Why do I need water rights?
Water rights legally guarantee access to the water on your property. This protection includes surface or groundwater. Not only do these rights ensure your water is accessible to you for the future, but can help protect surrounding fish and wildlife, should development or other factors require your water in the future. Applying for water rights also provides the state with information on how much water is being diverted for private and public use and how much water the state has available.
You should apply for water rights to ensure the sustained water quality and quantity on your property. With water rights, you have legal priority of the water usage over those who have not obtained a permit. For areas subject to future development, it increases the protection of your water source. Most people apply for water rights for their existing well, surface water (river, creek, lake), or water for future well needs.
How To Apply:
1. Check to see if your property already has water rights on it. You can find out if your property is on record by calling (907) 269-8600, Alaska’s Department of Natural Resources Water Resource Program. They will need to have a legal description of your property which you can obtain from a tax bill or property deed to check if your property is registered.
2. Once you have determined if your property has water rights or not, you will need to gather your Well Log information from: https://dnr.alaska.gov/welts/#show-welts-intro-template. The Well Log will need similar property descriptions used above. You can also call (907) 296-8600 for more help to find your Well Log.
3. You are ready to start the water rights application. The application can be filled out online http://dnr.alaska.gov/mlw/forms/water/wr_app.pdf or printed out and mailed to the Alaska Department of Natural Resources at:
ADNR, Division of Mining, Land & Water
Water Resources Section – Anchorage Office
550 West 7th Avenue, Suite 1020
Anchorage, AK 99501-3562
4. Along with the application, you will have to submit a non-refundable fee of $100.
5. The Department of Natural Resources will then look over the application and make a decision. If you are granted water rights, you will be mailed a legal certificate.