The number of groundwater licences issued in the province continues to climb.
A total of 593 licences have been issued since the registration and licensing process began in 2016. This is up from the 462 licenses issued as of February 22, when the province announced a further waiver of application fees non-domestic users of groundwater.
Well owners now have until February 28, 2022 to register their wells and obtain a licence without paying fees. Rents are nevertheless owing on all water used since February 29, 2016, when registration was first required.
The province expects to register approximately 20,000 wells. To date, it has received applications to draw water from 4,561 wells. This down from 4,737 applications reported at the end of February, due to duplicate applications.
The application process has been a daunting one for many producers. This is why FrontCounter BC is hosting a free workshop in Vernon on July 18 to help producers complete the paperwork required. Registering wells and obtaining a licence will ensure farms maintain their seniority as new users come onstream under the new first-in-time, first-in-right system.
According to FrontCounter BC, well owners who receive assistance with the paperwork should be able to complete the process less than 90 minutes.