Instructions for Completing Form GW-1

Required Documents and Fees

To receive a Groundwater Protection Determination (Form GW-2), submit the following documents to the Groundwater Advisory Unit:

  1. A Groundwater Protection Determination Request Form (Form GW-1)

o    Online filing is the preferred method (RRC Online System located at:

- Google Chrome 37.0+ is recommended. Other browsers cause known technical issues.
- JavaScript must be enabled.
- Pop-up blocking software must be disabled.

o    Or you may email or mail the completed Interactive PDF, located here PDF file

  1. A scaled map showing the well location and the surrounding survey lines;

  2. A copy of the electric log that goes to surface, for plugging, re-entering an existing well, or converting to a water well (Form-P13Application of Landowner to Condition an Abandoned Well for Fresh Water Production) PDF file, or filing for an injection well. An electric log (offset is okay) is required for injection well applications (H1s and W-14s)

  3. For injection wells, Form H1-A (injection into productive-zone) or Form W-14 (Injection into non-productive zone)

  4. Application fee (Expedited fee is optional)

o    $250 non-expedited

o    $437.50 expedited

Interactive PDF of Form GW-1

This form is an interactive PDF that can be opened with Adobe® Reader® or Adobe® Acrobat®. The Commission is currently using Adobe® Acrobat®, Version 9. Different versions of these applications allow the user to perform various functions:

  • Adobe® Reader®, Version 9 or later, is the preferred version which allows the form to be completed and printed or saved with the input data.

  • Versions of Adobe® Reader® earlier than Version 7 are not recommended as they do not allow the form to be saved with the input data.

  • Adobe® Acrobat®, Version 6 as well as earlier versions allow the form to be saved with the input data. However, the saved data may not always transmit correctly when opened by the Groundwater Advisory Unit staff (e.g., county name).

The interactive PDF is located here PDF file.


If you decide not to use the online application system, you may email the Form GW-1 and other required documents to:

When emailing an application, we advise you pay over the phone by contacting the Commission's Public Sales section at 512-463-6882. Please make the payment prior to emailing the application and attach the receipt to the emailed application.

Mailing address

Mailed applications may be paid for over the phone by contacting the Commission's Public Sales section at 512-463-6882, in which case you will mail the payment receipt with the application.

You may also mail the payment (check or money order). However, we advise against paying by mail as doing so will delay the application for over a week because the application will not be considered received until the payment is received. If you wish to mail your payment, we advise you mail your entire application with your payment (see mailing instructions below). Mailed payments must be accompanied by the Form-20468, located here PDF file

You may mail the Form GW-1, other required documents, the payment receipt (preferred), or payment (not preferred) to:

Regular U.S. Postal Address:

Groundwater Advisory Unit
Railroad Commission of Texas
PO Box 12967
Austin TX 78711-2967

Address for Overnight Delivery Services or Express Mail:

Groundwater Advisory Unit
Railroad Commission of Texas
1701 N. Congress
Austin TX 78701

Be advised that sending an application by mail will substantially increase the time it takes for a Groundwater letter to be issued (up to weeks) compared to the online application system.

Receiving the Recommendation Letter (Form GW-2)

The recommendation letter (Form GW-2) will be sent to the e-mail address identified on the Form GW-1. If you do not have an e-mail address, the recommendation letter will be sent to the fax number identified on the application. If you do not have a fax number, the recommendation letter will be sent via regular U.S. mail.

Form GW-1 Field Descriptions

Following are the descriptions for the field entries on Form GW-1:

  1. Name of Person Preparing this request

    • Name – The name of person preparing and submitting the form
    • Phone # - Phone number of person preparing and submitting the form. Include area code and phone number. If you are hand writing in the telephone number, use the example format, e.g., 512 123-4567.
    • Fax # - Fax number of person preparing and submitting the form. Include area code and phone number.  If you are hand writing in the telephone number, use the example format, e.g., 512 123-4567. If you do not have a fax number, leave this field blank.
    • E-mail – Please, provide an e-mail address for the recommendation letter to be sent. If you do not have an e-mail address, leave this field blank.
  2. Operator Information 

    • Operator Name – The name of company/organization (RRC registered operator name) requesting the SC letter.
    • Address 1 – Operator’s street address or P.O. Box
    • Address 2 – Second line of operator’s address if needed (e.g., Bldg D; Ste 101; Mail code 999)
    • City/State/Zip Code – City, state and zip code for operator’s address; In the “Zip Code” field, please include the zip + 4 (e.g., 12345-1234).
    • Operator ID – The six digit number (P-5 number) issued by the RRC, identifying the operator. For cathodic protection wells, operators that are not registered with the RRC must contact the Groundwater Advisory Unit for an ID number.
  3. Well information and physical location data 

    • County Name – From the drop-down menu, select the county in which the well is located.
    • Lease Name – Assigned name the operator or RRC has given the lease.
    • Well No. – Assigned well number
    • Areal Extent – You may apply for advisory letters that apply to a specified area rather than a single well location. However, area-wide recommendations are not available in all areas.  Requirements for an area-wide recommendation are that the surface topography is relatively flat, and the hydrogeologic units to be protected are relatively flat. Also, a large requested radius or area may increase the recommended depth of protection for your well in order to assure protection for wells drilled at higher elevation within the requested radius or area.
      • There are several types of these recommendations: Radius, Well Location, survey boundary (which includes the options of Section, Abstract, League, Labor, Porcion, Share, Tract, Block, and Lot) and Lease boundary. The Radius recommendation applies to any well within the stated radius (e.g. 400 feet) centered on the well location given in the application. The Well Location recommendation applies only to the well location given in the application, though is generally good for a radius of 200 feet, excluding salt domes. A recommendation given for an entire survey boundary (for example, a Section) applies to all wells in that survey boundary (for example, all wells in the Section specified in the application). The Lease recommendation applies to all wells in the same lease. Lease requests must have the lease lines drawn on the attached map/plat.
    • Survey Name – Assigned name of the surveyed property in which the well is located; Enter name as it is recorded with the Texas General Land Office (e.g., H & T C RR; Smith, J; Smith and Jones).
    • Abstract No. – Assigned number as it is recorded with the Texas General Land Office for the surveyed property in which the well is located.Lease # - Assigned number the RRC has given the lease.
    • Block/Township/Range/Section/League/Labor/Porcion/Share/Tract/Lot No. - Depending upon where the well is located, additional legal descriptions for the surveyed property may apply. Please enter data that is applicable to the specific well location.
    • Distances, in feet, and direction, measured at right angles from the Survey Lines (NOT LEASE LINES) – From the drop-down menu, select one of the surveyed property lines used for the description of the well’s surface location. Directions from lease, unit, county lines, and surveyed property lines in adjoining counties are not acceptable.  Please enter the distance in feet and select the direction from the drop-down menu for each of the property lines.
    • API # - The American Petroleum Institute (API) number of the wellbore in which the well is located.  If the API number has been assigned to the well, include the 3-digit county code (FIPS #) and 5-digit well number with no dashes (e.g., 00199999).  If an API number has not been assigned, leave this field blank. The county code (FIPS #) can be found online here.
    • RRC Dist No. – From the drop-down menu, select the RRC district in which the well is located. The RRC district code for the county can be found online here.
  1. GPS or X-Y State Plane Coordinates 

    • For GPS coordinates, enter latitude (LAT) and longitude (LON) data in either Degrees/Minutes/Seconds; Degrees with decimal minutes, and no seconds; or Decimal degrees, no minutes, and no seconds format. Following are examples of each format:
      • For Degrees/Minutes/Seconds, enter the degrees into the “Deg” field; the minutes into the “Min” field; and the seconds, using at least 2 decimal places, into the “Sec” field (e.g., Lon <100> <30> <25.26>).
      • For Degrees with decimal minutes, no seconds, enter: the degrees in the “Deg” field; the minutes, using at least 4 decimal places, in the “Min” field; and no seconds in the “Sec” field (e.g., Lon <100> <30.0008>).
      • For Decimal degrees, enter the degrees followed by at least 4 decimal places in the “LAT (DD)” and “LONG (DD)” fields (e.g., <100.4756>).
      • Be sure to select the applicable Datum from the drop-down menu.
    • For X-Y State Plane coordinates, enter the values to the nearest foot for both measurements. Select the applicable State PlaneZone and State Plane Datum from the drop-down menus.
  2. Additional Data 

    • Elevation – topographic ground elevation at well location.
    • Total Depth – estimated drilling depth for the well.
    • Formation at TD – the geologic formation that is expected at total depth (TD) of the well.
    • Purpose of Request – From the drop down menu, select one of the following purposes: NPW (new production well), P&A (plugged and abandoned), RE (re-entry and/or deepen), H1 (injection into producing zone), H2 (brine mining facility), CP (cathodic protection), H15 (RRC form for well integrity test), P13 (RRC form for converting well to water well), MS (microseismics), W14 (injection into non-producing zone), and Other.
    • Other – If “Other” is selected as “Purpose of Request”, please specify which RRC form or reason a GW-2 letter is being requested.
    • Expedite (additional $187.50 fee) – Option for expediting the processing of the application. Select an option from drop down menu.
      • Reminder - Please attach the copy of the ePay voucher receipt to the e-mail submittal of your application if you pay by credit card or electronic fund transfer. If you request an expedited GW-2 letter by mail or hand delivery, please submit the payment with the Expedited Surface Casing Recommendation/Payment Submission Form (Form 20468 Transition Form) PDF file.
    • Previous SC-number or GAU number for this well – An SC number is the TCEQ file number, and a GAU number is the RRC file number given by the Groundwater Advisory Unit. If the current application is for a re-entry or a well with a previous recommendation, enter the file number (located in the top right-hand corner of the letter).
    • Remarks – Enter any additional information needed for application (e.g., requesting recommendation for entire lease, section, pad, specified radius, adding a CP well to the well location, etc.