2009 Water Use Fee Increase - Questions and Answers

Water appropriation permit holders must submit an annual report of water use along with a water use fee that is based on the volume of water appropriated. Minnesota Statutes were amended in 2009 to increase certain water use fees.

Why were the water use fees increased? The fees were increased by the legislature as part of efforts to balance the budget.

When do the new fees take effect? The new fees are payable for all water use in 2009 and must be paid with the annual report of water use that is due on February 15, 2010. Please do not send water use reports or fees until notified near the end of this year.

What changed in the fee schedule? The fee schedule may be found here. Changes to the upper limit for water use processing fees other than once-through cooling systems are as follows:

  • $60,000 per year for an entity holding three or fewer permits (previously $50,000/yr);
  • $90,000 per year for an entity holding four or five permits (previously $70,000/yr);
  • $300,000 per year for an entity holding more than five permits (previously $250,000/yr).

The surcharge fee for water used during June, July, and August that exceeds the volume used in January has been increased to $30 per million gallons.

Who benefits from these fees? These fees are paid by all large water users and are deposited in the State General Fund. The General Fund supports DNR water resource management programs including water use permitting, stream and lake gaging, ground water level monitoring, aquifer tests, well interference investigations, and technical studies of ground and surface water resources.

How much money will the new fee increase generate? The new fees will generate approximately $500,000 per year.

Back to top