You are here
Produced Water Ownership Survey
The Legal and Regulatory Affairs Committee conducted a survey of the member states and provinces in order to provide a summary on how individual states are legally and regulatorily addressing produced water. This summary is available to the public as a learning tool for how individual states and provinces are regulating, handling or otherwise managing produced water as a by-product of oil and gas exploration and production.
Water laws are broadly differentiated by region, due to the surplus of the resource in the east and the scarcity of the resource in the west. Accordingly, the same appears to be true with produced water laws, as the survey results highlight a similar geographical delineation for how produced water is regulated based on the region. Click on the states and provinces below to review their produced water laws, regulations and rules as they pertain to oil and gas exploration and production.
Disclaimer: Reasonable efforts have been taken to ensure that the information provided on this site is accurate. However, due to the evolving nature of regulatory development, no guarantees for the currency or accuracy of information can be made. This disclaimer applies to both isolated and aggregated publications of information.
Geographical Differences with Water
State/Provincial Summaries of Produced Water Ownership
Below is a summary table of the member states and provinces produced water ownership.
Click each state/ province for a complete review of their survey responses
* = States with no response
States and Provinces
Who holds the right to water that has
Who holds the right to water after it has been brought to the surface?
|Alaska||Possession, Use||Possession, Use|
|Arkansas||Possession, Use||Possession, Use||Use|| See full review for|
detailed water rights
|Possession, Use||Possession, Use||Possession, Use|| See full review for|
detailed water rights
|Kentucky||Possession, Use||Possession, Use|
|Michigan||Use||By lease agreement||Only as a landowner||Possession and Use|
by agreement only transferring liability
|Mississippi||Possession, Use||Possession, Use|
|Nevada||Possession, Use||All water within the boundaries of the state, whether above or beneath the surface of the ground, belongs to the public and is subject to appropriation for beneficial uses.||Possession, Use|
The holder of a water right is the owner of the water. Does not grant access or easement to use of the water.
|New Mexico||Possession, Use|
|New York||Possession||Use||Use||The mineral lease holder has accesss to use of the water.||Possession, Use||Use||The mineral lease holder has access to possess and use the water.|
|* North Carolina|
|North Dakota||Rights by the mineral lease.||Possession, Use||Possession, Use||Possession|
|Ohio||Possession, Use||Possession, Use|
|Oklahoma||Possession, Use||Possession, Use|
|* South Carolina|
Operator also has
|Utah||Use - to the extent that underground water is kept in the industrial process and is not yet appropriated by the State Engineer.||Possession||Use - other rights subject to adjudication and appropriation by the State Engineer.||Use - to the extent that produced water is kept in the industrial process and is not yet appropriated by the State Engineer.||Possession||Use - other rights subject to adjudication and appropriation by the State Engineer.|
|Virginia||Public has the right to use and possess.|
|Wyoming||Possession, Use||Possession, Use||Possession, Use|
Can also store and dispose.
|* Nova Scotia|
|Saskatchewan||Possession, Use||Possession, Use|