Summary by State

Click on a state to learn more about water appropriation and permitting.

North DakotaSouth DakotaMinnesotaWisconsinIowaNebraskaMontanaWyoming

Water Permit Contact

Office of the State Engineer
900 East Boulevard Avenue
Bismarck, ND 58505-0850
Phone: (701) 328-2750
Fax: (701) 328-3696

North Dakota

Before commencing any construction for the purpose of appropriating water, a person must obtain a water permit from the North Dakota State Water Commission (SWC), unless such construction is for domestic or household use, fish, livestock, wildlife, and other recreational activities allowed by the law. If the water is used for domestic purposes, including fish, wildlife, and other recreational uses, then the water user must notify the state engineer of the location and volume of the constructed works.

The SWC adheres to the following order of priority when allocating water:
  1. Domestic use
  2. Municipal use
  3. Livestock use
  4. Irrigation use
  5. Industrial use
  6. Fish, wildlife, and other outdoor recreational uses