The government of BC issued a reminder on Saturday that users of groundwater from wells or dugouts for commercial purposes must register by March 1, 2022 to maintain access rights.

Photo credit: Glass Of Water by Sue Thompson via Flickr (CC BY SA, 2.0 License)

A primer called Licensing Groundwater in B.C. answers exactly how and why to proceed through the registration. It outlines three types of possible registration of groundwater use:

  • Domestic – registration is optional but encouraged, and free of charge
  • New commercial – use began on or after March 1, 2016 and a license is obligatory
  • Existing commercial – use began on or before February 29, 2016 and a license is obligatory

The Water Sustainability Act (WSA), which came into effect on February 29, 2016, seeks to establish equity in use and fees levied on commercial use of both surface water and groundwater. The first six years were designated as a transition period culminating next spring, and according to Partnership for Water Sustainability in British Columbia, a mere 1 in 5 small business owners and farmers who rely on groundwater have applied for a licence.”

CKTZ News spoke with Red Williams Well Drilling Ltd. for an industry perspective on the origin of the WSA legislation and how it benefits groundwater users.

Top photo credit: If BC residents using groundwater from wells or dugouts for commercial purposes register by next spring’s deadline, they will benefit from a waived application fee. Otherwise a one-time payment, stated as a minimum of $250, will apply.Photo by Luis Tosta on Unsplash

This program was funded by a grant from the Community Radio Fund of Canada and the Government of Canada’s Local Journalism