Water Policies

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 WSA and associated regulations. New policies are also under development.

Water Allocation

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.

Environmental Flow Needs (EFN)

The page linked below provides guidance for decision makers in assessing risk to environmental flow needs when reviewing new water authorizations.

  • Environmental Flow Needs webpage
    • As of April 1, 2023 a new interim EFN guidance and an interim EFN Tool User's Guide are available for the Blueberry River, Upper Beatton River, and Lower Sikanni Chief watershed management basins.

Mitigation Measures

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

Public safety policies guide the construction and maintenance of dams and flood hazard management through the construction of new dikes.