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Well Permits and What You Should Know

Recent Changes in well permit regulations signal a growing need for homeowners to make sure they have a properly permitted well! With recent changes in state and, in some cases, local, well permit regulations, there is a growing need for homeowners to make sure that they have a properly permitted well. The Office of the State Engineer (OSE) has long had a requirement in the 72-12-1 Regulations governing domestic well permits that “in the even of a change of ownership, a Change of Ownership (COO) form must be filed with the State Engineer.” However, this was not widely known and the OSE never took steps to insure this was getting done. With the revised regulations (effective August 2006), the annual allotment per domestic well was cut from 3 acre feet per year to one acre foot. The OSE also added a provision that states “if the new owner fails to file the COO in a timely manner the State Engineer may cancel the 72-12-1 well permit.” The provision also states that the COO cannot be done until the new owner has a recorded Warranty Deed in their name. If the OSE starts to strictly enforce the regulations and begins declaring permits not transferred and recorded in a timely manner to be invalid it could lead to limited amounts of water available and possibly negate the right of the property owner to use their well. Researching and finding OSE well permits when a property is put up for sale is not easy. Permits are not usually issued or stored by property address. You would need to know the permit number, have a copy of the permit or know the name it was permitted under. The OSE staff can help homeowners through this process.

OSE Albuquerque – 505-764-3888 OSE Aztec – 505-334-9481 OSE Deming – 505-546-2851 OSE Las Cruces – 505-524-6161 OSE Roswell – 505-622-6521 OSE Santa Fe – 505-827-6120

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