Agricultural News & Items of Interest for Farmers
This page contains information which may be of interest to farmers and those in the agricultural sector.
The Ministry of Agriculture and Food is working with the Ministry of Water, Land, and Resource Stewardship to improve our communications with producers about how we can best prepare for drought and how water management decisions are made during drought.
The Province will be hosting upwards of 30 in-person and online information sessions throughout B.C. between March and May 2024. Locations and dates are being updated regularly – please check back here for updated information.
Two types of workshops are being offered:
Agricultural Water Management Workshops: this series aims to assist producers in optimizing irrigation systems, explore options for on-farm water storage and get tips for using and managing water on your farm, especially during times of water scarcity. Delivered by Certified Irrigation Designers, these workshops aim to provide producers with the tools and information they need to improve their on-farm water use.
Decoding Drought Management Engagement Sessions: this series is designed to improve awareness of the supports available to producers to prepare for and reduce the impacts of drought and to build understanding within the agriculture sector about B.C.’s legislative framework for water management including regulatory tools and decision-making under the Water Sustainability Act (WSA). Workshops will be co-delivered by staff from the Ministry of Agriculture and Food, and the Ministry of Water, Land and Resource Stewardship.
Groundwater Use License Application Deadline – 1 March, 2022!
The Provincial Government has sent out a reminder regarding the requirement for everyone using non-domestic groundwater:
If you were using groundwater on or before February 29, 2016, for non-domestic purposes such as irrigation and livestock watering, you are legally required to apply for a water licence by March 1, 2022. Apply now to secure the historical water rights for your farm.
If you do not apply for a licence by the deadline of March 1, 2022, you must stop using the groundwater. If you continue using your groundwater after this date, your water use will be considered illegal. After this date, you will need to apply for a licence as a “new groundwater user” and you will forfeit your historical date of first use. A new application may also require an expensive assessment of the well and water use, indicating the impacts on the aquifer, streams and nearby water rightsholders and the application may not be granted if there is not enough water available.
Steps to Apply:
- Register for a Basic B.C. electronic identification (Basic BCeID) if you don’t have one.
- Start your application for your Existing Use Groundwater Licence online using your BCeID.
- Gather information you will need (before or during your application)
- Refer to the Step-by-Step EUGW Application Guide (attached)
- Complete the Owners’ Agreement Templates, if applicable (attached)
- For multiple owners
- For owners who hire an agent
- Complete and submit your application and continue to use your groundwater until a licence is granted.
- Watch the Online Application Tutorial (Password: 2Sd5h^s!), courtesy of Langley Farmers’ Institute
- Read the Step-by-Step EUGW Application Guide (attached)
- Talk to someone
- Contact FrontCounter BC at 1-877-855-3222
Monday to Friday, 8:30am-4:30pm Pacific time
- Ask about scheduled drop-in virtual workshops or direct assistance with your application
- Visit a FrontCounter BC Regional Office
- Sign up for a virtual workshop with the Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Fisheries
- 9 to 10:30am on February 11, courteously hosted by the B.C. Landscape and Nursery Association (register here)
- Contact us at Hartling@gov.bc.caor Tara.Despault@gov.bc.ca for additional scheduled workshops
- Additional Resources:
- Q&A on Water Licences for Agriculture
- Q&A on Groundwater Licensing
- Q&A on Livestock Watering and Dugouts