Susquehanna from Chickies Rock - Copyright Paige Durborow

SRBC Encourages Grandfathered Water Users to Register

In a recent study that compiled all available data to characterize Basin-wide water use and availability, the Commission estimated that there are possibly more than 700 older, unpermitted facilities with an estimated water use of nearly one billion gallons per day. If accurate, this volume of water use is roughly equal to the total amount currently accounted for, and managed, by the Commission across the entire Basin.

With such large quantities in question, the Commissioners instructed staff to develop a program that would close this significant knowledge gap regarding older, unpermitted water use in order to ensure the Commission’s ability to effectively manage the water resources of the Basin.

This new program is launching on January 1, 2018 for the registration of older, unpermitted water withdrawals and consumptive use facilities. Tese older, unpermitted facilities—also known as grandfathered—are those where water withdrawals or consumptive uses equal or exceed the regulatory threshold, but began operating before the applicable regulations.

Under the new registration program, in order to preserve the exemption from obtaining a permit into the future, facilities knowing that the Commission will strive to protect those water sources from future impacts must register their grandfathered withdrawals and consumptive uses by December 31, 2019. Registration will also provide certainty to a facility on retaining its existing exempt status and the security of knowing that the Commission will strive to protect those water sources from future impacts.

Generally, the new registration program applies to facilities that:

  • Have a groundwater withdrawal of 100,000 gallons per day* or more initiated prior to July 13, 1978; and/or
  • Have a surface water withdrawal of 100,000 gallons per day* or more initiated prior to November 11, 1995;
  • Consume 20,000 gallons per day* or more from surface combination thereof, (including initiated prior water, groundwater, or a public water to a any other supply), initiated prior to January 23, 1971.

For more information, click here to download a bulletin on this new water registration program.

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