Water Security Agency


If you are experiencing impacts from drainage works, your first step is to contact WSA Client Services and they will put you in contact with one of our Agricultural Water Management specialists. These specialists will discuss the issue with you to ensure it is related to drainage works and that the RFA process is the appropriate route to address your concerns.

WSA has also implemented a screening and referral process so any water related issues not related to drainage works will be referred to the appropriate government agency or other WSA regulatory unit. If the RFA process is appropriate, the specialist will provide you (the Petitioner) an RFA form to complete. The RFA form collects some basic information including those involved, a description of the drainage works, and a description of the drainage related issue the Petitioner would like resolved.

The WSA will investigate the issue and work with the Respondent to bring their works into compliance.

Refundable Fee

To support an effective prioritization of these files, a refundable $1,000 fee has been implemented to ensure that only issues related to drainage works are assessed through this program. The RFA fee will be refunded if the issue under investigation is related to impacts caused by drainage works.

RFA Process Overview 

Please view the RFA Process Guide here.

Step 1

If an individual (Petitioner) has a water management issue related to drainage and local collaboration has not resulted in a solution, the Petitioner can contact WSA Client Services. Client Services will put the Petitioner in contact with a WSA Compliance specialist to determine the likelihood the issue can be addressed through the RFA process.  

If the issue cannot be handled through the RFA process, WSA Compliance will work with the Petitioner to refer them to the appropriate WSA division or outside agency. 

Step 2

Following consultation with WSA Compliance, in situations where the RFA process is deemed appropriate, the Petitioner has the option to file an RFA. The Petitioner will need to complete the RFA application form and provide payment of the filing fee to WSA.

Step 3

Upon receipt of the RFA application form and fee, WSA will ensure completeness of the application form and prepare an Acknowledgement letter that will be sent to both the Petitioner and the Respondent.

Step 4

WSA will investigate the RFA and issue a Recommendation or Dismissal letter to the Respondent with a copy to the Petitioner. The RFA fee will be refunded or retained according to the outcome of the investigation.

  • On straightforward files, WSA has set an objective to have the decision and recommendation letter issued within six months of issuance of the Acknowledgement letter.
  • On complex files, WSA has set an objective to have the decision and recommendation letter issued within twelve months of issuance of the Acknowledgement letter.
  • Time to complete an investigation and issue a decision will be dependent on the time of year, field conditions and the type of information to be collected.

Step 5

The Recommendation will provide the Respondent with options for either approval or voluntary closure and 30 days to advise WSA of their preferred pathway forward. WSA will continue to provide support to the Respondent throughout the entire compliance process. In this 30-day window, the Respondent should review the land control requirements for their drainage works and contact landowners involved. 

Step 6

The timeline for voluntary closure will be dependent on seasonality and suitable field conditions to complete the work. Typically, this will be four to eight months. The timeline for the approval process will depend on project size, complexity, and the level of cooperation between the landowners involved. Typically, this can take 12 to 18 months.  

Step 7

If the Respondent does not make a reasonable effort to obtain an approval or voluntarily close the drainage works, WSA may escalate compliance and enforcement activities through Orders, forced closure and/or prosecution.