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Alaska Temporary Use of Water Permit (19-AK-b)

In Alaska, a developer may need to obtain a temporary use of water permit from the Alaska Division of Mining Land and Water (DMLW) if the proposed project will use a significant amount of water for less than five consecutive years and the water applied for is not otherwise appropriated. 11 AAC 93.040; 11 AAC 93.210.


Temporary Use of Water Permit Process

19-AK-b.1 to 19-AK-b.2 – Contact the Alaska Division of Mining Land and Water (DMLW) to Schedule a Pre-Application Meeting

The developer should schedule a pre-application meeting with the Alaska Division of Mining Land and Water (DMLW) early on in the project planning stages to discuss the project, application requirements, and application filing fees.


19-AK-b.3 - Application for a Temporary Use of Water Permit

To obtain a temporary use of water permit, the developer must submit a complete application to the DMLW. 11 AAC 93.220. A complete application must include the following:

  • An Application for Temporary Use of Water;
  • The application fee, as prescribed by 11 AAC 05.010;
  • A map identifying the section, township, range, and meridian, and indicating the location of the property, the point of withdrawal, diversion, or impoundment, and the point of use;
  • The quantity of water to be used, with documentation and calculations justifying the request;
  • The nature of the water use;
  • The time period during which water is to be used; and
  • The type and size of equipment used to withdraw the water.

11 AAC 93.220(b).


19-AK-b.4 to 19-AK-b.5 – Review Application Materials for Completeness

Upon receipt, the DMLW reviews the developer’s application and determines whether the application clearly presents and documents all aspects of the proposed project. If the application is incomplete or more information is needed, the DMLW will notify the developer and request the additional materials and/or information needed. Unless the DMLW determines a longer period should be allowed, the developer must submit the requested information within 30 days. If the developer fails to submit the requested information within 30 days, the DMLW may reject the application. (11 AAC 93.050).


19-AK-b.6 – Is Public Notice of the Application Required?

If the developer requests an appropriation of more than 5,000 gallons per day (gpd), the DMLW must issue public notice of the developer’s application. 11 AAC 93.080; see also 11 AAC 93.100.

The DMLW may also require notice of an application to appropriate less than 5,000 gpd if the water source is an anadromous fish stream or the water source has a high level of competition among water users. 11 AAC 93.100.


19-AK-b.7 – Publish Public Notice of Application

If public notice of the developer’s application is required, the DMLW will:

  • Serve individual notice of the developer’s application by certified mail to any prior appropriators who may be taking from the same source of water;
  • Issue public notice of the developer’s application in a newspaper of general circulation in the vicinity in which the water is to be appropriated or, if there is no newspaper of general circulation in the vicinity, in a public place near the site of the proposed appropriation; and
  • Post notice of the developer’s application on the Alaska Online Public Notice System.

11 AAC 93.080.


19-AK-b.8 – Comment on Application; File an Objection (If Applicable)

Interested parties have 15 days from the publication or service of notice to file comments or an objection with the DMLW. 11 AAC 93.080(6).


19-AK-b.9 - Review Application, Public Comments and Objections (If Applicable), and Other Pertinent Information

The DMLW reviews the developer’s application, any comments and/or objections received, and any other pertinent information to inform its decision on whether to authorize or deny a temporary use of water permit. 11 AAC 93.090(b)-(c); 11 AAC 93.220(d).


19-AK-b.10 to 19-AK-b.12 – Does the DMLW Elect to Hold a Public Hearing?

The DMLW can, in its discretion, elect to hold a hearing on the application if:

  • DMLW receives objections to the application during the public comment period;
  • DMLW determines that additional information is necessary to rule on the application; or
  • DMLW determines that the public interest or the water rights of prior appropriators might be adversely affected.

11 AAC 93.110(a)-(b).

If the DMLW elects to hold a hearing, the DMLW must issue notice of the hearing. AS 46.15.133. Notices; Objections.


19-AK-b.13 – Does the DMLW Approve the Application?

The DMLW may approve, deny, or condition the temporary use of water permit. AS 46.15.133. Notices; Objections. The DMLW will approve the developer’s application for a temporary use of water permit if the DMLW finds that:

  • The rights of a prior appropriator will not be unduly affected;
  • The proposed means of diversion or construction are adequate;
  • The proposed use of water is beneficial; and
  • The proposed appropriation is in the public interest.

AS 46.15.080.

In determining whether the proposed appropriation is in the public interest, the DMLW must consider the following:

  • The benefit to the developer resulting from the proposed appropriation;
  • The effect of the economic activity resulting from the proposed appropriation;
  • The effect on fish and game resources and public recreational opportunities;
  • The effect on public health;
  • The effect of loss of alternate uses of water that might be made within a reasonable time if not precluded or hindered by the proposed appropriation;
  • Harm to other persons resulting from the proposed appropriation;
  • The intent and ability of the developer to complete the appropriation; and
  • The effect upon access to navigable or public water.

AS 46.15.080.

The DMLW must approve, deny, or condition the temporary use of water permit within 30 days of receipt of the last objection or, if the DMLW elects to hold hearings, within 180 days of receipt of the last objection. AS 46.15.133. Notices; Objections.

The DMLW may issue any conditions the DMLW considers necessary to protect the water rights of other persons or the public interest. 11 AAC 93.220(f); see also 11 AAC 93.120(e).


19-AK-b.14 - Notice of Decision

The DMLW must provide notice of, and reasons for, its decision to any person who is denied a temporary use of water permit and to any person who has filed an objection to the application. 11 AAC 93.220(d); AS 46.15.133. Notices; Objections.


19-AK-b.15 - Permit for Temporary Use of Water

A temporary use of water permit will include the following:

  • The quantity of water to be used;
  • The legal description of the point of water withdrawal or diversion;
  • A project description;
  • An expiration date;
  • The daily duration and months of use; and
  • The point or area of water use, if applicable.

11 AAC 93.220(e).

A temporary water use is limited to less than 5-years. However, upon receipt of a written request from the developer, the DMLW may extend an authorization for a temporary use of water one time for good cause for a period of time not to exceed five years. 11 AAC 93.210.

A temporary use of water permit does not establish a water right or priority. 11 AAC 93.210.


19-AK-b.16 - Appeal Decision (If Applicable)

Any person aggrieved by the DMLW’s decision to approve, deny, or condition a temporary use of water permit may appeal the decision to the superior court. AS 46.15.133. Notices; Objections.




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Edit Alaska Division of Mining Land and Water
Chief of the Water Resources Section
(907) 269-8645
davidabbazabbawabbazabbaschade@alaskaabbazabbagov