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Surface Water Withdrawal Permitting and Fees

Surface waters are defined as  all surface waters, which are not ground waters, which wholly or partially are within the Commonwealth or bordering the Commonwealth. Wetlands, streams, lakes, springs, and ponds are all surface waters and fall under the jurisdiction of the Virginia Water Protection (VWP) Permit Program.

A Surface Water Withdrawal is a removal or diversion of surface water from a stream, spring and/or lake/pond in Virginia or from the Potomac River. 

Who Must Apply

All withdrawals from surface waters within the Commonwealth of Virginia or from the Potomac River, unless excluded by the Virginia Water Protection (VWP) Permit regulations, require a VWP permit.  Withdrawals from non-tidal waters that total less than 10,000 gallons per day are excluded, as are withdrawals from tidal waters for nonconsumptive uses.  Read Section 310 of the VWP Regulations for a description of other exclusions from the permitting requirement for surface water withdrawals.

Permit Term

Permits are issued for a maximum term of fifteen (15) years.

Joint Permit Application Forms

The VWP permit application process relies on a single Virginia joint local/state/federal permit application, commonly called the JPA form.  This application form was designed to take into account various local state and federal statutes governing the disturbance or alteration of environmental resources, including surface water withdrawals.   Detailed instructions on how to apply are included with the form. Forms may be downloaded from the Virginia Marine Resources Commission (VMRC) or U.S. Army Corps of Engineers websites. The VMRC acts as the information clearinghouse and as the central point for receipt of these applications.  Each application receives concurrent but independent review by local wetland boards, the Marine Resources Commission, the Virginia Department of Environmental Quality, and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.  Completed Joint Permit Application forms should be submitted to the VMRC at:

Virginia Marine Resources Commission
Habitat Management Division
2600 Washington Avenue, 3rd Floor
Newport News, Virginia 23607-0756

VMRC assigns a permit number and distributes the application to participating federal, state, and local agencies. Each agency will decide separately whether to issue a permit for the proposed project. Each agency responds separately to the applicant.  DEQ may consult with other state and federal agencies on the proposed project.


The applicable permit application fee can be determined from the table below and from the DEQ Water Permit Application Fee Form.

Do not send any permit application fees with the JPA.  A DEQ project manager will contact you regarding the proper fee and submittal requirements after receiving your application package.

Type of Virginia Water Protection (VWP) Individual Permit  Issuance/Reissuance  Modification 
Agricultural Withdrawals*  No Fee No Fee 
Minimum Instream Flow - Withdrawals equal to or greater
than 3,000,000 gallons on any day
$25,000  $5,000 
Minimum Instream Flow - Withdrawals between 2,000,000
and 2,999,999 gallons on any day 
$20,000  $5,000 
Minimum Instream Flow - Withdrawals between 1,000,000
and 1,999,999 gallons on any day 
$15,000  $5,000 
Minimum Instream Flow - Withdrawals less than 1,000,000
gallons on any day 
$10,000  $5,000 
Reservoir - Major  $35,000  $12,500 
Reservoir - Minor  $25,000  $12,500 

*  Agricultural surface water withdrawals are defined by 9VAC25-210-300 as withdrawal of surface water in Virginia or from the Potomac River for the purpose of agricultural, silvicultural, horticultural, or aquacultural operations. Agricultural surface water withdrawals include withdrawals for turf farm operations, but do not include withdrawals for landscaping activities, or turf installment and maintenance associated with landscaping activities.

Current Surface Water Withdrawal Permits

A spreadsheet listing the currently active surface water withdrawal VWP permits is available from the link below:

Currently Active Surface Water Withdrawal Permits

These permits are final and therefore not open for public comment.  Contact Water Withdrawal Permitting staff about a particular permit or permits.

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Virginia Department of
Environmental Quality
P.O. Box 1105
Richmond, VA 23218
(804) 698-4000

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