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Applications and Forms Related to Surface Water Rights

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.

Applications and Forms Related to Surface Water Rights

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
  • technical requirements are met, such as water availability, conservation, and environmental aspects (see 30 TAC 288 , 297, and 298

The TCEQ will assign a project manager to coordinate with the technical and legal staff that reviews the application. This gives you one point of 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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New Water Rights and Amendment Applications

TCEQ Water Rights Permitting Application: For new appropriations of state water or amending existing water right permits, use the instructions below and complete and submit the following two forms.

  • Instructions for Completing the Water Rights Permitting Application (TCEQ-10214a)  PDF
  • Administrative Information Checklist (TCEQ-10214b)  PDF

AND,

  • Technical Information Report (TCEQ-10214c) PDF

Extension of Time Application:

For extending the time to begin and/or complete construction of an authorized project, use the instructions below and complete and submit the application form.

  • Instructions for Completing the Extension of Time Application (TCEQ-10203b) PDF .
  • Application for an Extension of Time to Begin or Complete Construction of an Authorized Project (TCEQ-10203c) PDF .

TCEQ Temporary Water Rights Permit: This form is for an application for a temporary water use permit to divert water under Section §11.138, Texas Water Code. Any permit granted from this application may be suspended at any time by the applicable TCEQ Office if it is determined that surplus water is no longer available.

Application for a temporary water use permit FOR MORE THAN 10 ACRE-FEET OF WATER, and/or for a diversion period longer than one calendar year but not exceeding three years.

  • Temporary Water Rights Permit Application (TCEQ-10202) PDF

Regional or Watermaster office:

    Application for a temporary water use permit FOR UP TO 10 ACRE-FEET OF WATER, and/or for a diversion period up to ONE calendar year.
  • Application for a temporary water use permit (TCEQ-20425) (TCEQ-20425) PDF.

Change of Ownership of a Water Right Form

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:

    • Change of Ownership Form (TCEQ-10204) or PDF
    • conveyance documents (deeds, wills)

  • $100 application fee, payable to TCEQ

Abandonment of a Water Right Form This action to voluntarily abandon, and the subsequent cancellation of, your water right may not be reversed and obtaining a water right in the future will require a new application for water. New applications require application/notice fees and may or may not be granted, subject to water availability.

  • Abandonment of a Water Right Form (TCEQ-10200) PDF

Registration Exemption Forms

Mariculture Operation: For registering an exempt mariculture operation (TWC Section 11.1421 and TAC Section 297.24), you will need to use the instructions below and complete and submit the following forms.

  • Instructions for Completing the Exempt Mariculture Operation Form (TCEQ-10219a) PDF
  • Mariculture Registration Form (TCEQ-10219b) PDF .
  • Exempt Mariculture Operation Supplement Form (TCEQ-10219c) PDF .

Dry Fire Hydrant for Emergency Use of Water Permit Exemption: For requesting a permit exemption for a dry fire hydrant for emergency use, you will need to use the instructions below and complete and submit the Permit Exemption Form.

  • Instructions for Completing the Dry Fire Hydrant for Emergency Use of Water Permit Exemption Form (TCEQ-10209a) PDF
  • Permit Exemption Form (TCEQ-10209b) PDF
  • Reporting Form (TCEQ-10209c) PDF

Pending Water Right Applications

Pending Water Right Applications .  If you need to find out about the status of your application, click on the link above or see For More Information below.

For More Information

Send completed water right applications to the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality, Water Availability Division, P.O. Box 13087, MC-160, Austin, Texas, 78711-3087

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