Paper No. 23-3
Presentation Time: 8:45 AM
WATER USE AND GROUND WATER RIGHTS IN INDIANA
The State of Indiana requires registration and annual water use reporting for all Significant Water Withdrawal Facilities (SWWF) under the provisions of IC 14-25-7. A SWWF is defined in the law as having the capability of pumping at least 100,000 gallons of surface or ground water in one day. Currently, there are about 4060 registered SWWFs in Indiana, representing 7180 wells and 1371 surface water intakes. Total reported annual water use by registered SWWFs in 2014 was approximately 2.7 trillion gallons. Nearly two-thirds of all registered SWWFs in the state are included within the “irrigation” water use category. This category of water use has increased by more than 460 SWWFs during the past five years. Indiana’s Ground Water Rights Law (Indiana Code14-25-4) provides protection for owners of small capacity wells against the impacts of Significant Ground Water Withdrawal Facilities. The law requires that “timely and reasonable compensation” be provided to an owner of a small capacity well impacted by high capacity ground water pumping. Since the law became effective statewide in 1986, the IDNR, Division of Water has conducted, on average, about 150 investigations of small capacity well failures (or potential failures) each year.