Water Sustainability Act – Mineral Exploration – Results

Engagement Summary

Since the project of modernizing provincial water law began in 2009, government has heard from First Nations, industry and environmental groups, professional organizations, local governments, and individual citizens with an interest in our water resource. The Water Sustainability Act  and a first phase of new regulations came into force on February 29, 2016.


Public engagement began in 2009, and the current phase concluded in late 2015. The Province will continue to engage on future regulations under the WSA as they are developed.


Input Received:
  • 869 blog comments
  • 4,399 email, mail and fax submissions
  • 95 completed online feedback forms
  • 657 participants at face to face workshops
  • Government to government meetings with First Nations
  • Bilateral meetings with key sector groups
  • over 70,000 website visits to date


Input leads to action:

Six regulations came into force at the same time as the WSA:

  • Water Sustainability Regulation  – This regulation addresses the requirements to allocate both ground and surface water (e.g., application requirements) and identifies the requirements for using water or making changes to a stream in accordance with the regulation. This regulation replaces Parts 1, 2, 5, 6, 7 and 8 and Schedules C and D of the former Water Regulation under the old Water Act – which described the procedures related to the acquisition of a water right, the calculation and payment of water fees and rentals to government, and activities conducted within a stream or a stream channel.
  • Water Sustainability Fees, Rentals and Charges Tariff Regulation – This regulation specifies the water-related fees for all water uses, including water power. This regulation replaces Parts 3 and 4 and Schedules A and B of the former Water Regulation under the old Water Act.
  • Groundwater Protection Regulation – This regulation addresses protection of the groundwater resource and identifies requirements for the construction of wells. This regulation replaces the historic Ground Water Protection Regulation under the old Water Act, and sets out standards to safeguard and maintain the integrity and efficient use of groundwater and to ensure activities related to wells are undertaken in an environmentally safe manner.
  • Dam Safety Regulation – This regulation identifies what dams are regulated and the requirements which must be met by dam owners. This regulation replaces the former Dam Safety Regulation under the old Water Act.
  • Water District Regulation – This regulation establishes Water Districts administrative units used in licensing and management. It was a schedule in the former Water Regulation and is now a separate regulation under the WSA.
  • Violation Ticket and Fines Regulation (under the Offence Act) – This administrative regulation prescribes fines, victim surcharge levies and maximum amounts for violation tickets issued by enforcement officers for offences under a number of provincial statutes Government updated this regulation to align language with the Water Sustainability Act, to change fine amounts for some offences, and to introduce new offences identified in the WSA and its regulations.

Read more about the engagement process and the Act. The final legislation and new regulations are available.