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What you need to know about new groundwater licensing requirements: Islands Trust presentation Feb. 3

The free information session is Feb. 3 at 7 p.m.
Reflection in well water
New requirements require licences for non-domestic groundwater use as of March 1.

What do islanders and British Colombians in general need to know about their wells ahead of new B.C. groundwater licensing requirements coming into effect March 1?

Provincial staff, in partnership with the Islands Trust, are offering a free online information session Feb. 3 at 7 p.m., moderated by the Trust’s senior freshwater specialist, William Shulba. The provincial staff come from the Ministry of Forests, Lands, Natural Resource Operations and Rural Development and the Ministry of Environment and Climate Change Strategy.

March 1 is the deadline for those who started using groundwater from a well or dugout before March 1, 2016, for non-domestic uses (irrigation, commercial, industrial, waterworks, or business) to apply for a water licence with the provincial government.  

While domestic well owners aren’t required to registered their wells, they’re encouraged to register their wells for free “so their water use is known and considered by provincial decision-makers when dealing with other licence applications,” said an Islands Trust press release.

“The sustainability of freshwater resources is crucial across the Islands Trust Area,” said Peter Luckham, Islands Trust Council chair in the release, encouraging those in the Trust area to hear about the legislation and what it could mean for islands. “Licensing water helps protect aquifers and streams, along with the businesses and livelihoods that depend on reliable access to water.”

With this legislative change, non-domestic groundwater is included in the same regulatory structure as surface water, according to the release.

To register and receive a Zoom invitation link, visit https://bit.ly/3KLDRkr. Participants are encouraged to submit questions in advance to programs@islandstrust.bc.ca.

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