How to Secure Water Rights for Your Farm? Apply to License Your Groundwater Use Before March 1, 2022

  • Licensing your groundwater use is not the same as registering your well. If you have registered your well, you still need to license your groundwater for non-domestic use under the Water Sustainability Act (WSA).


  • If you were using groundwater on or before February 29, 2016, for non-domestic purposes such as irrigation and livestock watering, you are legally required to apply for a water licence by March 1, 2022. Apply now to secure your historical water rights for your farm.


  • If you do not apply by the deadline, you must stop using the groundwater or you will be considered an illegal user after March 1, 2022. You will then need to apply for a licence as a “new groundwater user” and you will be at the back of the line. A new application may require an expensive assessment of the well indicating the impacts on the aquifer and the application may not be granted if there is not enough water.


  • We are here to help you get started. Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Fisheries offers free workshops (in-person or virtual) to producers. Contact us at or 1-888-221-7141.


Steps to Apply:

  1. Register for a basic B.C. electronic identification (basic BCeID) if you don’t have one.
  2. Start your application for your Existing Use Groundwater Licence online using your BCeID.
  3. Gather information you will need (before or during your application): Application Checklist
  4. Finish your application, and continue to use your groundwater until a licence is granted.


Need Help?

  1. Watch the How to Apply Video Tutorial (16 minutes 30 seconds)
  2. Read
  1. Talk to someone
    • Contact FrontCounter BC at 1-877-855-3222

Monday to Friday, 8:30am-4:30pm Pacific time (9:30-5:30pm Mountain time)


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