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If you divert and use groundwater for non-domestic purposes, you must now obtain a water licence and pay water fees and rentals. This change came into force with the Water Sustainability Act (WSA) on February 29, 2016. If you submit your application on or before March 1, 2022, your one-time application fees will be waived. 

Groundwater licensing establishes equity between stream water and groundwater users, and provides additional benefits.

If you are a groundwater user, licensing clarifies how much water you can legally use, and increases the security of your access to that water. Licensing establishes rights to groundwater based on the same priority scheme that currently exists for surface water, and will help to reduce conflicts between water users in times of scarcity.

If you are a well owner and you use water for domestic purposes, you are exempt from licensing and paying provincial water fees and rentals.  However, domestic groundwater users are deemed to have rights to the water they use for domestic purposes. Domestic groundwater users are encouraged to register their well.  Registering your well creates a record of your water use and helps to ensure that your use is considered by the decision makers dealing with other licence applications.

More information can be found at the Province of BC's website www.gov.bc.ca