Government has updated the Water Sustainability Regulation (WSR) to include provisions regarding the use of water for mineral exploration and small scale placer mining. On December 17, 2019, temporary provisions in place since April 2016 under section 56 were updated and replaced by provisions under section 34, which include new provisions to protect the environment, other authorized water users and cultural heritage resources.
Written feedback and discussions with Indigenous groups, Environmental Non-Profit Organizations, industry representatives and members of the public on the intentions paper (October 2018) and the What We Heard and Next Steps document (October 2019) informed this update to the WSR. Some of the new provisions include the option to require an authorization if a proposed water use poses a risk of significant adverse impact to a stream or other authorized water users, or a potential adverse impact to cultural heritage resources, and clarifies use of water for camps associated with these activities.
More information about the Water Sustainability Act and the new regulations can be found on the Province’s water webpage. To learn more about permitting for mineral exploration and placer mining activities, visit the Mineral Exploration and Mining website.