Water Sustainability Act Modernization - Agriculture and Industry

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Water Sustainability Act Modernization

HCBC Staff
Created: April 12, 2016

As of February 29, 2016 the Water Sustainability Act both updates and replaces the old Water Act to help ensure water stays healthy and secure for future generations. The new Act allows government to manage surface water and groundwater as one resource.

The BCAC Water Sustainability Committee continues engaging with the Province to ensure B.C.'s new Water Sustainability Act (WSA) works for B.C. farmers and ranchers.
As of February 29, 2016 the Water Sustainability Act both updates and replaces the old Water Act to help ensure water stays healthy and secure for future generations. The new Act allows government to manage surface water and groundwater as one resource. It provides water users with greater certainty regarding their water rights and establishes clear rules about managing water during times of scarcity. For a complete resource on the Act, the new regulations and how it might affect you, visit engage.gov.bc.ca.
What does this mean for Farmers?
Users of groundwater will now require a water license and pay water fees and rentals. The exception is individual household wells throughout the province will not be licensed or charged a fee. The new fee and rental rates will only recover the costs of implementing the new Water Sustainability Act, including groundwater regulation. Existing groundwater users will have a three-year window to apply for a license. Licenses will also be required for any newly constructed wells from 2016 onward, with the exception of wells used only for domestic purposes. Existing well owners that apply for a license in the first year will be exempted from application fees. Applications received from January 2017 and onward will need to pay the additional application fee.
Learn more:
<a href='For information on the new groundwater licensing process, including the application itself, the new fee and rental schedule and an online calculator to help you estimate your usage requirements, visit http://www.frontcounterbc.ca/Start/water/ or phone 1-877-855-3222.' target='_blank'>For information on the new groundwater licensing process, including the application itself, the new fee and rental schedule and an online calculator to help you estimate your usage requirements, visit http://www.frontcounterbc.ca/Start/water/ or phone 1-877-855-3222.</a>

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