Use Approval - Amendment

Use Approval - Amendment

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This application allows you to request any of the following changes to your existing Short Term Use Approval:

  • Transfer of Appurtenancy – apply to transfer all or part of the rights and obligations under a Short Term Use Approval to a different appurtenancy (ie. parcel of land or another mine or undertaking).
  • Change of Works – apply to change the works previously approved under your Short Term Use Approval.
  • Change of Purpose – apply to change the existing water use purposes previously approved under your Short Term Use Approval. (NOTE: if you want to add an additional purpose, you will need to apply for a new Use Approval (Short Term Use of Water)
  • Extension of Term – apply to extend the term of the Short Term Use Approval (Note: total term for Short Term Use Approval may not exceed 24 months)

You can apply for one or more options through one amendment application, but not in combination with a Transfer of Appurtenancy.

Costs and Responsibilities

Fees are calculated automatically as you complete the online application.

Fees can be paid online at the time of application, or at a FrontCounter BC location. See Payment Guidelines for more information.

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 Energy Regulator

Exemption to use of water on Treaty land 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 licence, a BCeID is required in order to complete and submit the application. Obtain the BCeID before starting your water licence application as you will not be able to save your application without it.
  • Job number or the vFCBC tracking number of the existing Short Term Use Approval
  • Description of the changes you would like to make and the reasons for the changes

For a Transfer of Appurtenancy

  • If you want to transfer only part of your approval, 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 approval 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 approval are being transferred (legal description, PID, or description if the land is unsurveyed) and the name of the new owners.

If any changes to the works are required you will also have to fill out the 'Change of Works' section of the application.

For a change of works

  • A detailed description of any changes to works you would like to add to the approval. Note: if you are adding a new well you will need to apply for a new Short Term Use Approval.

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.

For an Extension of Term

  • New proposed end date of the licence term. The total term for a Short Term Use Approval may not exceed 24 months.
  • Reason for requesting an extension in the approval term.


  • A copy of your Letter of Agency or other proof of authorization if you are completing the application on behalf of the applicant.
  • If you share or are connected to another person's works, it is recommended that a Joint Works Agreement outlining each party's role and responsibilities be completed.

A detailed list of information requirements can be found in the Water Sustainability Regulation.

What happens after you apply

  1. Receiving the application

FrontCounter BC will process your payment and review any documents you might mail or bring to one of the FrontCounter BC offices. If more information is required, they will contact you. Your application will not be accepted for adjudication until all required information is received.

  1. Consultations & Referrals

Applications may be referred to other provincial and federal regulatory agencies for comment during the adjudication process. Consultation with First Nations, other water users, community groups or other parties may be required if existing rights could be affected by your application.

  1. Review

Once FrontCounter BC has received all comments and objections from potentially affected parties, and any additional information provided by you or affected parties, applications 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 is made for the consideration of a statutory decision maker, normally a Water Manager, who is authorized under legislation to grant a use approval.

  1. Decision

A water manager from Ministry of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations will decide whether to approve your application after weighing the information, and will inform you of the decision.

Link Description
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 your application, reopen it, 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.