Groundwater wells and aquifers
Groundwater provides drinking water to one quarter of B.C. residents and accounts for 9% of the total water consumption in the province. Groundwater also discharges to streams in many areas of B.C. and it can comprise a component of stream flow that is critical for the survival of fish populations during low flow periods.
Groundwater wells provide industry, municipalities, farms and homeowners with access to water stored underground in aquifers. Groundwater wells must be constructed and maintained so that the water supply is safe from pollution, and wasted water is minimized.
- Non-domestic groundwater use, such as irrigation, commercial or industrial use, requires a water licence. Learn more about non-domestic groundwater licensing.
- Domestic groundwater use does not require a water licence, but you are strongly encouraged to register your well for free. Learn more about registering your domestic use well.
- What you need to know if you are a property owner, well driller and well pump installer.
To effectively manage groundwater use and the impacts of land development on groundwater availability and quality, it is essential to understand the existence and characteristics of B.C.’s aquifers.