Deadline extended for the water use reporting requirements

Agricultural water users in Indiana and Michigan have until at least June 1 to report their water use for water source with the capacity to pump 70 gallons per minute.

In the wake of the unprecedented health concerns of March, both Indiana and Michigan are providing more time for users to file their 2019 water use reports. The deadline for water use reports has always been April 1 of the following year in both states. Abby Eaton from the Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development (MDARD) Environmental Division recently posted that the Michigan deadline was extend to June 1. Allison Mann of the Indiana Department of Natural Resources (IDNR) Division of Water said, “We will continue collecting 2019 data through the summer. We do not have a deadline for when we will no longer accept reports, but we try to have the majority of the data collected by August of each year.”

Water use reporting and registration are important parts of water resource management in both Indiana and Michigan. Both states signed onto the Great Lakes Compact in which the federal government acknowledged each Great Lakes State’s ability to manage the water resource of the basin, including the ability to deny diversions of water to areas outside the Great Lakes watershed.

Indiana uses the term Significant Water Withdrawal Facility (SWWF), where Michigan refers to these as Large Volume Water Uses (LVWU). In either state, these terms apply to water use with the capacity to withdraw 100,000 gallons per day (70 gallons per minute). One or more withdrawals at a site having a 100,000 gallons or greater capacity, or combined capacity, per day, also meets the SWWF or LVWU water use definition. Water use reporting is required for all agricultural water uses (irrigation, cooling, animal, watering, etc.) as a monthly estimate from both surface and ground water withdrawals on basis.

The Indiana SWWF reporting system offers both paper and online reporting options. Personalized letters for each SWWF user are mailed at the end of each year containing the registration information and the last year reported volumes. Users can modify any of the facility information and add the monthly water use for the previous year. View a description of Indiana’s registration program and the online reporting option.

Indiana locations of currently registered SWWFs and the previous three years of reported water use are available at IDNR Significant Water Withdrawal Facility Data. In Indiana, if you have a newly acquired or installed SWWF or a facility that has never been registered, you can contact Allison Mann of the Water Rights and Use Section of the IDNR, Division of Water at 317-234-1101 or toll free at 1-877-928-3755 to register.

In Michigan, agricultural (LVWU) reports can only be completed by use of the online system. View an online tutorial on the use of the reporting system. Michigan sends general reminders to each LVW user each winter. Specific withdrawal information is in the computer system that is used to enter the previous year’s monthly water use and update the reporting system of any new withdrawals that have been registered in the last year. Alternate reporting system can only be accepted with the permission from MDARD. If you have no way of using the new online system or have questions about the system, contact Abigail Eaton at or 517-284-5612.

The required estimate of monthly water use can be accomplished by several methods including acre inch records, pump capacity multiplied by run time and flow meter readings. Information on estimating water use for irrigation/livestock, forms or other large volume water use requirements can be found at Michigan State University Extension’s Irrigation website.

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