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Water Withdrawal Permit

The Water Resources Division (WRD), within the Department of Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy (EGLE), is responsible for a permitting process regulating new or increased large quantity water withdrawals over an established baseline capacity under the authority of Part 327, Great Lakes Preservation, of the Natural Resources and Environmental Protection Act, 1994 PA 451, as amended (NREPA). The purpose of this permit is to manage, protect, and conserve the waters of the state for the public trust, interest, and riparian rights.


Water Withdrawal Permit


Part 327, Great Lakes Preservation, Natural Resources and Environmental Protection Act, Public Act 451 of 1994, as amended


Not Applicable


1.  Applicability (activities that require the permit)

  • The permit is required of new withdrawals from the waters of the state of over 2,000,000 gallons per day capacity.
  • Exceptions to permit applicability include: (1) community water supplies holding a permit under the Safe Drinking Water Act, 1976 PA 399, (2) seasonal withdrawals of not more than 2,000,000 gallons per day average in any consecutive 90-days, (3) bottled drinking water operations that receive approval by EGLE under a water source review conducted under the Safe Drinking Water Act.

2.  Pre-Application Requirements

  • Not Applicable

3. Application Submission Requirements

Completed Water Withdrawal Permit Application including:

  • The place and source of the proposed withdrawal
  • The location of any discharge or return flow
  • The location and nature of the proposed water use
  • The estimated average annual and monthly volumes and rates of withdrawal
  • The estimated average annual and monthly volumes and rates of consumptive use
  • An evaluation of the existing hydrological and hydrogeological conditions
4.  Procedures and Time-Frame for Obtaining Permit or Approval

Upon receipt of the permit application (form number EQP5947) by the WRD, forms are checked for completeness. If additional information is required, the applicant is contacted in writing in order to obtain the necessary information.

The completed application is reviewed and a permit authorization will be granted if the following conditions are met:

  • All water withdrawn, less any consumed, is returned to the source watershed after use
  • No individual or cumulative adverse resource impacts will result
  • The withdrawal is implemented in accordance with all applicable local, state, and federal laws as well as all legally binding interstate and international agreements
  • The proposed use is reasonable under common law principles of water law in Michigan
  • The applicant has self-certified they are in compliance with environmentally sound and economically feasible water conservation measures applicable to their water use sector or specifically to their proposed withdrawal
  • No violation of public or private rights or of limitations imposed by Michigan water law or common law duties will occur

EGLE shall provide public notice of all applications received.

EGLE shall make a decision whether to grant or deny a permit within 120 days of receipt of an administratively complete application.

5.  Operational Requirements

The permitted withdrawal must report annual water use on an ongoing basis. The withdrawal must continue to not cause an adverse resource impact.

6.  Fees


7.  Appeal Process

An applicant who is aggrieved by a determination of EGLE may request a contested case hearing by way of a sworn petition. EGLE shall issue a final decision on granting a hearing within 6 months after receipt of the petition, and that decision is subject to judicial review.

8.  Public Input Opportunities

Permit application determinations will be posted to the Water Withdrawal and Use Reporting website. The best opportunity for public input is the public notice period upon receipt of a permit application by EGLE. Public comment can also be received after the determination has been made and posted to the program website. The decision maker in the water withdrawal permit issuance process is the Permits Section Manager in EGLE, although it can be elevated to EGLE's Office of the Director when considering controversial decisions that have significant policy impact.


Department of Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy (EGLE), Water Resources Division, P.O. Box 30458, Lansing, Michigan 48909-7773

Revision Date: July 2019