Change Applications

The Change Applications Unit evaluates applications for changes to existing water rights.  The chief engineer can evaluate applications for change in place of use (authorized location where water is used), point of diversion (location of a well, pumpsite, dam, etc.) and use made of water (Irrigation, Industrial, Municipal, etc.).

Changes to a water right's point of diversion, place of use or use made of water must receive prior approval by the Chief Engineer. The process begins with contacting your local field office for a review of the proposed change and assistance in filing an application for change. In some cases, the field office may also be able to process your application.

The proposed change must be filed on the application for change form and must include at least the following information:

  • Name and mailing address of applicant and/or landowners.
  • Original, notarized signatures of all landowners and their spouse or legally authorized representative.
  • The water right file number.
  • Proposed type of change.
  • The statutorily required filing fee - See fee schedule at the end of the application form.

Additional items which may be required to properly evaluate your application for approval to change include:

  • Test hole log or well log within 300 feet of the proposed well location.
  • Topographic map detailing the proposed change -- See example in page 2 of instruction sheet.
  • Names and addresses of all well owners within one-half mile of the proposed well.
  • Names and addresses of all landowners one-half mile downstream and upstream of the property lines for surface water.
  • A narrative description of the proposed change.  

If an application for change does not comply with all applicable statutes, rules and regulations, or if approval would impair other existing water rights or prejudicially and unreasonably affect the public interest, the applicant will be notified by mail. He or she has 15 days to either supply DWR with additional information showing why our evaluation should be reconsidered, or request additional time to submit information. At the end of the 15- day-period, if information is not supplied and no extension of time has been granted, the application will be submitted to the Chief Engineer for a final decision. A Findings and Order will be issued dismissing an application for change. Information that is returned will be given due consideration prior to final action on an application for change.

If it is determined that an application for change complies with all applicable statutes, rules and regulations, and if approval would neither impair the use of water under an existing water right, nor unreasonably affect the public interest, an approval of application for change will be issued by the Chief Engineer.

Should an approval be issued, it may require the owners to comply with additional conditions and limitations. For example:

  • The approval may require an approved flow meter or meters be installed.
  • A check valve will be required if any chemicals are added to the water delivery system.
  • A change in point of diversion may require that a water level measurement tube be installed (see section 5-6-13).
  • A new well will require that the applicant submit to the Chief Engineer a copy of the stratigraphic log of the completed well as required by the Kansas Department of Health and Environment.
  • Should the approval of the change result in a well that is no longer utilized, it will be required to be plugged according to the specifications administered by the Kansas Department of Health and Environment.

Any change in point of diversion that has been approved will require a Notice of Completion of Diversion Works to be submitted by a specific deadline. This deadline is typically December 31, of the year in which the approval is issued. A notice of completion for an approval of an application for change does not require a fee. A notice of completion instruction sheet is available for reference.

In the fall of each year the Division of Water Resources will notify all owners who have not yet submitted their required notice of completion. Prior to the deadline, should the applicant not be able to complete the diversion works, a Request for Extension to Complete the diversion works should be submitted. This request should include:

  • Progress that has been made toward completion.
  • What has impeded completion by the deadline.
  • The amount of time that will be needed to complete the change.
  • No fee is required to request an extension of time to complete a change approval.

Divide a Water Right
To divide an existing water right into two or more portions, all owners and their spouse, or legally authorized representative must sign and file an Application to Divide a Water Right, along with the supplemental sheets which describes the divided portions. There is a $300 filing fee for applications to divide a water right.

Reduce a Portion of a Water Right
To reduce a portion of an existing water right, all owners and their spouse, or legally authorized representative must sign and file a request to reduce a portion of an existing water right form. There is no fee required to file a reduction request. This Request to Reduce form can be used to request one or more of the following items be reduced:

  • points of diversion
  • quantity of water
  • rate of diversion
  • place of use
  • uses made of water

All completed forms, notices and requests should be referenced by a file number and sent to the division's headquarters office as noted on the document unless otherwise instructed.

HAYS R9: For information about the City of Hays / R9 Ranch water rights changes and water transfer application, go to the Hays R9 page here
If you have any questions, please feel free to contact the Change Application Unit at (785) 564-6637.