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Guide

Existing Use Groundwater Licence Application

Start your Existing Use Groundwater Licence Application

What you need to apply

To complete the application, you need the following:

What you should know before starting your application

Applications for water authorizations are made through FrontCounter BC's online application system. The online system requests standard information such as your name and contact information, the name of the water source(s), the water use purpose(s) and the duration of water use, etc. However, additional information and documents are also required and the list below outlines those that typically require research before being able to submit your application.

The application form itself changes depending on how you answer the questions, therefore each application will be unique. Due to this interactive approach, creating a BCeID and working through the application is the most effective way to determine what specific information you will need to apply for your circumstance. The BCeID will allow you to save your progress and return to the application to add new information. Having this ability is vital if you have co-applicants, as the system will generate a consent form that must be signed by each co-applicant. You will be required to save the application and return to it later when the consent from each co-applicant is received. Apply for your BCeID here.

Information requested in the Online System

  • The purpose(s) for which the water is used and the quantity of water that is being diverted or stored for each water use purpose. To find descriptions of water use purposes, Click Here. If the water is used for agricultural purposes, use the BC Agriculture Water Calculator to estimate your crop irrigation or livestock water needs.
  • The name of the owner(s) of any land not owned by the applicant.
  • Legal land description and land tenure for all lands on which you are using the water, the lands where your well(s) and other works are located, and any land that is physically affected by the works (legal description, PID, or description if the land is unsurveyed).
  • Location (latitude and longitude in Decimal Degree format) of the well(s) or other points of diversion and, if applicable, the storage reservoir.
  • Details of the well(s) and other works (e.g. pumps, pipelines, irrigation system, reservoir) including well depth and well identification plate number or well tag number, if available.

Documents to provide

  • A letter of agency authorizing someone else to apply on your behalf, when applicable.
  • The applicant's title to or interest in the land where the water will be used. For example, a Certificate of Title or copy of a privately held land lease.
  • A copy of any permit, tenure or other authorization to use Crown land that is relevant to the locations of the water diversion and use, or proof that an application for the appropriate Crown land authorization has been made. 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.
  • Information relating to the history of groundwater use from the well. To receive a licence date of precedence that is based on when groundwater use began, an applicant must describe the history of groundwater use, to the best of their knowledge, and provide evidence of the date of first use. Evidence can consist of documentation about the well, as detailed above, and information such as government-issued certificates or permits (e.g., Crown land occupancy permit), historical records or photographs, Traditional Land Use or archeological studies.
  • A map or drawing that meets the requirements outlined in the Application Drawing Standards
  • If you share or are connected to another person's works, it is recommended that a Joint Works Agreement-outlining each party's role and responsibilities-be completed.
  • It is recommended that you provide a topographical map showing the general location of the property where the water is proposed to be used and the works constructed. This map should show the property's location relative to nearby communities, highways, railways and other water sources.
  • If you have a Registered Survey Plan for any parcel of land where the water is intended to be used, we recommend that you provide a copy of it in your application.
  • A detailed list of information requirements can be found in the Water Sustainability Regulation.
  • Groundwater extraction projects with a design capacity of 75 litres per second or greater may require an Environmental Assessment Certificate (EAC) or a certificate exemption. More information is available online or by contacting the EAO