Does your business use groundwater from a well or dugout? Secure your water rights today!
Non-domestic groundwater users are now required by law to obtain a water license. Existing users who started using groundwater from a well or dugout before March 1, 2016 have until March 1, 2022 to apply to secure continued groundwater rights.
While most understand that agricultural users are subject to these new rules, it’s important to note that many non-agricultural businesses are also affected. Commercial and industrial users, home-based businesses, tourism businesses, golf courses, stratas, greenhouses and nurseries, gravel pits and sawmills are just a few examples of non-domestic groundwater users. To date, the Province has noted that applications received from these user groups appear to be underrepresented, which will have consequences on water security for businesses and livelihoods that depend on groundwater resources.
If you apply by the March 1 deadline, then the date that you first started using the water will be considered your priority date. This gives your water use precedence over newer users. After March 1, all applicants will be considered new users with no priority status, and your application could be refused if there is not enough water. The government is also waiving the application fee for existing users who apply by the deadline.
Applications are being accepted online through the FrontCounter BC website. You will need a basic BCeID and information on your property, wells, and water usage. Click the button below to learn more about the requirements.
If you need help or are unsure if your business is affected, FrontCounter BC is here to help. Call 1-877-855-3222 or email FrontCounterBC@gov.bc.ca.