NC Division of Water Resources

Central Coastal Plain Capacity Use Area (CCPCUA) Water Withdrawal Permit

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Water Level Recovery Maps

Click on each image to see the recovery movie. These maps show contoured water level recovery in the Upper Cape Fear (left) and Black Creek (right) aquifers between November 2007 and November 2020 (5 foot contour interval). Each graphic is a link to a movie showing the recovery process every year. For reference, a series of annual potentiometric surface maps are available for both of these aquifers and others.

Groundwater levels have shown improvements after the Neuse Regional Water and Sewer Authority start-up in Fall 2008.  More recent changes near Jacksonville, Onslow County and Cove City, Craven County are associated with use of their new Castle Hayne aquifer well fields starting in 2010 by Jacksonville and New Bern, respectively. All alternative water supplies help to improve the overuse problem.



The Environmental Management Commission has designated the 15 highlighted counties shown on the map to the left as the Central Coastal Plain Capacity Use Area and approved the CCPCUA rules which create a groundwater use permitting process.  The CCPCUA rules became effective August 1, 2002.

2019 CCPCUA Status Report

The 2019 CCPCUA Status Report, as required by 15A NCAC 02E .0506 of the CCPCUA rules, was presented to the North Carolina Environmental Management Commission (EMC), Water Allocation Committee on September 11, 2019. The status report (4.8 mb pdf) is now available with this link or from the Miscellaneous menu option.

CCPCUA Rule Re-adoption

Pursuant to G.S. 150B-21.3A, the Division is requesting public comment on the seven rules in 15A NCAC 02E section .0500 before the proposed rule language is presented to the EMC Water Allocation Committee. The rules and DWR's proposed changes are made available in this linked document. For your comments to be considered during this initial stage of rule re-adoption they must be emailed or mailed to us before September 20, 2019. Comments should reference the line and page numbers in the document if possible.

Background Information

  • The most recent CCPCUA fact sheet is available here.
  • Check out the groundwater strategy for the CCP (1998-2000).
  • The CCP Capacity Use Investigation Report of November 1998 is available as a pdf file.
  • The CCPCUA rules were initially approved by the Environmental Management Commission (EMC) at their December 14, 2000 meeting.  The November 2000 Hearing Officers' Report includes the December 14, 2000 rules.  The CCPCUA rules were on the agenda for the Rules Review Commission (RRC) February 28, 2001 meeting where all rules were approved except 15A NCAC .0502.
  • The EMC approved this revised version of the CCPCUA rules on April 12, 2001 (with highlighted revisions from the December 2000 version).  On April 19, 2001 the RRC approved revisions to .0502 made by the EMC, but after hearing objections to the rules from a representative of the NC Aggregates Association, they raised one new objection to ambiguous language in .0502(k).
  • The EMC approved this revised version of the CCPCUA rules on May 10, 2001 (with highlighted revisions from the April 2001 version).  This latest version was approved by the RRC on May 17, 2001.
  • These are the Approved CCPCUA Rules and associated map.
  • Rules became effective August 1, 2002.

    Here is an interesting quote and information we have on land subsidence.

Permit Application and Reporting Forms

Permit applications are due for groundwater users of more than 100,000 gallons per day. On-line application is available.

Before a permit is issued or denied, quarterly reporting of daily water use and monthly water levels must start with the quarter ending in September 2002.  Reports are due by 30 days after the end of each quarter.  Under permit, monthly reporting will usually be required.  On-line reporting is available.

10,000 GPD Water Use Registration Form

Annual registration and withdrawal reporting forms are due for both surface and groundwater users of more than 10,000 gallons per day.  Agricultural users have three options for registration and reporting as explained in the response to #13 of the FAQ.  On-line reporting is available.

The CCPCUA Rules and Water Use Act

Central Coastal Plain Capacity Use Area Public Notices

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Miscellaneous Information

Query the Capacity Use Area Databases

These databases are "works-in-progress" and are made available to the general public after best efforts to screen out errors -- but we may have missed a few.  We encourage everyone who uses this data to help us check for mistakes or omissions.