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DNR opens application period for reimbursement of well interference costs resulting from the 2021 drought

Feb 03, 2023 10:34AM ● By Content Editor
Photo: Frank Albrecht

From the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources - February 3, 2023

The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources encourages well owners, high-capacity water appropriators and water suppliers to apply for reimbursement of costs associated with the resolution of well interferences that occurred during the 2021 drought.

As part of a relief package to address impacts of the 2021 drought, the Minnesota Legislature provided funding to the DNR to reimburse people who paid for costs associated with restoring a water supply as a result of a well interference. A well interference happens when a high-capacity water user causes the water level in an aquifer to fall to a level that adversely affects the availability of water to shallower wells. Dry conditions in 2021 caused some high-capacity water appropriators to pump groundwater more frequently in some areas of the state, resulting in numerous well interferences.

The DNR received $300,000 from the 2022 legislature to reimburse eligible expenses for domestic well owners, high-capacity water appropriators and public and private water suppliers. Those who wish to apply to the DNR for reimbursement will need to provide copies of receipts for work performed. The DNR will review the applications and determine eligibility for reimbursement.

The well interference situation must have happened between May 1, 2021 and Dec. 30, 2021 to be eligible for reimbursement.

Minnesota Statute 103G,265 requires the DNR to manage water resources to ensure an adequate supply to meet long-range seasonal requirements for domestic, agricultural, fish and wildlife, recreational, power, navigation, and quality control purposes. The Water Appropriation Permit Program exists to balance competing management objectives that include both development and protection of Minnesota's water resources.

The application period is now open. Applications should be submitted by 4:30 p.m. May 1, 2023. If applications for reimbursement exceed the total funding available, the available funds will be allocated proportionately to all eligible applicants based on their receipts submitted.

For more information, including how to apply, visit the well interference resolution process page of the DNR website.