Water license deadline

March 1, 2019 is the deadline for non-domestic groundwater licensing

Do you use groundwater for non-domestic purposes (that is for commercial uses, such as agriculture or multi-family housing operations)?

Have you applied to the Province for your licence yet? If not, you have until March 1, 2019.

Groundwater licensing is a provincial requirement under the Water Sustainability Act and all existing non-domestic groundwater users must apply for their licence by the deadline.

If you use groundwater for non-domestic purposes and do not apply by the deadline, you will lose your “date of first use priority” under the First in Time, First in Right (FITFIR) allocation system and will be operating unlawfully. Users applying after the deadline will have their date of priority set to the date of application.

Within the Islands Trust Area, there is concern that the majority of non-domestic, groundwater users have yet to apply for their licence and are at risk of losing their rights. 

According to the province, “Groundwater licensing gives BC’s businesses greater security by providing legal protection to your right to use the water for beneficial purposes. Licensing establishes your right, and provides fairness and clear rules for managing conflicts between water users during times of water scarcity. Licensing provides government with the information it needs to ensure our common resource is managed sustainably.”

For more information and to start your groundwater licence application, please head to the FrontCounter BC website.

Note that domestic use of groundwater is exempt from the need for a licence.

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