Permit?

The forms for 90-Day Provisional Temporary applications to use both surface water and groundwater can be found on our forms page. 90-day PTs may also be submitted online using the Oklahoma Water Resources Board's Online Provisional Temporary Permitting System. You must first create an account by clicking "Request Account" on the left sidebar.

All PTs must be submitted with either proof of ownership or written permission from the landowners to access the diversion points of stream water or to access wells and use groundwater.

If you have any questions while completing the forms, please contact the Permitting Section at 405-530-8800.

How much are the fees?

Fees vary by type of permit and amount of water requested. Each application lists the applicable filing fees. Long-term applications and some groundwater permit amendments use a sliding scale based upon the amount of water being requested to determine the correct fee. The fee for 90-Day Provisional Temporary permits is $200, or $250 for expedited processing.

Do I have to report my water use?

Holders of valid long term groundwater and stream water use permits including prior rights and vested rights as well as holders of regular, temporary, term, and seasonal permits are required to report water use on an annual basis. Report forms are mailed during January of each year and must be completed and returned to the OWRB with the annual file maintenance fee by the deadline noted on the provided form. Holders of special permits must report water use within thirty (30) days after the expiration of the permit. Holders of 90-day provisional temporary permits are not required to complete and return water use reports.

Domestic use is not required to be reported.

Why did I receive a water use report for land I no longer own?

We will continue to send the water use report to the most recent contact person associated with the water use permit until we are notified of an ownership change. You will find a sheet included with the water use report where you can note changes in ownership or contact information. Please provide us the new owner's contact information if you know it and we will reach out to them about transferring the permit. If you do not know it, still note that you are no longer the owner and send it to the OWRB.

This material is based upon work supported by the U.S. Geological Survey under Cooperative Agreement No. G17AC00010. The views and conclusions contained in this document are those of the authors and should not be interpreted as representing the opinions or policies of the U.S. Geological Survey. Mention of trade names or commercial products does not constitute their endorsement by the U.S. Geological Survey.

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Last updated: April 15, 2021

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