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March 1, 2022 application deadline for groundwater use in BC is fast approaching

Environmental Images provided by Vernon staff. Fernie Water Supply. Water Sustainability Act (WSA).

Did you know that the deadline to apply for a groundwater use licence to comply with the BC Water Sustainability Act is March 1, 2022

If your business was operating before March 1, 2016, you will now require an existing-use groundwater licence to retain your water-use rights.

If you run a commercial or industrial operation, or a home business that relies on a private groundwater supply, you need to obtain a groundwater-use licence. A licence is required for farms, orchards, vineyards, nurseries, ranches, and golf courses. 

If you don’t apply for your existing water-use licence before March 1st, 2022, you will forfeit your historic right and seniority to use that groundwater. Continued water use will be unlawful, and you may be subject to fines and penalties. To legally use groundwater after this date, you will need to apply as a “new user”, and temporarily shut down your water use while your application is being reviewed. Approvals can take multiple years to process. 

As a new user, your application can be refused. If this happens, your water use will be permanently shut down. 

With decades of expertise in water quality and hydrogeology and experience with the BC Water Sustainability Act licence application process, our team is available to immediately support you to help understand the Water Sustainability Act’s regulations and the process of applying for your groundwater-use licence before the upcoming deadline. 

We’re here to help! Contact Marta Green at 250-545-3672 or greenm@ae.ca. 

More information is available at www.ae.ca/wsa.

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