Water Appropriations


Jon Patch, P.E., Director of Appropriations

Jon Patch, P.E., Division Director

The Water Appropriation Division is responsible for the appropriation and management of the state’s water resources in accordance with Article XI of the North Dakota Constitution and Chapter 61 of North Dakota Century Code. The laws are based on the Doctrine of Prior Appropriation. The following principal activities fulfill these responsibilities:

  • Identify the availability and chemical quality of the state’s water resources;
  • Assist municipalities and other public entities in developing solutions to particular water supply problems;
  • Assess the impacts of existing water use on ground water levels, stream flow, and chemical quality of water for the purposes of future allocation and management;
  • Collect, store, and disseminate data on stream flow, spring flow, ground water, lake levels, water quality, and water use;
  • Carry out the administrative procedures required for water permit applications, water permits, and water rights;
  • Conduct analyses and provide recommended decisions to the State Engineer on water permit applications;
  • Develop and maintain a system for the storage and retrieval of water permit records;
  • Monitor the utilization of each conditional and perfected water permit through annual water use reports, and maintain a permanent record; and
  • Participate in committees and task forces pertaining to water quantity and/or quality issues as required.

The Water Appropriations Division can be contacted by e-mail, or at (701) 328-2754.