Permits and Approvals

Domestic Purpose Water Use

The Water Security Agency manages, administer, develop, control and protect the water, watersheds and related land resources of Saskatchewan.

The Water Security Agency Act requires that a Water Rights Licence be obtained for the right to use surface or ground water.  Approvals are also required to construct and operate works which convey water.  There are, however, some circumstances which allow domestic purpose water use projects to be exempt from requiring an approval.  The following provides an overview of a domestic water user and the conditions when an approval is not required.

Domestic Purpose

Domestic purpose means household and sanitary purposes, the watering of stock, the spraying of crops, the watering of non-commercial lawns and gardens adjoining private residences, but does not include the sale or barter of water for any purpose.  Water sources may include deep or shallow wells, springs, lakes, streams, rivers, on-farm storage ponds, dugouts, and cisterns which capture rainwater or holds hauled water up to 5000 cubic metres. 

Domestic Purpose Uses Exempt From Approvals/Licence

  • A person owning or occupying land that adjoins a surface water body may use water for domestic purposes, without obtaining a Water Rights Licence from the Water Security Agency Approval providing there are no constructed diversion(1) works.
  • A dugout combined with a pump or other apparatus to fill storage vessels constructed for domestic purposes is not considered to be a work requiring approval, providing the diversion will not be greater than 5000 cubic metres per year. 
  • A person owning or occupying land may use up to 5000 cubic metres per year of ground water beneath the land for domestic purposes without obtaining a Water Rights Licence.

(1) Diversion for the purpose of The Water Security Agency Act means the taking, removal or impoundment of water.

Domestic Purpose Uses Which Require Approvals/Licence

  • The project contains works (dams, dykes, ditches, etc.).
  • The project consists of a dugout with a capacity greater than 5000 cubic metres.
  • The project consists of a dugout with a capacity less than 5000 cubic metres and contains works.
  • The project includes pipelines that cross road allowances, property or quarter section lines.
  • Water use exceeds 5000 cubic metres per year.

Other Approvals 

Some approvals which may also be required include:

  • Aquatic Habitat Protection Permit for works within a watercourse.
  • Authorization issued by Fisheries and Oceans Canada, for approval for harmful alteration, disruption or destruction (HADD) of fish habitat.
  • Approvals issued by the Saskatchewan Ministry of Environment and/or Regional Health Authority for connection to rural pipelines.