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Public Information Officer

Change of Property Ownership

The following information is provided to assist realtors, buyers, sellers and other interested parties to properly assign water rights, claims, and registrations filed with the Arizona Department of Water Resources (ADWR), during or after a real estate transaction. Updating ADWR ownership records assists the Department in managing Arizona’s water resources, and is beneficial to current and future owners of wells, water rights and claims. In some cases, such as well registration, updating ownership information is required by state statute.

The most common filings with ADWR that need to be assigned after a property changes hands may include:

  • Well registration (55-prefix)
  • Adjudication Statements of Claimants (SOCs) (39-prefix)
  • Grandfathered Groundwater Rights (58-prefix within Active Management Areas [AMAs]) and Irrigation Authorities (60-prefix within Irrigation Non-expansion Areas [INAs]); and
  • Surface Water Applications, Rights or Claims (Filings) (A-, R-, BB-, 33-, 36-, and 38- prefix)

Most property transactions within Arizona concern properties found within municipal water service areas or private water companies. Such properties may not be associated with any of the registrations/rights/claims listed above. Rural properties served by individual wells should have associated well registration number(s) and may have SOCs filed in the Gila River or Little Colorado River Adjudications. Groundwater rights are typically found on irrigated properties larger than 2-acres within the five AMAs or three INAs, and surface water filings are commonly associated with the use of surface water on rural ranching and farming properties.

Each of the four categories of filings with ADWR listed above will be described below and answers to the following three questions provided:

 

  • How do I find out if a registration, right or claim is associated with a property?
  • How is a registration, right or claim assigned to a new owner?
  • How do I file a new registration, right or claim?

If you have questions about completing a form, please call ADWR at 602-771-8500.

Well registration (55-prefix)

How do I find out if a well is registered?

ADWR’s Well Registry may be searched by registry number, owner name, cadastral location (township & range), basin, or sub-basin. There is also a feature that allows you to search using a map. The link below will take you to these tools. Note there is a User’s Guide accessible from the page.

https://gisweb.azwater.gov/waterresourcedata/WellRegistry.aspx

How do I assign a well registration to a new owner?

The Request to Change Well Information form can be obtained by clicking on the following:Acrobat Icon pdf and its instructions can be obtained by clicking on the following: Acrobat Icon pdf

Changes in well information may also be made on-line by clicking on the following: Online Change of Well Ownership

How do I file a new well registration?

Most wells in Arizona have been registered; however, there are still wells discovered that were drilled prior to 1980. If you encounter a well on your property that is not registered, the form to register the well can be obtained by clicking on the following: Acrobat Icon pdf and its instructions can be obtained by clicking on the following:Acrobat Icon pdf

Adjudication Statements of Claimant (SOCs) (39-prefix)

How do I find out if an SOC is associated with a property?

 

The use of water on property located within the lands drained by the Gila and Little Colorado Rivers and their tributaries may be affected by on-going court proceedings known as the Gila River Adjudication and Little Colorado River Adjudication. An adjudication is a comprehensive court proceeding to determine the nature, extent and relative priority of rights to use water in a river system and source. All users of water should file an SOC form to protect their uses, regardless of the source of the water. A map showing the extent of the Gila River and Little Colorado River watersheds is available here: Acrobat Icon pdf

The SOC database may be searched by claimant name, parcel ID number, legal description and other variables. SOC database queries are available by clicking on the following: https://infoshare.azwater.gov/docushare/dsweb/View/Collection-87

If you need assistance, please call the Adjudications Section at 602-771-8634 or 866-246-1414 (toll free).

How is an SOC assigned to a new owner?

An assignment form for the Gila River Adjudication can be obtained by clicking on the following: Gila River Adjudication, and an assignment for the Little Colorado River Adjudication can be obtained by clicking on the following: Little Colorado River Adjudication.

How do I file a new SOC?

There are four different uses that may be claimed in an SOC (domestic, irrigation, stockpond, and other) and there are eight different watersheds in which SOCs may be filed, seven in the Gila River Adjudication (Agua Fria, San Pedro, Verde, Upper Salt, Upper Santa Cruz, Upper Gila, and Lower Gila) and the Little Colorado River watershed for the Little Colorado River Adjudication. The forms and the instruction for completing the forms for the four uses within the eight watersheds can be obtained by clicking on the following:
http://www.azwater.gov/AzDWR/SurfaceWater/Adjudications/PermitsFormsApplications.htm.

If you need assistance, please call the Adjudications Section at 602-771-8634 or 866-246-1414 (toll free).

Grandfathered Groundwater Rights (58-prefix within AMAs) and Irrigation Authorities (60-prefix within INAs)

How do I find out if a Grandfathered Groundwater Right or Irrigation Authority is associated with a property?

Grandfathered Groundwater Rights and Irrigation Authorities are only issued within AMAs and INAs, respectively. Irrigation Grandfathered Rights (IGRs), Type 1 Non-Irrigation Grandfathered Rights (Type 1 Non-IGR), and Irrigation Authorities are appurtenant to the lands for which they were issued. A query to identify IGRs and Type 1 Non-IGRs in each Township/Range/Section is available by clicking on the following: http://www.azwater.gov/querycenter/query.aspx?qrysessionid=AA2C4F747D28312EE040000A16004C4B. Note that Quadrant A is for Townships North and Ranges East, Quadrant B is for Townships North and Ranges West, Quadrant C is for Townships South and Ranges West, and Quadrant D is for Townships South and Ranges East.

Type 2 Non-Irrigation Grandfathered Rights are not permanently linked to any specific property but are linked to a well location when they are in use. A query to identify Type 2 Non-IGRs by the wells they are currently associated with in each Township/Range/Section is available by clicking on the following: http://www.azwater.gov/querycenter/query.aspx?qrysessionid=AA2B8CD48A08902FE040000A1600329A.

A query to search INA authorities by location is not currently available. Please call ADWR at 602-771-8585 for assistance.

How is a grandfathered groundwater right or authority be assigned to a new owner?

The following forms are used to assign the listed types of grandfathered groundwater rights:

  • Irrigation Grandfathered Right (Form 58-500)
  • Type 1 Non-Irrigation Grandfathered Right (Form 58-600)
  • Type 2 Non-Irrigation Grandfathered Right (Form 58-700)
  • Irrigation Authority (Form 60-500)

How do I apply for a new grandfathered groundwater right or authority?

Grandfathered groundwater rights and authorities are based on historical groundwater usage within AMAs and INAs. If you believe that your property may qualify for a right, based on groundwater use in the 1975-1980 timeframe, please call ADWR at 602-771-8585 to learn about the application process.

Surface Water Filings (A-, R-, BB-, 33-, 36-, and 38- prefix)

How do I find out if a surface water filing is associated with a property?

ADWR’s surface water filings can be queried by applicant name, location (township/range/section), watershed and several other variables. The queries are available by clicking on the following: https://infoshare.azwater.gov/docushare/dsweb/View/Collection-86 . Please call ADWR at 602-771-8621 if you need assistance.

How do I assign a surface water filing to a new owner?

The form to assign surface water filings can be obtained by clicking on the following: Request For Assignment Of Surface Water Applications And Claims. Please pay special attention to the required supporting documentation.

How would I file a new surface water filing?

Please call ADWR at 602-771-8621 for information regarding submitting a new surface water filing for a new or historic use.