dsc_0056Water Sustainability Act Regulations

At the end of February 2016, the B.C. Government released new regulations under the Water Sustainability Act that require all non-domestic groundwater wells in B.C. to be licensed.  The government has taken on licensing groundwater to clarify how much groundwater has been allocated, provide more information to better assess the availability of groundwater in B.C., and to reduce conflict over water during times of scarcity by establishing priority based on first use.

There is a one-time license fee and a yearly rental fee (function of the quantity and use of the water) for each well that is licensed.  The license fee will be waived if the application is filed before the end of December 2017.  Ensuring that the applications are filed by December of 2017 could potentially save thousands of dollars, as licensing fees are typically between $1,000 and $5,000.  A three-year transition period has also been established for all wells to be licensed and assigned a priority date based on first use.  If a well is not licensed within this transitional period, the priority date will be the date of application.

Technical Support for Groundwater License Applications

As GW Solutions specializes in groundwater, we would be able to guide you in identifying (and compiling) the necessary documentation, required by the government, to license any well.  We have designed a spreadsheet that allows us to input all of the necessary information you need in order to fill out the online application.  The level of effort required would depend on the complexity of the water system (i.e. number of wells, types of use etc.) and the age of the well(s).  We would be happy to provide you with a step-by-step process to ensure that you will meet all the necessary requirements needed for a successful application.

Reasons to act rapidly:

  1. The license fee will be waived if the application is filed before the end of February 2017 (during the first year of implementation of the new law).
  1. New regulations are expected that will detail the studies required, how wells impact neighbours, and nearby streams.  Presently, requirements are quite simple; however, it will become more complex and more expensive in the next few years.

Expert Advantage

The process of compiling the necessary information for a groundwater license is not a simple task.  Numerous documents, maps and technical information are required that may not be readily available.  Our team of experts has the knowledge and available tools to compile all of the necessary data to help the licensing process go smoothly. Following licensing, annual fees will be based upon actual water usage that will need to be monitored.  GW Solutions has valuable experience helping clients establish monitoring programs to assess water usage and groundwater levels to optimize well usage.

The GW Solutions team consists of eight hydrogeologists and engineers (2 PhDs, 6 MScs/MA) with a combined skill set that covers the technical, software, educational, regulatory, and field-related aspects of hydrogeology.  We use the most advanced tools and knowledge to ensure our work meets the highest standards in our field.  Our knowledge, expertise, and experience will make the process of filing your groundwater license application much easier and increase the chances of having it approved without delay.  Call (250)756-4538 or email kmaycher@gwsolutions.ca for more information.