Skip to main content

New Law Requires Vermonters to Track and Report Surface Water Use

April 9, 2024

For Immediate Release – April 9, 2024

Media Contact:
Jeff Crocker, Supervising River Ecologist
Department of Environmental Conservation

New Law Requires Vermonters to Track and Report Surface Water Use

Montpelier, Vt. – With spring underway and the bulk of construction season ahead, the Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) is reminding those who withdraw surface water to track and report usage. Under the newly enacted Act 135 of 2022, anyone withdrawing surface water must file an annual report with DEC each January. The purpose of Act 135 is to collect baseline data on the use of surface waters such as rivers, streams, brooks, creeks, lakes, ponds, and reservoirs.

Anyone who withdraws 10,000 gallons or more of surface water within 24 hours – or 150,000 gallons or more over 30 days – is required to fill out an online form to register and report their withdrawal.

“Vermonters rely on surface waters for drinking water, recreation, and industrial uses, as well as to support wildlife habitat and water quality,” said DEC Commissioner Jason Batchelder. “These annual reports will help us understand the extent and magnitude of surface water withdrawals.”

Those who withdraw surface water for farming uses like irrigation or livestock watering must report to the Vermont Agency of Agriculture Food and Markets. Vermonters do not need to report usage for some surface water withdrawals, such as those used for public emergencies or to suppress fire.

“High and low water flow events can transform how surface waters like streams look and work,” said Supervising River Ecologist Jeff Crocker. “These events can have major impacts not only on wildlife habitat and water quality but also on recreation and other surface water uses.”

DEC offers resources and technical assistance and can help answer any questions about Act 135 or streamflow protection. If Jeff Crocker is not available at 802-490-6151 or, contact Betsy Simard at 802-585-8189 or


The Department of Environmental Conservation is responsible for protecting Vermont's natural resources and safeguarding human health for the benefit of this and future generations. Visit and follow the Department of Environmental Conservation on Facebook and Instagram.

Non-Discrimination Notice:

The Vermont Agency of Natural Resources (ANR) operates its programs, services, and activities without discriminating on the basis of race, religion, creed, color, national origin (including limited English proficiency), ancestry, place of birth, disability, age, marital status, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, or breastfeeding (mother and child).

Language Access Notice:

Questions or Complaints/Free Language Services ǀ SERVICES LINGUISTIQUES GRATUITS | भाषासम्बन्धी नि:शुल्क सेवाहरू ǀ SERVICIOS GRATUITOS DE IDIOMAS ǀ 免費語言服務 | BESPLATNE JEZIČKE USLUGE ǀ БЕСПЛАТНЫЕ УСЛУГИ ПЕРЕВОДА | DỊCH VỤ NGÔN NGỮ MIỄN PHÍ ǀ 無料通訳サービス ǀ ነጻ የቋንቋ አገልግሎቶች | HUDUMA ZA MSAADA WA LUGHA BILA MALIPO | BESPLATNE JEZIČKE USLUGE | အခမဲ့ ဘာသာစကား ဝန်ဆောင်မှုများ | ADEEGYO LUUQADA AH OO BILAASH AH ǀ خدمات لغة مجانية: or 802-636-7827.