Water Utilities Information Bulletins

Find the information you need to own and operate your private water utility.

Transferring a Water System

Utility owners may sell or transfer water systems to another individual or company, a society, municipality, regional district or an improvement district. Normally the transfer of a water system is generated by the owner who no longer wants to operate it. Occasionally, due to poor service quality and/or deterioration of the water system, system users approach the utility owner either to have the assets transferred to some form of public authority or to acquire it themselves-by way of a transfer to a corporation or society that they have formed.

Reserve Funds

From time to time the Comptroller of Water Rights orders the establishment of trust funds for specific purposes. No distributions may be made from trust funds without authority of the Comptroller, except for interest earned on Maintenance Reserve Trust Funds and Revenue Deficit Trust Funds.

Trust Fund Investments

Approved vehicles for investing trust fund monies include:

  • Cash deposited in a savings account within the province, with either a Canadian chartered bank or a trust company, or a federal loan company, or a credit union authorized to carry on business in the province
  • Term deposits or Guaranteed Investment Certificates (GICs) held within the province and issued by either a Canadian chartered bank or a trust company, or a federal loan company, or a credit union authorized to carry on business in the province, provided such term deposits or GICs do not exceed one year
  • Securities of the Government of Canada or the Government of any province of Canada
  • Securities, the payment of the principal and interest of which is guaranteed by the Government of Canada of the Government of any province of Canada 
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Forming a Society

A society is usually formed by property owners to acquire a water system when no local government options are available. This occurs when the original owner/developer no longer wishes to operate the utility. Local public service agencies are normally formed to acquire water systems and provide service. Local service areas of regional districts are the preferred form of organization. However, sometimes formation of a society is the only option available, such as when the number of customers is too small or the regional district is unwilling to form a local service area. 

Public Hearing Process

The purpose of a hearing is to obtain the evidence and argument necessary for the Comptroller of Water Rights to make a decision and to give interested parties fair opportunity to make submissions. Hearings are held most often on applications for rate increases. The two main types of hearings conducted by the Comptroller are oral and written. The oral hearing process usually involves wide public participation.  Written hearings are usually conducted when a specific issue involves a few interested parties.

Making an Inquiry/Complaint about a Private Utility

A utility’s water tariff sets out the terms and conditions of service including the prescribed rates.

A customer can arrange to view a utility’s water tariff by contacting the utility’s designated office during normal business hours.