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Guide

Existing Use Groundwater Licence Application

Start your Existing Use Groundwater Licence Application

Overview

This application is to apply for a water licence under the Water Sustainability Act (WSA) for existing non-domestic groundwater use (water use that was occurring on or before February 29, 2016). A person who is using groundwater for a non-domestic purpose must apply on or before March 1, 2019 for an authorization to lawfully continue to divert and use the water from an aquifer. Groundwater that is used for domestic purposes is exempt from licensing and paying provincial water fees and rentals. Domestic purpose, as defined in the WSA, includes providing for household needs, lawn and garden watering, and providing water for domestic animals and livestock.

Aquifer and groundwater are defined terms in the WSA. An aquifer means a geological formation containing, or capable of containing, groundwater. Groundwater is defined as water naturally occurring below the surface of the ground.

A water licence specifies the water source, the water use purpose, the maximum quantity of water that may be used, and the works associated with the water use, as well as where the water can be used. Water use may be restricted to certain times of the year.

You can apply to use water for more than one water use purpose on your application. Read the list of all Water Policies to see which one(s) you should apply for.

If your existing well or related works occupy Crown land you will be required to provide proof that an authorization for that use of Crown land has been granted, or an application for an authorization to use Crown land has been made. Authorization can be in the form of a Permit Over Crown Land, or a more formal tenure under the Land Act. Tenure under the Land Act is normally required for larger projects such as waterpower or waterworks. If you require a Crown Land authorization, but do not already have one, you will be prompted to apply for a permit or tenure as part of the water licence application process.