Well Construction

All wells require the well owner or well driller to obtain a Drilling Permit prior to drilling a well and must be constructed by an Idaho Licensed Well Driller. IDWR has statutory responsibility for regulating the drilling of wells and licensing of drillers and operators in the State of Idaho.

Find a licensed driller and learn more about our Driller Licensing Program.


Domestic Wells, Monitoring Wells, and Cathodic Protection Wells do no require other approvals by IDWR before a drilling permit can be approved. However, other wells such as Irrigation Wells, Commercial/Industrial Wells, Injection Wells, Multi-Family or Municipal Wells require at least approved water rights before approvals are issued. For more information regarding the fees associated with varying well types, read our FAQ page.


IDWR administers the appropriation and allotment of ground water resources of the State of Idaho to protect the resource against waste and contamination. The Idaho Water Resource Board has adopted rules under the authority provided by Idaho Code 42-238 (4), which were updated and approved in the 2009 Idaho Legislature. The rules are applicable to all water wells, monitoring wells, low temperature geothermal rules, and other artificial openings and excavations in the ground which are more than 18 feet below land surface, as well as for decommissioning (abandonment) of wells. Below are links for the statutes, rules, forms and policies regarding drilling, completion and decommissioning of wells in the State of Idaho.

  • 42-235 - Drilling Permits
  • 42-227 - Drilling and Use of Wells for Domestic Purposes Excepted
  • 42-228 - Drilling and Use of Wells for Drainage or Recovery Puroposes Excepted
  • 42-233a - "Critical Ground Water Area" Defined - Public Hearings - Publication of Notice
  • 42-233 - Low Temperature Geothermal Resources
  • 42-233b - Ground Water Management Area
  • 42-1601 - Well Not Controlled a Common Nuisance - Approval of Director - Reservoired Water - Maintenance of Artesian Wells
  • 42-1602 - Unnecessary Flow Unlawful - Use for Domestic Purposes
  • 42-1603 - Application for Approval of Control Device - Approval Necessary
  • 42-1604 - Artesian Well Defined
  • 42-1605 - Enforcement Procedure - Injunctive Relief - Criminal Penalties
  • 42-1607 - Inventory of Artesian Wells - Plugging Wells