Low-risk stormwater use no longer requires a
Water Act licence
Stormwater ponds are purpose-built storm drainage facilities that store surface water runoff from precipitation falling on land or sites primarily developed for residential, commercial, or industrial purposes. Previously, all water that was diverted for use from a stormwater pond required a licence.
On April 23, 2023, the Alberta Environment and Protected Areas released a regulatory amendment that reduces barriers to stormwater use. The new exemption provided in the Water (Ministerial) Regulation states that water may be diverted from a stormwater pond without a licence if the following conditions are met:
- The total diversion of stormwater from a pond is less than 6,250 cubic metres per year.
- The stormwater pond is authorized under the Water Act, the Environmental Enhancement and Protection Act, the Coal Conservation Act, the Geothermal Resource Development Act, the Mineral Resource Development Act, or the Oil and Gas Conservation Act.
- The quality of water meets approved discharge standards in the regulatory authorization.
- The holder of the authorization diverts the water or gives permission to a third party to divert the water.
- The stormwater pond is not part of a wetland replacement project.
- Water has not been pumped into the stormwater pond.
- There is no adverse impact on the aquatic environment, a household user, licence holder, traditional agricultural user, or any parcel of land.
The use of these low-risk volumes of stormwater will increase flexibility for water users, benefit the environment by offsetting water withdrawals from rivers and other natural waterbodies, and increase the resilience of our water supply by allowing easier access to an underutilized water source.
The Government of Alberta released a fact sheet
for a concise understanding of the amendment.
If you require further information, please contact Alberta Environment and Protected Areas at firstname.lastname@example.org
Manager of Policy & Advocacy