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Energy and Environment Cabinet

Division of Water

Division of Water
Water Withdrawal Permitting

The water withdrawal program governs all withdrawals of water greater than 10,000 gallons per day from any surface, spring or groundwater source, with the exception of water required for domestic purposes (needs for one household); agricultural withdrawals, including irrigation; steam-powered electrical generating plants whose retail rates are regulated by the Kentucky Public Service Commission or for which facilities a certificate of environmental compatibility from such commission is required by law; or injection underground in conjunction with operations for the production of oil and gas.

A permit to withdraw, divert or transfer water may be in the form of a standard permit or letter of s​tandard, temporary, emergency or interim authorization. To rescind a water withdrawal permit submit a Rescind Permit Form.​​

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 Classifiction of Water Withdrawal Permits

Diversion Authorization
Allows consistent, long-term diversion of water and may not have a reporting requirement.
Emergency Authorization
Allows the withdrawal, diversion or transfer of water only for emergency purposes. Emergency authorization requests may be made by telephone, provided the request is verified promptly in writing via emergency authorization application. The holder of this authorization shall submit compliance data due monthly by the 15th of the month.
Interim Authorization
Allows the withdrawal, diversion or transfer of water where additional data are required to accurately determine permit limitations. These letters grant approval for withdrawals during a data collection period prior to the issuance of a permit. An interim authorization requires monthly reporting of actual withdrawals.
Rescind Permit Form

​This form should be submitted in order to rescind a water withdrawal permit. The form will be reviewed, and if complete an official acknowledgement letter will be issued. If further information is needed then the facility will be contacted.​

Standard Permit
Authorizes a withdrawal, diversion or transfer that occurs consistently over time, whether every month, year-round or only one month every year. Application for a standard permit should be made three to six months prior to desired start-up date. Standard permits require monthly reporting of actual withdrawals.
Temporary Authorization
Allows the withdrawal, diversion or transfer of water for a one-time, short-term use. Application requests for a temporary authorization must be submitted in advance of the withdrawal. Applicants frequently do not know the exact date that the withdrawals will begin. However, it is best to submit a request up to three months in advance; this allows the permit reviewer to examine the data prior to the actual withdrawal date and expedites authorizations. A back-up source approval letter notifies an applicant that allocation requirements have been met and that a temporary authorization will be approved as needed. The holder of the authorization shall submit compliance data within 15 days after the authorization expires.