Interference Investigations

Whenever a well withdrawing water for beneficial purposes shall interfere unreasonably with an adequate well developed solely for domestic or stock uses, whether in a control area or not, the State Engineer may, on complaint of the operator of the stock or domestic well, order the interfering appropriator to cease or reduce withdrawals of underground water, unless such appropriator shall furnish at his own expense, sufficient water at the former place of use to meet the need for domestic or stock use.  

In the case of interference between two wells utilizing water for stock or domestic use, the appropriation with the earliest priority shall have the better right.

Any appropriator of either surface or groundwater may file a written complaint alleging interference with his water right by a junior right.  Complaints are to be filed with the State Engineer and are to be accompanied by a fee on one hundred ($100.00) to help defray the costs of the investigation.  

Interference complaints cannot be filed between two surface water rights.  

Upon receiving the complaint and fee, the State Engineer shall undertake an investigation to determine if the alleged interference does exist.  Following the investigation, the State Engineer shall issue a report to all interested parties stating his findings.  The report may suggest various means of stopping, rectifying, or ameliorating the interference or damage caused by the interference (W.S. 41-3-911).  

The following reports of interference investigation, either conducted by, or for, the State Engineer's Office are available electronically: 

Horseshoe Creek Interference Investigation, 1980 

Cottonwood Creek Interference Investigation, Platte County, 1985 

Auburn Interference Complaint, 1995 

West Bank Snake River Hydrology Study, 2005 

Stream Depletion Due to Irrigation Wells Along Bates Creek, Natrona County, 2006 

Investigation of a Complaint of Interference to the Cheyenne No. 57 (Weber No. 1) Water Well (Well Registration No. U.W. 13), Laramie County, Wyoming, 2008 

Interference Investigation Report U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) - Saratoga National Fish Hatchery vs. Overland Trail Cattle Company (TOTCO) Near Saratoga,Wyoming, 2009 

Horseshoe Creek Interference Investigation - Executive Summary, 2009 

Horseshoe Creek Interference Investigation - Final Report, 2009 

Lusk Area Groundwater Level I Study, Executive Summary, 2009 

Lusk Area Groundwater Level I Study, Final Report, 2009 

Horse Creek Groundwater/Surface Water Connection Investigation, Goshen and Laramie Counties, Wyoming, 2011 

Interference Investigation Report, Pettigrew #1 vs. City of Gillette, 2012

Interference Investigation Report, Sherard Well No. 6 - Permit No. U.W. 5461, 2023