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Policy for Allocation of Water Use

POLICY DIRECTIVE
Division: Water Resources Management P.D. W.R. 88-1
Prepared By: Dr. A.K. Abdel-Razek, P.Eng. Issue Date: May 24, 1988
Approved By: Martin Goebel Director Re-Issue Date: Jan 17, 2001
Approved By: ADM Review Date:
Authorized By: Paul L. Dean DM Superseded:
Oliver Langdon Minister Cancelled:

Subject:

Policy for allocation of water use

1.0 OBJECTIVE

The policy will establish a mechanism for issuing a water use licence/authorization to an applicant under the Environment Act, SN 1995 c E13.1 as amended (the Act) and subject to the terms and conditions necessary to ensure efficient utilization of the water and fair distribution between competing uses.

2.0 BACKGROUND

According to Section 4 of the Department of Environment Notice, NR 60/96, the Minister has responsibilities relating to the conservation, development, control, improvement and proper utilization of the water resources of the Province and protection and enhancement of water quality. Section 5 of the Act authorizes the Minister to have control of the use of all surface, ground and shore waters and the allocation of the use of waters.

Any person who intends to use or divert water for any beneficial purpose from a body of water, as defined in the Act, for which rights have not been granted under any other provincial statute or instrument shall apply to this Department for grant of the water rights before using or diverting water. This policy will provide for the licencing/authorizing of the use or diversion of all surface, ground and shore waters in this Province.

3.0 LEGISLATION

The Environment Act, SN 1995 c E-13.1 as amended.

4.0 POLICY

The allocation of the use of water in the Province will be subject to the following policy guidelines established under the authority vested by the Act.

4.1 Application

4.1.1 This policy does not apply to owners of the existing water rights and also does not affect the riparian rights of a person requiring water for domestic purposes.

4.1.2 This policy applies to the use or diversion of all surface, ground and shore waters for any beneficial purpose.

4.1.3 Applications for water rights shall have precedence in the following order:

  1. domestic
  2. municipal
  3. commercial and industrial
  4. water power
  5. recreation
  6. other purposes

4.2 Procedure

4.2.1 The applicant shall, with an application for a licence/authorization in a prescribed form, file with the Department such information and plans as required and pay the applicable fee.

4.2.2 The application will be assessed by the officials of this Department in relation to the availability of water, existing uses, potential water use conflicts, potential pollution or impairment of water quality, and downstream impacts among other considerations. This feasibility analysis may also involve field visits, surveys and measurements.

4.2.3 On the recommendation of his/her officials the Minister will issue a licence/authorization on a prescribed form with such terms and conditions as he/she considers necessary to ensure efficient utilization of the allocated water.

4.2.4 A record of the licence/authorization shall be maintained in the Department for inspection by any person at all reasonable times on payment of the prescribed fee.

4.2.5 The licensee/holder of the licence/authorization shall obtain approval from this Department under Section 11 of the Act for alterations to bodies of water by constructing works that may be necessary in the exercise of the water rights granted under the licence/authorization. These may include the construction of dams, reservoirs, dykes, spillways, access roads, etc.

4.2.6 The licensee/holder of the licence/authorization shall be required to keep an account of water used and water quality sampling results and submit them on prescribed forms on a regular basis to this Department. Also, the Department may require inspection of the works from time to time to ensure that works are in a proper and safe condition and the licensee/holder of the licence/authorization is complying with the terms and conditions of the licence/authorization.

4.3 Cancellation of A Licence/Authorization

4.3.1 The Minister may cancel, alter or suspend any licence/authorization if the licensee/holder of the licence/authorization ceased to exercise the rights granted under the licence/authorization or violated the terms and conditions of the licence/authorization or made any false or misleading statement in any application, information, material or plan supplied in support of an application for a licence/authorization.

4.3.2 The Minister may cancel a licence/authorization under this policy if requested to do so by the licensee/holder of the licence/authorization.

4.4 Offence

4.4.1 A person who uses or diverts water without a licence/authorization from the Minister is guilty of an offence under the Act.

4.4.2 A licensee/holder of a licence/authorization who violates any of the terms and conditions of the licence/authorization is guilty of an offence under the Act.

4.5 Commencement

4.5.1 This policy will come in force immediately.

4.5.2 Procedural guidelines as and when developed to streamline the licencing/authorizing process will become part of this policy.

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