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You are here: Home / Permits, Registrations, and Reporting / Surface Water Rights and Availability / Water Rights: Permits / Applications for Surface Water Rights and Ownership Changes

Applications for Surface Water Rights and Ownership Changes

The use of surface water in Texas is regulated through a system of water rights. Learn more about these rights, how to obtain them, and see what applications are under review.

Water Rights Application Process

The Texas Commission on Environmental Quality evaluates each water right application to determine if it can be granted. This involves a review to ensure:

  • the application is administratively complete, with all the information we need to evaluate it (according to Title 30, Texas Administrative Code, Chapter 295 Exit the TCEQ)
  • technical requirements are met, such as water availability, conservation, and environmental aspects (see 30 TAC 288 Exit the TCEQ, 297 Exit the TCEQ, 298 Exit the TCEQ)

The TCEQ will assign a project manager to coordinate the various technical and legal groups that review the application. This gives you one contact within the agency.

The Water Rights Permitting Team typically processes simple and uncontested applications within 300 days. In some cases, a public notice may be required, or a request for a contested case hearing may be received, which could increase the processing time.

To speed up the process, make sure your application is complete before submitting it. We encourage you to meet with permitting and technical review staff at TCEQ before applying. This helps alert you to potential problems or areas of concern where additional information is needed.

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Water Right Application Forms

Use the following form(s) to register the use of state water for special purposes, or to request a water right, or modify an existing one. There may be fees associated with your request. See Application Fees below.

  • Water Rights Permit Package Application and Instructions (TCEQ-10214) Microsoft Word version of water rights permit package application and instructions (TCEQ-10214) or Adobe Acrobat PDF version of instructions for TCEQ-10214
  • Amendment of Water Rights Permit (TCEQ-10201) Microsoft Word version of amendment of water rights permit (TCEQ-10201) or Adobe Acrobat PDF version of amendment of water rights permit (TCEQ-10201)
  • Application for an Extension of Time to Begin or Complete Construction of an Authorized Project (TCEQ-10203) Microsoft Word version of application for extension of Time to Begin or Complete Construction of an Authorized Project TCEQ-10203 or Adobe Acrobat PDF version of application for extension of Time to Begin or Complete Construction of an Authorized Project TCEQ-10203
  • Dry Fire Hydrant Registration Application (TCEQ-10209) Microsoft Word version of dry fire hydrant registration application TCEQ-10209 or Adobe Acrobat PDF version of dry fire hydrant registration application TCEQ-10209
  • Mariculture Registration Application (TCEQ-10219) Microsoft Word version of mariculture registration application TCEQ-10219 or Adobe Acrobat PDF version of mariculture registration application TCEQ-10219

Application for Temporary Permits

Temporary Permits are typically issued to use surface water for a short period of time.

  • 10 Acre-feet or Less and One Calendar Year or Less (TCEQ-20425) Microsoft Word version of 10 acre-feet or less and one calendar year of less TCEQ-20425 or Adobe Acrobat PDF version of 10 acre-feet or less and one calendar year of less TCEQ-20425 Depending on the location of your proposed diversion, these temporary water use applications are processed by either the TCEQ Regional Offices or the Watermaster office for your area.
  • More Than 10 Acre-feet or More Than One Calendar Year (TCEQ-10202) Microsoft Word version of more than 10 acre-feet or more than one calendar year TCEQ-10202 or Adobe Acrobat PDF version of more than 10 acre-feet or more than one calendar year TCEQ-10202 Submit these applications for temporary water use permits to the Water Rights Permitting Team.

Application to Transfer Ownership of a Water Right

If you acquire all or part of a water right, or property with an appurtenant water right, submit documentation and a Change of Ownership Form to the address below:

  • Change of Ownership Form (TCEQ-10204) Microsoft Word version of applications for transfer of water rights ownership and voluntary abandonment TCEQ-10204 or Adobe Acrobat PDF version of applications for transfer of water rights ownership and voluntary abandonment TCEQ-10204
  • conveyance documents (deeds, wills)
  • $100 application fee, payable to TCEQ

Application for Voluntary Abandonment

If you no longer wish to retain ownership of a water right, and want to relinquish the water right back to the state, submit the following form to the address below. There is no fee for this process.

  • Application to Voluntarily Abandon a Water Right (TCEQ-10200) Microsoft Word version of application to voluntarily abandon a water right TCEQ-10200 or Adobe Acrobat PDF version of application to voluntarily abandon a water right TCEQ-10200

Application Fees

  • Fees may be required for your application. See Application Fees: Microsoft Word version water rights fees or Adobe Acrobat PDF version of water rights fees. No fees are required for Dry Fire Hydrant, Voluntary Abandonment, or Mariculture Registration Applications.

Pending Water Right Applications

Water right applications Microsoft Excel currently under review by the TCEQ. If you need to find out about the status of your application, see For More Information below.

For More Information

  • For more information, to find out about the status of your application, or for help filling out forms, please contact the Water Rights Permitting and Availability Section at 512-239-4691 or e-mail us at wras@tceq.texas.gov.

Where to Send Applications

Water Rights Permitting MC-160
Texas Commission on Environmental Quality
PO Box 13087
Austin, Texas 78711-3087

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Water Rights Permit Applications

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