Amend or Abandon a Water Licence

You may request to change or abandon all or part of your water licence at any time. Applications are made through FrontCounter BC.

Your application must be complete, including all signatures, amendment fees and associated payments, for staff to begin processing. A Water Manager with the Ministry of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations (FLNR) will review your application and notify you of the decision.

There is a fee for all amendments except abandoning a licence or giving notice of mortgage security.


Reasons to amend a water licence include

  • Change of works – change the works approved for your water licence
  • Change of purpose – change the purpose approved for your water licence
  • Extension of time – gain more time to begin or complete works, or to make beneficial use of the water
  • Apportionment – divide the rights and obligations of an existing water licence between multiple parcels of land, following the subdivision of land
  • Transfer of appurtenancy – transfer all or part of the water rights and obligations to a different parcel of land
  • Extension of term – change the length of the term of your water licence
  • Abandonment – abandon all or part of a water licence
  • Mortgage security – notify the Ministry that a mortgage exists on the land, mine or undertaking the water licence was issued for; or remove notice of a mortgage from the file.

General amendments

Licences may also be amended to correct errors, including but not limited to the following:

  • Amend the licence so that the land description on the licence matches the land description on your B.C. Certificate of Title, in the event that there is a discrepancy
  • Amend the licence to change the quantity of water you are authorized to divert and use, in the event that the water quantity was estimated incorrectly
  • Amend the licence to comply with the Water Sustainability Act, in the event that provisions of the licence were inconsistent with the Act.


When you abandon all or part of your water licence, you remain liable for any damage resulting from works constructed, operated or maintained at the site.

Notify of a Water Licence Name Change

Changing the name on a water licence is not considered an amendment but you must notify FrontCounter BC of the change.