February 27, 2019
by PETER MITHAM
Property owners now have three more years to register existing wells that draw water for non-domestic purposes and apply for a licence to use groundwater.
The new deadline of March 1, 2022 is the third such extension in as many years, and exempts existing well owners from application and licensing fees.
Without the extension, thousands of groundwater users would have become outlaws this Friday and, perhaps more important, lost their priority to access water if supplies ever run short.
The province originally expected to register about 20,000 existing wells as part of its transition to a first in time, first in right (FITFIR) system, but the BC Ministry of Forests, Lands, Natural Resource Operations and Rural Development says only 4,737 applications have been received. Of these, just 462 licences have been issued over the past three years.
“The application intake has been lower than expected and for many groundwater users, recognizing the value of a licence to secure their water rights represents a significant change,” the ministry said in a memo to stakeholders on February 19.
The new regime mirrors water management protocols in many US states, and aims at better managing a resource whose extent isn’t easily estimated. FITFIR means that if groundwater supplies fall short in a given area, the oldest wells will be given priority over more recent wells.
An annual rent will be charged groundwater users, too, attaching a cost to a resource many have taken for granted. Users who register and licence their wells must pay for water drawn since February 29, 2016. The province has collected $680,000 in existing use groundwater rentals over the past three years.
February 21, 2019
The province has extended the deadline for registering wells and licensing groundwater use for a third time. The new deadline […]
KAMLOOPS – Kevin Boon, general manager of the BC Cattlemen’s Association (BCCA), is calling the Ministry of Environment (MOE) to […]
No fees, no loss of priority for registrations through March 1, 2022
Thousands of BC farmers and ranchers at risk of losing their priority water rights at the end of February won’t […]
Vol. 105 Issue 3
STORIES IN THIS EDITION
Province boosts ag spending
It’s a draw!
Editorial: Vice grip
Back Forty: Snow days make good days for seed selection
Viewpoint: Farmers need to prepare for annual snow melt
Smooth start to season as foreign workers arrive
Sidebar: Province mulls piece rates
Late winter has some Okanagan growers on edge
Ag show attracts near-record attendance
Ag Briefs: Traceability funding available for producers
Ag Briefs: Cattlemen’s launches webinar series
Ag Briefs: Grant winner announced
Labour remains a priority for fruit growers
Dairy, aquaculture take home awards at gala
Farmers need to prepare for uncertainty
Ag critic listens to concerns at farmers’ institute
Growers are responsible for workers’ safety
Robotic milkers sized up during dairy tour
Safe, high-quality silage depends on preparation
Diversification makes orchard a landmark
Ranchers need to match forage with herd needs
Producers question new Indigenous rights law
Hosting TRU students a way to give back
Livestock co-op provides selling, buying options
Sidebar: Market set to stay steady
Research: Bluetongue outbreaks expected to increase
Filling a niche for gourmet mushrooms
Regulations, housing key issues in Langley
Sheep producers seeing value in genetic program
Above and beyond
Vegetation fundamental to farms, landscape
Studies continue on forage, corn crop pests
4-H BC leader singled out
Growers go with the grain of beer revival
Agri-tourism has plenty of room for growth
Rose stem girdler poses threat to cranberries
Site prep critical for healthy hazelnut orchards
Sidebar: BC renewal program opens up
Wannabe: Renewal comes with a new generation of farmers
Woodshed: Deborah and Doug McLeod turn up the heat
A good place to meet up
Jude’s Kitchen: Celebrate spring by eating outside