FAQ from Real Estate Agents and Title Agents
How do I update ownership (“transfer a well”) into the new buyer’s name?
File form 55-71A Request to Change Well Information, along with the appropriate fee of $30.00. The form will need to be filled out in its entirety, including a map of the parcel with an “X” where the well is located on the parcel and a deed showing ownership of the parcel where the well is located. The form may be found online at: https://new.azwater.gov/sites/default/files/55-71A_Request_Change_Well_Info_20200625.pdf .
When does a well need to be transferred?
Form 55-71A Request to Change Well Information needs to be filed when ownership of the property where a well is physically located changes. It should not be filed before the property is transferred because a copy of the deed will need to be included with the Request to Change Well Information form.
The well is not located on my buyer’s property. Does it need to be transferred?
No, a Request to Change Well Information form only needs to be submitted if the well is physically located on the property being purchased.
My buyer has an interest in a shared well. Does it need to be transferred?
If the well is physically located on the property being purchased, yes. If the well is not physically located on the property, a transfer is not needed. The Department does not regulate shared well agreements nor does any state agency. Shared well agreements are considered a civil matter between the parties who share the well. Dispute arising between parties regarding a shared well agreement are not resolved by the Department and may result in the parties having to file a civil action and resolve the matter in court.
How do I locate the well registration number?
The Department’s online Well Registry Web Application is a great way to start your search. There are two search methods: Search Wizard or Map. The Search Wizard presents a short series of questions to help narrow the search for well registry records of interest. You can choose to search by individual Well Identification Number(s), by Current Owner Name, or by spatial filters such as Cadastral, Parcel, Basin, or Subbasin.
The easiest way to search is by selecting search wizard and searching by parcel. Keep in mind that wells are registered to the parcel they are physically located on. If searching by parcel doesn’t work, try the map tool (below).
The Map has tools to navigate or select wells within a desired area, allowing you to use them to move around the map to select individual wells or groups of wells. The quick zoom will allow you to zoom to a known area of interest by using address, cadastral, or parcel number. Keep in mind that the red dot is not the physical location of the well, and that the well may be in the name of someone who owned the property in the past, but not necessarily the immediate previous landowner. You may need to locate previous landowners going all the way back to 1980s by using the County Recorder’s website, and then look for wells in their names.
The Well Registry Web Application link:
Also available is a User’s Guide to assist you with the Well Registry Web Application link:
Note: Watch this video for best techniques for researching well registration numbers: https://new.azwater.gov/media/videos/2019-06-08 .
When I use the map online, I can’t select parcels in Coconino or Cochise counties. Why?
Coconino and Cochise county parcel layers are unavailable due to an agreement or lack thereof with the respective counties.
How much does it cost to transfer a well?
The cost to change ownership of a well is $30.00 per well.
The well is not currently in the seller’s name. Does it have to be transferred to the seller before I transfer it to the buyer?
No. The Department recommends changing the well from whomever the well lists on the Department’s records to the new owner. However, please include all relevant deeds. For example, if the well is in the name of Zeke Flores, but the property has been sold from Zeke Flores to Jeffrey Watson to Rudy Rudolph, please include the deeds showing the property being transferred from Flores to Watson, and then a deed for Watson to Rudolph.
Why was the Change of Well Information form I sent in returned?
When the Department returns a Change of Well Information form, it includes a letter stating why it was returned. If you received a refund check, a letter was sent prior to receiving the check stating the reason for the refund. Letters sent by the Department are mailed to the address listed on the original check that was mailed to the Department.
Does ADWR make determinations regarding legal well ownership?
No. the Department only maintains a registry of wells, including the owner of the land where the well is located. The Department does not determine legal ownership. The records maintained by the Department are not legal binding documents. Rather, the documents are a mechanism to maintain records of all the wells in the State and their use.
Can you tell me if this parcel has a well on it?
The Department can confirm if a parcel is associated with a well registration number, but the Department cannot guarantee that the parcel does not have a well. There might be a well on the parcel, but the well of record hasn’t been updated, or the parcel might have been split but not updated in the well of record, or the well may be unregistered. The best way to tell if a parcel has a well is to physically inspect the property.
Can you tell me which well is supplying water to my client?
The Department does not maintain records of which parcels are using which water sources or are hooked up to which wells. Additionally, the Department does not maintain service area lines for private parcels or parcels that may be receiving water from a private water company or municipal water provider.
Can you tell me where a well is physically located?
You can view the well of record file through the Department’s Imaged Record portal. Some wells of record have site plans in the file that may show where the well is physically located on the property. The well of record file may also contain the Well Driller’s Log and Report. If the latitude and longitude are included (not required), you can pinpoint the exact site or near the site of the well located on the parcel. In order to use the method, you need to have the Well Registration Number:
Link to Imaged Records:
How do I get information about the well?
All wells of record can be viewed on the Department Imaged Records Portal or on the Department’s Well Registry Web Application.
Imaged Records Link:
Well Registry Web Application:
Why is the shared well agreement / production rate / other information not in the well file?
The Department’s well data and well of record is customer based. The information available is what the customer has provided to the Department.
How many people are allowed to be on a shared well?
A shared well agreement is a civil matter between the private parties agreeing to share the well. The Department does not regulate shared well agreements and cannot advise you on them. Therefore, the Department has no regulations pertaining to how many people can share a well. However, if a well has 15 service connections, it may constitute a community water system. For information about community water systems, please click here: https://new.azwater.gov/cws. For more information about our shared well policy, please click here: http://infoshare.azwater.gov/docushare/dsweb/Get/WellRegDoc-372014/Shared%20Well%20Policy.pdf .