Notice: As of April 1, 2023, new guidance is available for implementing an interim Environmental Flow Needs approach (PDF, 272KB) for the Blueberry River, Upper Beatton River and Lower Sikanni Chief watershed management basins. Learn more.
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.
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)
- Application of Water Allocation Notations to Water Authorizations (PDF, 3.6 MB)
- 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)
- Date of First Use: Self-signed statement template (PDF, 13 MB)
- Describing the Aquifer, Point of Groundwater Diversion and Point of Well Diversion in Authorizations for Diversion and Use of Groundwater (PDF, 0.6MB)
- 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)
- Interim Guidance on Water Use for Fire Prevention and Suppression (PDF, 0.6MB)
- 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, 0.5MB)
- 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 for Mineral Exploration and Placer Mining (PDF, 0.5MB)
- Water Use Purpose Definitions (PDF, 0.2MB)
- When to conduct a site inspection (PDF, 1.2MB)
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.
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)
- Inclusion of Minor Dams under the Dam Safety Regulation (PDF, 0.3 MB)