Water Allocation Restrictions

A water allocation restriction is a water management tool.

Ministry of Forests, Lands, Natural Resource Operations and Rural Development (FLNRORD) staff may put a water allocation restriction on a stream or an aquifer to alert other staff to current or potential water allocation concerns, ranging from a possible water shortage to fully recorded with limitations on further licensing.

Water may not be available for licensing or short term use in some parts of the province, and the presence of a restriction can be an indicator. Restrictions on streams may indicate groundwater availability for licensing when the aquifer is hydraulically connected. For reference, water allocation restrictions are on iMapBC or by downloading a copy of the Registered Water Allocation Restrictions (PDF)

Local knowledge is also an important source of information on water availability as iMapBC may not have a complete picture of water availability issues. 

In areas with restrictions or water availability issues (e.g., low stream flows, drought), potential groundwater users who are considering drilling a new well for non-domestic use are recommended to call FrontCounter BC to talk to FLNR Water Authorization staff and/or Regional Hydrogeologist before drilling. Having an understanding of water availability before drilling, e.g., professional assessment report, reduces the risk of drilling a well that cannot be authorized for non-domestic use.