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AZ.gov Arizona's Official Website Arizona Department of Water Resources
Arizona Department of Water Resources AZ.gov Arizona's Official Web Site
Securing Arizona's Water Future
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Engineering and Permits

 

Surface Water Rights

Mission Statement

To ensure a long-term, sufficient, and secure water supply for the State by promoting, allocating, and comprehensively managing in an environmentally and economically sound manner the rights and interests of the State’s surface water resources for the citizens of Arizona.

Surface Water

“Waters of all sources, flowing in streams, canyons, ravines or other natural channels, or in definite underground channels, whether perennial or intermittent, floodwaters, wastewaters, or surplus water, and of lakes, ponds and springs on the surface.”
(Arizona Revised Statutes § 45-101)

Meadow Lake
                        Meadow Lake

Public Water Code

Early in its history, Arizona adopted the doctrine of prior appropriation to govern the use of surface water. This doctrine is based on the tenet of “first in time, first in right” which means that the person who first puts the water to a beneficial use acquires a right that is better than later appropriators of the water. Prior to June 12, 1919, a person could acquire a surface water right simply by applying the water to a beneficial use and posting a notice of the appropriation at the point of diversion. On June 12, 1919, the Arizona surface water code was enacted. Now known as the Public Water Code, this law provides that a person must apply for and obtain a permit in order to appropriate surface water.

San Pedro River
San Pedro

Types of Surface Water Right filings with the Arizona Department of Water Resources to appropriate or claim water rights

1. Applications for Permit to Appropriate Public Water of the State of Arizona or to Construct a Reservoir (33’s, 4A’s, 3R’s). More or Form >>

2. Applications for Permit to Appropriate Public Water of the State of Arizona For Instream Flow Purposes (33’s).  More>> or FormAcrobat Icon pdf>>

3. Claims of Water Right for a Stockpond and Application for Certification (38’s).  More>> or Form Acrobat Icon pdf>>

4. Statements of Claim of Right to Use Public Waters of the State of Arizona (36’s).  More>> or Form Acrobat Icon pdf>>

5. Statement of Claimant (39’s).  More>>

Frequently Asked Questions

What is beneficial use?

What quantities of water are considered reasonable for the various beneficial uses?

What needs to be done when purchasing a piece of property that has a surface water right or claim?

Is it possible to use a surface water right or claim at a different location than that listed on the Certificate of Water Right or Statement of Claim?

Is it possible to use a surface water right for a purpose other than that listed on the Certificate of Water Right or Statement of Claim?

How do I amend an Application, Permit, Certificate of Water Right or Claims?

What is the Arizona Department of Water Resources Public Notice Watershed Subscription Service?

 

Internal Links

Pond

On-line Noticing of Surface Water Applications

Surface Water PowerPoint Presentation Power Point Icon (12.9 MB)

Surface Water Right Application Forms View Surface Water Right Files Online

PowerWeb login screen (Click the Imaged Records Database link to continue)

Request a Database Search (form coming soon)

Cadastral Location Explained Acrobat Icon pdf

New Instream Flow Application and Withdrawl of 1991 Instream Flow Application Guidelines Acrobat Icon PDFs

External Links

Surface Water Statutes


ARS §§ 45-140 through 45-310 Offsite link

Legislature Offsite link

Water Quality Offsite link

Streamflow Gages (USGS)Offsite link

Adjudication CourtOffsite link

Apache County AssessorOffsite link

 

Stream

Cochise County Assessor Offsite link

Coconino County AssessorOffsite link

La Paz County AssessorOffsite link

Mohave County AssessorOffsite link

Pima County AssessorOffsite link

Santa Cruz County AssessorOffsite link

Gila County AssessorOffsite link

Graham County AssessorOffsite link

Maricopa County AssessorOffsite link

Navajo County AssessorOffsite link

Pinal County AssessorOffsite link

Yavapai County assessorOffsite link

Yuma County AssessorOffsite link

Greenlee County AssessorOffsite link

 

 

 

 

 

 




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