Water Allocation Permitting

A water allocation permit is required for all major water withdrawals under the Regulations Governing the Allocation of Water (7 DE Admin. Code 7303).

The Division of Water publishes instructions and guidance for completing a water allocation permit application. A separate permit is required for water impoundments.

A formal water allocation permit is not necessary for minor surface water withdrawals less than 50,000 gallons per day. These include filling water trucks from ponds or streams for dust control, for hydroseeding, or for drilling. They include homeowners who have access to ponds for lawn and garden irrigation.

For these withdrawals, applicants simply need to provide their name and address, and the location and duration of the withdrawal using the one-page short form application.

A snippet of a map showing the portions of Delaware, in all three counties, that are part of the Delaware River Basin.
Portions of Delaware in the Delaware River Basin

Minor groundwater withdrawals are authorized by the well construction permit.

If an adequate supply is available for the proposed demand, and no harmful effect is anticipated, an equitable water allocation will be granted. This permit precludes a future allocation to another user if it would cause a harmful diversion of water from the permit holder.

Approved allocation permits may be transferred by completing a Water Allocation Transfer form as long as the terms of permit and allocated rates remain consistent.

If a withdrawal is located in the jurisdiction of the Delaware River Basin Commission (DRBC), and will withdrawal over 100,000 GPD, a separate approval from the DRBC is also required. DRBC jurisdiction includes parts of all three counties in Delaware.

Please refer to the DRBC’s map of the Basin if uncertain whether a proposed project DRBC jurisdiction. For projects located within the DRBC’s jurisdiction, the applicant should contact the DRBC for further instructions.

Forms and Documents

Instructions for Filing a Water Allocation Permit Application

Application Form for a Water Allocation Permit

Application for Permit to Construct a Water Impoundment

Application for Occasional and Temporary Withdrawals

Water Allocation Permit Transfer Form