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: