CAN I DRILL A WELL?
Seek guidance. Consult agency or attorney.
In the Upper Gila River Watershed the drilling of new wells does not require a formal ADWR well permit, but does require registration or notice of intent to drill – whether for domestic or agricultural wells.
“Exempt wells”, which pump less than 35 gallons per minute (gpm), can be drilled for domestic use on parcels of land less than five acres. This process requires landowners to first submit a site plan to the County Health Department for review and approval, before submitting a Notice of Intent (NOI) to Drill, Deepen, Replace or Modify a Well to ADWR (ADWR Form 55-40) Available here.
“Non-exempt wells”, which pump more than 35 gpm and are typically used for irrigation, also require a NOI from ADWR prior to drilling.
Wells drilled within lands subject to the Globe Equity Decree, known as “decreed lands”, are considered to be in an “area of impact” to the river by the courts. Wells in this area are metered and measured quarterly to ensure rates of pumping are below the permitted volume of six acre-feet of water per acre per year. These groundwater regulations are defined by the Arizona Water Settlements Act of 2004, in conjunction with the Globe Equity Decree.
If you are planning to drill a well, visit the ADWR website (using the aforementioned link) to get further instruction and the necessary applications, or call GVID or the ADWR Engineering and Permits Division with additional questions.
For more information on groundwater regulations along the Gila River, see the section on “Key Regulations Impacting Land & Water Use: Arizona State Water Laws”, and Wet Water and Paper Water in the Upper Gila River Watershed at:
Photo credit: Univ. of Arizona
For More Information, Contact:
Arizona Department of Water Resources (ADWR) 602.771.8649 (Engineering and Permits Division)
County Health Department
928.428.0110 (Graham Co); 928.865.2601 (Greenlee Co)
Gila Valley Irrigation District (GVID)
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