202-3002 32nd Ave, Vernon BC Canada V1T 2L7 info@certifiedorganic.bc.ca

Office Address

123/A, Miranda City Likaoli Prikano, Dope

Phone Number

+0989 7876 9865 9

+(090) 8765 86543 85

Email Address



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.

The provincial government estimated there should be approximately 8,000 applications for historical groundwater that was in use prior to February 29, 2016 (that needed to be licensed for agriculture). The deadline to apply for Existing Use Groundwater is now less than 6 months away—March 1, 2022—but currently, only 1/3 of the expected agricultural applications have been submitted.

Irrigated agriculture is responsible for 80% of our province’s farm cash reciepts, and from the provincial government’s Land Use Inventory, it’s estimated that 35% of our province’s irrigation is from groundwater.  

If producers apply before the application deadline of March 1, 2022:

  • Application fee waived ($250 minimum)
  • Secure historic rights – First In Time First In Right (FITFIR)
  • Less scrutiny on application as historical use is recognized

If producers wait and apply after the deadline:

  • A new ground water licence application will be required with stricter requirements, e.g., a hydrological impact assessment conducted by a qualified professional
  • Ground water use will not be allowed until the license is approved (this has always been the case for surface water)
  • The date of precedence will be the day they apply (no historical recognition)
  • If they are in a drought prone area, there is a very high chance that a new water licence will not be approved (even if they have used the water before WSA was enacted)

If you haven’t yet applied, you can do so online. Learn more here.