Well Permits

Well Permits

A well permit is required under any of the following conditions:

  • A new or replacement well designed to withdraw more than 50 GPM.
  • An existing well that currently withdraws 50 GPM or less, is proposed to be modified to withdraw more than 50 GPM.
  • A well is proposed to be combined with another well or wells so that the total withdrawal is greater than 50 GPM.

Well Permit Application Form

Permitting FAQs

How long does the permitting process usually take?

A permit must be submitted and approved by district staff before drilling can commence. Normally, this process takes 5-7 days; however, the district has the authority to hold a permit for 30 days before final approval or rejection is issued.

What fees are required?

A non-refundable $50 permit fee is required with each well permit.

How do I know if my permit has been approved?

Once a permit is approved by district staff, the approved permit is e-mailed (or mailed, if no e-mail address is on file) to: the owner of the permit; the well driller; the county assessor and county zoning offices; the local city or village (if it is within their jurisdiction); and the State of Nebraska’s Department of Natural Resources. If you do not receive a copy of the approved permit within a week or two of submittal, please contact the NRD office.

Why do you send copies of the approved permit to so many people?

Each of these entities have rules and regulations governing wells and need the information on the permit for their processes.

Once I have an approved permit, is my well registered by the Nebraska Department of Natural Resources?

No, the well must be drilled before it can be registered with the state. The driller is required to submit a form to the Nebraska Department of Natural Resources after the well is drilled.

Is a water flow meter required on my new well?

Yes, wells permitted after March 2004 are required to have a functioning flow meter installed. The permit gives permission for district staff to enter the property to check that an approved flow meter is correctly installed on the well upon completion before pumping begins. If you have questions about the approved flow meter list or installation specifications, please contact the NRD office.

Who can apply for a well drilling permit?

Since the well will stay with the property, the landowner is the only person eligible to apply for the permit. The landowner is the deed holder at the County Assessor’s Office. All well permits must come from the person whose name is listed on the deed.

Are there spacing requirements for a new or replacement well?

Yes. A well must be 1,000 ft away from a well of different ownership that pumps over 50 GPM. This normally does not include domestic wells since they pump less than 50 GPM. In a High Risk Groundwater Area, additional well spacing regulations apply. 

Does the approved permit double as my certification paperwork?

No. District staff will contact you upon completion of the well to certify the irrigated acres and collect the operator information.