Agricultural Water Use

FACT SHEETS FOR AGRICULTURAL WATER USE: “All reservoirs, whether natural or constructed, that take water from a stream to fill the facility will need a storage licence. The subsequent water use purpose, irrigation, also requires a water licence,” stated Stephanie Tam, Water Management Engineer with the BC Ministry of Agriculture (January 2022)

Farmers in British Columbia often need storage facilities to supply farmstead water or to support water licences from surface or groundwater sources that do not provide sufficient flow during summer months. Water storages can be on either private or crown land, but a licence will be required to store water that is vested to the Province. Storages can be in the form of dugouts, reservoirs with small berms, or large reservoirs behind a dam. The rules and regulations that must be followed will depend on the type of storage facility being built.

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CRD Agricultural Water Use and Conservation Study

The Capital Regional District (CRD), in partnership with the Ministry of Agriculture and Lands and the Peninsula Agricultural Commission, initiated the “Agricultural Water Use and Conservation Study” to gather, analyze, and present data on farm water use and conservation practices across the CRD. The resulting information will be used to set water rates for the agricultural sector, and to help the CRD develop water conservation program.

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