B.C. Water Sustainability Act regulations amended

VICTORIA – Minor amendments are being made to two regulations under the Water Sustainability Act to support existing groundwater users and clarify requirements for authorizing water use.

Government has extended the groundwater licence application fee waiver period from Dec. 31, 2017, to March 1, 2019, to ensure existing groundwater users have every opportunity to save money. The extended date also aligns with the March 1, 2019, deadline for existing groundwater users to apply for a licence.

Licensing gives groundwater users greater security by establishing a water right that will be protected. Additional amendments allow mineral exploration and small-scale placer mining activities to continue to use water, subject to requirements to protect fish, aquatic ecosystems and the rights of other water users.

Changes also clarify the authority to remove groundwater seepage from a mine site to reduce risks to worker safety and mine infrastructure, while protecting the environment. An administrative amendment is included. It corrects an inconsistency in the fee schedule of the Water Sustainability Fees, Rentals and Charges Tariff Regulation.