Buried Treasure: Groundwater Permitting and Pricing in Canada


Published in 2006,  Buried Treasure: Groundwater Permitting and Pricing in Canada  was written to help fill the need for greater public awareness of the value of groundwater and an understanding of how it is regulated. The Buried Treasure report was funded by the Walter and Duncan Gordon Foundation, and includes full chapters on:

  • Groundwater science in Canada
  • Groundwater allocation law in Canada
  • Provincial groundwater permitting requirements
  • Public participation opportunities in groundwater permitting
  • Groundwater pricing requirements

“Lack of knowledge about the hidden resource of groundwater poses management challenges, as across Canada examples of groundwater stress emerge. Despite Buried treasure by linda nowlanCanada being a comparatively water-rich country, groundwater “hot spots” are starting to emerge in many provinces”, says Linda Nowlan, the study author. No reference material comparing provincial and territorial regulations for groundwater allocation now exists. This report aims to fill this information gap.

The report contains interesting findings about groundwater use, permitting procedures, environmental protection measures and pricing options: According to Linda Nowlan: “This report is a snapshot of the current framework for groundwater management in Canada and aims to shed light on the variation among jurisdictions, uncover regulatory “best practices”, and highlight the gaps that still exist. The policy framework is changing in many provinces.”

Linda Nowlan is an environmental lawyer and is currently a Faculty Research Associate with the Program on Water Governance at University of British Columbia.


Posted January 2007