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Water Sustainability Act (WSA) Licencing for Mines

Water management is a critical component of the mine design for many open pit, underground, gravel pit, or quarry operations. Under the British Columbia Water Sustainability Act (WSA), a water use authorization (licence or use approval) is required for the diversion, storage, or use of water from a stream or aquifer for non-domestic purposes. Waterline has considerable experience in water supply assessment and preparing water use applications for mine operators.

Groundwater management at mines includes open pit and underground workings dewatering, slope depressurization, water supply for camps and ore processing, and mine contact water collection and recycling.

WSA Licensing Requirements

The enactment of the WSA on February 29, 2016 significantly changed groundwater licencing requirements for mines and other industrial and commercial operations. The licencing process for new projects now requires a technical assessment to demonstrate that the proposed water use will not adversely affect existing users or the environment.

Navigating the Regulatory Environment

The regulations governing groundwater use in British Columbia are relatively new and complex, and many requirements overlap with the Mines Act and the Environmental Management Act. Waterline can help proponents navigate these complexities, having submitted over 100 groundwater use licence applications since the WSA was introduced.

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