What About the Water

If you are considering buying acreage, your real estate agent will probably supply you with basic information about the soil quality, zoning and property boundaries. Whether you intend to build a vacation home or a working horse ranch, you’ll also need to know about the water quality and quantity.

If the land is not in an area where water is supplied and tested by a municipal water system, you will need to drill a well for drinking water even if the land has surface sources that provide water for irrigation. Instead of paying monthly water bills, you’ll be investing a substantial sum to drill the well and maintain it over time. Contact the county water department to determine how many gallons per minute you and your family (or agricultural business) will require. Talk to the neighbors to find out how long it actually takes to obtain permits to drill for water in that area, and get estimates from local companies on drilling costs.

With a little detective work and help from your agent you can discover any local problems with contamination of the water supply due to toxic substances. Surface waters such as streams, ponds or lakes may be considered public property, and may require you to obtain a water use permit from the state in order to dam a creek or pump water from a supply that sits on your land.