Water Reporting

Michigan’s Water Use Reporting Program

Industries with the capacity to withdraw over 100,000 gallons per day (70 gallons per minute) are required to report to the state the water withdrawals and water conservation practices of their pumps.  This was initially mandated by Public Act 148 of 2003, now Part 327 of P.A. 451 of 1994, the Natural Resources and Environmental Protection Act.

On December 13, 2005 – Annex 2001 of the Great Lakes Compact Agreement was signed by the Great Lakes Governors and Premiers.  The Annex 2001 provides protections for the Great Lakes-St. Lawrence River Basin which includes a ban on new diversions of water outside the Basin and stipulated that each State will create a program for the management and regulation of new or increased large withdrawals to ensure an effective and efficient water management program.

Michigan’s solution is that all Water Users having a capacity to withdraw water quantities averaging 100,000 gallons per day (70 gallons/ minute) must report use on an annual basis to MDARD if you are an agricultural user and to the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality (MDEQ) for all other industries.  There is no fee if reporting to MDARD.

Any proposed new or increased volume large capacity pumps, must also now consult the Michigan Water Withdrawal Assessment Tool (WWAT) prior to installation and subsequent reporting.  To consult the WWAT and register your new or increased large capacity pump go to www.miwwat.org.

MDARD maintains records for more than 2400 individual LQW reporting 12,000 large capacity pumps.  Up until 2011 paper forms were mailed out to agricultural producers to record and report their annual water use.  As of this 2012 reporting year this is no longer the case. MDARD has moved to an on-line reporting system.  You may access the new system at http://www.deq.state.mi.us/wur.  The State uses a common platform with two branches (MDARD and MDEQ) to allow information to be integrated directly with the WWAT and baseline data to more accurately reflect all water use in a given area around the state.

There are a number of reasons for switching to on-line reporting:

  • Transferring data from paper forms is very labor intensive
  • Each time data is transferred presents an opportunity for error – the current database is limited in ability to check for discrepancies and redundancy
  • It cuts duplication of effort in reporting – i.e. need only report pump name, Latitude/Longitude, other specifications once.
  • Puts the onus on the water user for consistency in reporting from year to year
  • Ties into the WWAT Registration process
  • Will save time in reporting for the producer in the long run.

It is understood that a number of producers may have no access to or little knowledge of computers.  The session will also provide information on where to seek assistance in uploading your large capacity pump information to remain compliant with Michigan law if you do not have computer access at your home of business.  The on-line reporting system for agriculture will be mandatory for 2013.  All other industries have been required to report on-line since 2011. 

For more information, click on the following link:

Water Use Reporting