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VICTORIA, BC – The application deadline for groundwater users is less than six months away.

Those who were using groundwater from a well or dugout on or before Feb. 29, 2016, for non-domestic purposes such as irrigation, commercial or industrial use have until March 1st, 2022,  to apply for a water license.

A water license isn’t required for a household well or groundwater used for domestic purposes, such as watering lawns and gardens, however, domestic groundwater users are encouraged to register their well for free.

Groundwater users who have not applied by the deadline will be unlicensed and must stop using groundwater after March 1st, until a license is obtained.

Afterwards, they will be treated as a new user and will not receive recognition for their historical date of first use. This date is important because during water shortages, older licenses receive priority access to water.

Missing the deadline could be costly and may also include fines for unlicensed use of groundwater.

Late applications will not benefit from the waived application fee and may require costly studies to support an application. Application fees are waived for existing groundwater users who apply before the deadline.

In an effort to improve the online application experience, the Province recommends that those applying online for a water license have several key pieces of information ready, such as the well’s location, depth and construction, property and water use, evidence of when groundwater was first used, history of use from the well and other information about water use and works.

To apply online visit




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