Water Licence – Environmental Effects
In this bulletin, the AER announced that Alberta Environment and Parks (“AEP”) released the Surface Water Allocation Directive. This directive provides guidance when allocating water from rivers, lakes, and wetlands at locations where a water management plan, framework, or other prescriptive guidance does not exist. It applies to new water licence applications and temporary diversion licences. It does not affect existing licences but may be applied to term licences when they are renewed.
The AER indicated that operators applying for a term licence are still expected to evaluate the environmental effects of granting the licence. The AER also indicated that operators applying for temporary diversion licences must follow the current process and may choose not to submit any documentation on the environmental effects, but they should use the directive to evaluate water availability to avoid potential delays in the review process.