Al Swan - Realtor/Broker

  • (530) 524-5554
  • CA DRE # 00859047
  • Northstate REP

Water Wells - General Information

One of the basic considerations when purchasing land in California is making sure you will have a source of drinking water. One common source is a private water well. It is estimated that there are between one and two million wells in California.

In California, landowners have a right to use groundwater beneath their parcel. There is not a permit required to use the water; however it is subject to the "reasonable and beneficial use" clause. See "Water Rights" for more info. 

There are several advantages of having your own well. Often, a well provides a high quality of water. Wells continually recharge themselves and provide a constant supply of water. You have control of your water quality, and they are usually less expensive than other water options. If you decide to consider having a water well, the first step is to contact a local, reputable drilling contractor. Make sure the contractor is licensed through the state and certified through the National Ground Water Association. A contractor can best advise you as to what is involved, from drilling, to owning and using a well. Also, be aware that many counties and municipalities require a permit to drill a well. Generally, the cost to drill a domestic well will range from $8K to $12K. This cost should include everything, including permits, to be able to obtain water at the well. Of course, a larger well, such as a Agricultural Well, will cost more.

For some great information regarding wells, see the following web sites: