Surface Water Irrigation
Do I need a permit to withdraw surface water for irrigation?
Yes. A Water Withdrawal Permit is needed to withdraw surface water (from a stream, river or wetland) when the rate of withdrawal is more than 25 m3/day. Filling a water truck tank for application of crop protectants or dust suppression is exempted from this requirement as long as the stream used as a source is at least 1 m wide.
How do I apply for a Water Withdrawal Permit and how much does it cost?
An applicant can submit a completed Water Withdrawal Permit Application Form along with the relevant fee to the Department.
- initial application fee is $2,000 (5 year permit),
- renewal fee of the initial 5 year permit is $1,000 (5 year permit).
There is no HST.
What are my responsibilities as a permit holder?
Permit holders have certain responsibilities. They must:
- keep a record of the quantity of water withdrawn,
- monitor stream flow water levels in their area,
- abide by the conditions listed on the permit, and
- have a Soil Health Improvement Plan for the fields being irrigated.
How do I monitor the stream flow?
A web application is available for permit holders to view and determine whether there is enough water to allow for irrigation. The application displays the water level and the maintenance flow level. Maintenance flow is defined as the amount of water needed in a stream or river to maintain a healthy system for fish and other aquatic life. When the stream flow level falls below the maintenance flow, the withdrawal of water must immediately stop. When the stream flow level is greater than the maintenance flow requirement, water can again be removed.
Irrigation sites are inspected periodically by department staff to make sure that all conditions on an irrigation permit are being met. Violations can result in a fine and the cancellation of a permit.