Water Licence - Amendment
Water Licence - Amendment
- Costs and Responsibilities
- What you need to apply
- What happens after you apply
- Tips for a successful application
This application allows you to request any of the following changes to your existing water licence:
- Change of works - apply to change the works previously approved under your water licence.
- Change of purpose - apply to change the water use purposes previously approved under your water licence.
- Extension of time for the construction of works or to make beneficial use of the water - apply for more time for the construction of works or to make beneficial use of water under your water licence.
- Apportionment - apply to apportion or divide the rights and obligations of a water licence between multiple parcels of land when the land to which the licence was appurtenant has been subdivided. To apply for apportionment, you need a BCeID.
- Partial Abandonment - Request to partially abandon your rights and obligations under an existing water licence.
- Transfer of appurtenancy - apply to transfer all or part of the rights and obligations under a water licence to a different appurtenancy (i.e., parcel of land or another mine or undertaking).
- Extension of term - apply to extend the term of the water licence.
- Mortgage security - Notify the Comptroller of Water Rights or Regional Water Manager of the existence of a mortgage on the land, mine or undertaking to which a water licence is appurtenant; or request that a notice of mortgage security be removed from the file.
It is possible to apply for more than one change through one amendment application.
Costs and Responsibilities
For the following amendments fees are charged at the time of application:
- Change of works
- Change of purpose
- Extension of time for the construction of works or to make beneficial use of the water
- Extension of term
If applicable, payment of the application fee is required at the time of submission of your application. Fees can be paid online at the time of application, or at a FrontCounter BC location. See Payment Guidelines for more information.
For the following amendments fees are charged to each recipient of a water licence upon issuance:
- Transfer of appurtenancy
For the following changes no fees are charged:
- Mortgage Security - To apply or remove notice from a water licence
- Partial Abandonment
Application fees are not required from:
- Provincial or Federal Ministries
- First Nations using water on reserve land
- Nisga'a citizen or entities applying to use water from the Nisga'a Water Reservation
- Amendments that are processed by the BC Oil and Gas Commission
Exemption for use of water on Treaty lands is also possible. Individual Treaty Agreements will be referenced when determining exemptions.
The fees can be found in Schedule 1 of the Water Sustainability Fees, Rentals and Charges Tariff Regulation
What you need to apply
Information required to complete an application for all amendment types:
- The name and contact information of the applicant and the applicant's agent, if applicable. If there are co-applicants for the amendment, a BCeID is required in order to complete and submit the application. Obtain the BCeID before starting your amendment application as you will not be able to save your application without it.
- Your water licence number.
- Description of the changes you would like to make and the reasons for the changes.
For Partial Abandonment
- Describe the water use purpose and the water quantity that you would like to abandon.
- The reason why you would like to abandon your rights to that water quantity.
- If the mortgage was filed with the Comptroller of Water Rights or Regional Water Manager, then you will need to upload a digital copy of the Letter of Release.
- If there is a pending Sales Agreement for the land, upload a digital copy of the pending Sales Agreement.
- Purpose of authorized works and their current status (not constructed / partly constructed / fully constructed).
- Written approval of all parties who are on title for the appurtenant land, mine or undertaking. An approval form with the appropriate details will be generated for you by the online application system. Approval can be in writing by signing the form or electronically by e-mail.
For a change of water use purpose
- The proposed new water use purpose(s) and the quantity for each purpose. See Water Use Purposes for more information.
- The water use purpose(s) to be deleted from the licence, if any, and the associated quantities.
For a change of works authorized in a water licence
- A description of the authorized works, including any works that will be decommissioned, and their current status (not constructed / partly constructed / fully constructed).
- A description of any new works you would like to add to the licence and their current status (Not constructed / Partly constructed / Fully constructed).
- If new works are connected with another person's works, it is recommended that a Joint Works Agreement outlining each party's role and responsibilities be completed and included with the application.
- If the proposed works will be located on or affect land other than the land described in the water licence, provide a legal description of the land and, if the land is not owned by the applicant, the name of the landowner.
- Written approval from all landowners who are on the title of the appurtenant land, mine or undertaking (co-Applicants). An approval form with the appropriate details will be generated for you by the online application system. Approval can be given in writing by signing the form or electronically by e-mail.
- If new works affect another person's land it is advisable that you obtain the landowner's written consent. A Landowner Consent Form with the appropriate details will be generated for you by the online application system. Landowner consent can be obtained given in writing by signing the form or electronically by e-mail.
If you need to get permission or approval from third parties to complete your application, it is strongly recommended to get a BCeID. Getting a BCeID before you start your online application allows you to save and return to your application as needed.
- If the proposed works will occupy Crown land, a copy of any permit, tenure or other authorization to use Crown land, or proof that an application for the appropriate Crown land authorization must be made.
- A map or drawing that clearly shows all of the features listed below. The drawing must meet these Application Drawing Standards.
For an Extension of Time for the construction of works and/or to make beneficial use of the water
- Previously fixed end date for the construction of work or beneficial use of water.
- Purpose of authorized works and their current status (not constructed / partly constructed / fully constructed).
- If you have NOT made beneficial use of the water, a description on why you need more time.
- Written approval of all landowners who are on title for the appurtenant land, mine or undertaking. An approval form with the appropriate details will be generated for you by the online application system. Approval can be in writing, by signing the form or electronically by e-mail.
For an Apportionment
- The legal description of each parcel of land, and the quantity of water and water use purpose for each parcel.
- The names, addresses and phone numbers for each person to whom rights are to be appointed and their title to or interest in the parcel of land.
- A map or drawing that clearly shows all of the features listed below. The drawing must meet the minimum drawing standards. You can also refer to the Drawing Checklist, Sample Drawings, and Drawing Template.
- A completed and signed 'Requested Distribution of Rights Form'. This form is optional but submitting one might result in a faster processing. This form will be generated as you complete your online application.
You need a BCeID to complete the Apportionment application. It is strongly recommended to get the BCeID before you start the application if you do not have one to avoid the risk of losing your data.
The ability to scan a page and generate a PDF or image file is required for this application.
For a Transfer of Appurtenancy
- If you want to transfer only part of your licence, provide a description of the water use purpose and water quantity for the transferred portion.
- If the transfer involves dividing all or part of the rights under your licence between appurtenancies, provide details about which portions of rights are being transferred to which appurtenancies.
- Description of the land, mine or undertaking to which some or all of the rights under the licence are being transferred (legal description, PID, or description if the land is unsurveyed).
- Written approval of all landowners who are on title for the current licence appurtenancy, as well as for the new appurtenancy. An approval form with the appropriate details will be generated for you by the online application system. Approval can be given in writing by signing the form or electronically by e-mail.
- Details of the transferees' title or interest in the new appurtenancy.
- If any land, mine or undertaking related to the transfer of appurtenancy is mortgaged, the written consent of the mortgagee.
- Description about the effect of the transfer of appurtenancy on any works associated with the licence.
- A map or drawing that meets the requirements outlined in the Application Drawing Standards.
If any changes to the works are required, you will also have to fill out the 'Change of Works' section of the application.
For an Extension of Term
- New proposed end date of the licence term.
- Reason for requesting an extension in the licence term.
For Mortgage Security - To apply or remove notice from a water licence
- To file a notice, you need a digital copy of the mortgage agreement.
- To remove a notice, you need a digital copy of the Letter of Release from the mortgage holder.
What happens after you apply
Your application will go through the following process before a decision is reached and a new licence is issued for successful applications.
- Receiving the application
When Natural Resource applications are submitted, it is expected that they meet the posted application requirements for that application type, both in quality and completeness, so that the proposal is ready to move towards a decision in a timely manner. The application requirements can be found under the applicable water application authorization guidance.
Poor quality or incomplete applications can result in substantial delays and create significant workload impacts to ministry staff. In order to improve application turnaround times, applicants are required to provide missing information or respond to FrontCounter BC staff requests within 2 weeks.
If applicants are not able to meet the requested timeframe, they should inform the requesting staff member as early as possible. Applications not meeting application requirements within the requested timeframes may be rejected. The applicant may be entitled to a partial refund of the application fee, however, in many circumstances, no refund will be provided. For further information, please refer to the Fee Refunds Policy.
If the application is returned or not accepted, applicants can expect a detailed explanation of application deficiencies. If an application is rejected due to deficiencies, applicants may re apply at their convenience.
- Consultations & Referrals
Other government agencies, affected landowners, other licensees, community groups or other parties may be notified of your application and given the chance to respond. First Nations in the area may also be consulted if required.
Once FrontCounter BC receives all comments and objections from potentially affected parties, and any additional information provided by you, your application will undergo a technical review. During the technical review process, you may be asked to provide additional information or may be required to undertake further study to support your application. On the basis of this review, a recommendation will be made for the consideration of a statutory decision maker, normally a Water Manager, who is authorized under legislation to amend a water licence.
A Water Manager from the Province of British Columbia will weigh the information, decide whether to approve your application, and inform you of the decision.
|Water Sustainability Act||The Water Sustainability Act is the principal law for managing the diversion and use of water resources in B.C.|
|Water Sustainability Act - Regulations||The Water Sustainability Act (WSA) regulations provide details about how the general principles in the WSA are to be applied in B.C.|
|Water Policies||Policies have been developed under the current Water Sustainability Act and informed by other provincial legislation to help guide the management of B.C.’s water resource.|
|Mapping Tools||A listing of free B.C. web-based mapping programs and tools available to the public.|
|Water Licensing and Rights||Information on water licensing and rights in B.C.|
|Water Licenses and Approvals||General guidance on water licences and use approvals in B.C.|
|Water Use Purposes||Categories and definitions for water use purposes in B.C.|
|Water Application Fees, Rentals and Refunds||Guidance on water application fees, water rental rates, including a water rent estimator tool, and refund policy.|
|Drawing Standards||Water application drawing standards required for application submission.|
|Joint Works Agreement||Information on a Joint Works Agreement--where two or more applicants need to share in the construction or maintenance of works to be jointly used under a water licence or use approval.|
|Water Rights Databases||Tools to search for information related to water licences, water users’ communities, and permits over Crown Land.|
Tips for a successful application
Follow these tips to make the application process easier:
1. Review this guide and have all the information and documents ready before you start filling out the application.
2. Use a Basic, Personal or Business BCeID for your application. A BCeID is easy to get and allows you to save, reopen, and check the status of your application online. Applications will automatically time-out after a certain period of inactivity if not saved.
3. Contact FrontCounter BC before you begin, to help you with all natural resource applications.