Policies have been developed under the previous Water Act and under the current Water Sustainability Act (WSA), and informed by other provincial legislation, to help guide the management of B.C.'s water resource.
The existing policies listed below continue to be updated to align with the new Water Sustainability Act and associated regulations. New policies are also under development.
Policies guiding water allocation specify how and when to issue water licences and approvals, how the water may be used, and when a licence or approval may be refused or amended.
- Amendment of unused water licences (PDF, 1.2MB)
- Application Drawing Standards (PDF, 2MB)
- Apportioning of Water Rights for Applicants (PDF, 2.3MB)
- Authorizing requirements for locating works or flooding Crown land (PDF, 1.2MB)
- Authorization requirements for storage and use of water in dugouts (August 2017) (PDF, 0.5MB)
- Beneficial use declaration (PDF, 2MB)
- Environmental Assessment Certificate Requirements for Groundwater Users (PDF, 0.5MB)
- Fee refunds for applications (PDF, 1.2MB)
- Final Licences Policy for Applicants (PDF, 1.6MB)
- Information on Completing a Joint Works Agreement (PDF, 0.3MB)
- Letter providing preliminary authorization of water use (PDF, 0.7MB)
- Guidance on implementing section 52 (6) WSA - Managing flowing artesian wells in exceptional circumstances (PDF, 1.6MB)
- Occupation of Crown land related to flooding and works (PDF, 0.2MB)
- Refusal of applications on over-subscribed sources (PDF, 1.2MB)
- Rights and Obligations of a Water Authorization Holder (PDF, 0.1MB)
- Terms and Conditions for Construction and Maintenance of Licensed Works (PDF, 0.2MB)
- Transfer of Appurtenancy Applications (PDF, 1 MB)
- Use of water allocation plans (PDF, 1.2MB)
- Water Authorization Application Assessment and Processing Guide (PDF, 3.9MB)
- Water Use in Mineral Exploration and Placer Mining under the WSA - Interim (PDF, 0.4MB)
- Water Use Purpose Definitions (PDF, 0.2MB)
- When to conduct a site inspection (PDF, 1.2MB)
Environmental Flow Needs (EFN)
This policy guides decision makers in assessing risk to environmental flow needs when reviewing new water authorizations.
The Policy for Mitigating Impacts on Environmental Values was finalized in 2014. This policy guides decisions about when mitigation measures are required, and which measures will be sufficient.
Public safety policies guide the construction and maintenance of dams and flood hazard management through the construction of new dikes.
- Dam safety audit program (PDF, 1.2MB)
- Dam safety compliance and enforcement policy (PDF, 0.1MB)
- Dam safety strategy and procedures for compliance and enforcement (PDF, 0.7MB)
- Diking authorities for new dikes (PDF, 0.7MB)