Frequently Asked Questions
Does the State Engineer's Office handle things like highways, bridges, or building designs?
Can the State engineer's Office recommend a consulting engineer or surveyor that can do my water right work for me?
Does the SEO still perform water rights searches for the public?
Are coordinates necessary for my permit?
Surface Water Questions
Surface Water Questions
My great-grandfather built this ditch back around 1903. What do you mean I don't have a water right?
My banker told me that the reservoir on the property I am buying belongs to me and I want to be sure you put it in my name.
My banker told me that I must have all the water rights put in my name.
The State Engineer issued me this ditch permit so now I can enter your property to install my head gate and cut my ditch.
I filed my application so now I can build my reservoir.
I filed my application before my neighbor but he received his permit first. Now he has the senior water right.
I am looking at purchasing a piece of property that is being irrigated. What is the water right attaching to the property?" A search of our records revealed no water right. How can that be?
There is a ditch that crosses a piece of property that I just purchased. Since it is on my property, I certainly must have the right to use the ditch.
There is a ditch that crosses a piece of property that I just purchased. I certainly have the right to fill in the ditch since it crosses my property right where I want to build my new barn.
There is a ditch that crosses a piece of property that I just purchased. I certainly have the right to enjoy the aesthetics provided by the ditch and now I want to build a bridge across the ditch to enhance the beauty and functionality of my property.
There is a ditch that crosses a piece of property that I just purchased. My neighbor now wants to enter MY property and clean out the ditch. I certainly can stop him, can't I?
There is a stream that crosses a piece of property that I just purchased. I certainly have the right to use that water since it is on my property.
My neighbor and I have irrigation rights under the same permit. I think that my neighbor is taking more water than he is entitled to and I am out of water. I'll call the Water Commissioner and he'll set my neighbor straight.
I have an old ditch that crosses the neighbor's property. A new owner has moved in next door and wants to build a house near the ditch and, without telling me, he has lined the ditch with concrete so it won't flood his basement. I just received the bill for the ditch-lining job and he expects me to pay it.
Back in 1952, my dad moved the headgate of our ditch upstream to a better site where it won't wash out every spring during high runoff. The point of diversion used to be on our property but now is on the BLM. The BLM just found this out and says our water right isn't valid because we didn't get permission from the State Engineer's Office or the BLM and now they said we have to move our headgate off the BLM.
This one is a little tricky. As for trespassing on BLM property, this is a Right-of-Way issue and not our fight. As for the water right issue, the key is the date that the change was made. Prior to 1965, there was no statute requiring that a change in point of diversion be recorded with the State Engineer or Board of Control. If the amended water right were to call for priority regulation, the Superintendent may choose to not honor the call until the record is corrected to reflect the on-the-ground situation or the headgate is moved back to the location of record.
The Board of Control is responsible for the adjudication process for each permit. The Adjudication procedure involves a field inspection to assure that the water is being put to a beneficial use as specified under the permit.
Surface Water Proofs
The requirements for submission of, advertising, holding open for inspection, opportunity of contest, and allowance of proofs of appropriation of water are set out in W.S. 41-4-511, and the other statutes mentioned therein. Hearings and contests of proofs, hearing fees, and dispositions after hearing are governed by W.S. 41-4-311 through W.S. 41-4-314 and Chapter IV, Adjudication of Proofs, Section 1 of the Regulations and Instructions (Part IV) of the State Board of Control.
When the final notice of completion of beneficial use of water or completion of construction of a reservoir is filed by the water user, a proof will be forwarded by the Adjudication Officer to the superintendent of the water division in which the project is located. A letter is sent to the water user advising him of the necessary action for submission of final proof. A water user may also contact the superintendent to arrange a time and place when final proof will be taken (see W.S. 41-4-511). Aslo See Chapter IV, Adjudication of Proofs, Section 1 of the Regulations and Instructions (Part IV) of the State Board of Control for more information.
Ground Water Questions
Do I need a Permit before I can drill my well?
How can I tell if my well is permitted?
What is a legal description? (And no your address isn't enough!)
Can you help me find a driller?
What if my existing well fails? And how do I relocate and/or deepen an existing well without obtaining a new permit?
How do I permit an existing well?
How do I assign an existing permit to indicate that I am the current water right holder?
How long does it take to obtain an approval?
What is a Water Right?
How deep do I need to drill my well?
When is a spring considered ground water and when is it surface water?
How far from my property line and sewer should my well be?
How many acres must I own to drill a well?
What are the requirements for providing GPS coordinates for my well location?
How do I complete the Statement of Completion (U.W.6) and/or Beneficial Use Form (U.W.8)?
Why do I need to submit a map or have my water right adjudicated?
Why do I have to get my Statement of Completion (U.W.6) and/or Beneficial Use Form (U.W.8) notarized?
When is my well considered complete?
Can I write one check when I submit multiple applications?
Can you rush my application? The driller is waiting in my front yard!
What is your water right research policy?
How will I know when my application has been approved?
Do I need a permit for a monitoring well?
Must I submit a copy of our water quality test results on our well?
Is it a good idea to get a shared well agreement?
What is an aquifer?
If I put in a new pump do I have to contact your office?
How do you plug a well?
Who should I contact if the information in your database is incorrect?
Do I need a Permit before I can drill my well?
Who can sign water right forms as agent?
What is a geothermal well?
How can petroleum companies transfer wells to land owners?
Does your office keep confidentiality?
How do I pick a well name?
How can I make a well name change request?
Whose responsibility is it to turn in the Statement of Completion form (U.W.6)?
I have a well on my property. Am I the only person who can use the water from the well?
Can I apply for a permit for a well that is not located on my property?
Does the SEO have an involvement in the Subdivision process?
Board of Control
How do I find out the date, time and location for the next Board Meeting?