Frequently Asked Questions

Revised: March 25, 2010

Q. What kind of activities require an approved application?
A. The most typical alteration types include new or replacement bridges or culverts, utility line installation, bank stabilization, and other activities adjacent to natural streams. If you are not sure if your project will require a permit, call the stream alteration specialist for your area.

Q. What is considered a natural stream?
A. A natural stream is any natural waterway that receives enough water to develop an ecosystem that differs from the surrounding upland environment. This is most easily determined by observing vegetation changes. Canals, ditches, or other man-made channels are not considered natural streams.

Q. How much does the permit cost?
A. Presently, stream alteration application processing is $2,000 for commercial entities, $500 for government entities, and $100 for non-commercial entities, as listed on the the current Water Rights Fee Schedule

Q. How long will the application take to process?
A. The amount of time it takes to process a stream alteration application is variable. In most cases, the application will be circulated for comment to the public and other agencies for a period of 20 calendar days. Provided, that all issues raised during thet comment period have been addressed, a decision on the application can be made shortly thereafter.

Q. Where can I find a professional to help design a stream alteration project?
A. A number of consulting engineering firms have experience and expertise in designing stream alteration projects. We recommend that you utilize the services of a qualified professional for complex projects.

Q. My previously issued stream alteration permit is about to expire, but Iím not done with the project. Can I get an extension?
A. In most cases the answer is yes. To obtain an extension, please send a written request that references your stream alteration permit number and the reasons for project delay to the Division of Water Rights. Provided that the reasons for project delays are reasonable and no new issues have been identified regarding the project, the permit will most likely be extended.