RAPID/Solar/Nevada/Water Access & Rights

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Nevada Solar Water Access & Water Rights(19-NV)

For water uses involved in solar development projects (plant operations at a CSP facility, dust suppression for roads, construction activities, etc.), developers will likely need to obtain water through municipal or governmental supplies, private lease supplies, by purchase, or a new or changed water right. The Nevada Division of Water Resources (NDWR) administers the rules and regulations pertaining to water rights and should be consulted throughout any processes related to water rights and water access.

Purchased water rights must be conveyed by deed and recorded in the office of the county recorder of each county in which the water is applied to beneficial use and in each county in which the water is diverted from its natural sources. NRS 533.382. Developers who purchase or lease a water right must also file a Report of Conveyance with the NDWR.

Change of Use

If the developer intends to purchase or lease a water right that requires a change in the manner of use, place of use, or point of the diversion, the water right owner/lessor or the developer must submit a Water Right Change application to the NDWR and receive permission to change the use. NRS 533.325

Appropriation of Water

If seeking to appropriate water, the water must be available for appropriation. See NRS 533.325. Developers may submit a Water Right Application to the NDWR. While applications to appropriate surface and groundwater are largely the same, groundwater applications may have additional requirements. For example, if the appropriation is for groundwater within a designated groundwater basin, the NDWR must confer with the relevant groundwater board. If the NDWR approves the application, the developer must construct works necessary to pump/divert the water, put the water to beneficial use, and file proof of both activities with the NDWR.

More Information

Determine Which State and Federal Permits Apply

Use this overview flowchart and following steps to learn which federal and state permits apply to your projects.

Permitting at a Glance

Nevada Federal

Water Right Classification: Prior appropriation
Water Right Agency: Nevada Division of Water Resources