Water Security Agency

Temporary Water Rights Licence for Industrial Water Use

The right to use ground and surface water is vested in the Crown and is administered by the Water Security Agency. 

A Temporary Water Rights Licence is required for industries using water for temporary processing operations, including: 

  • mineral exploration and mining,
  • oil exploration and recovery,
  • manufacturing,
  • gravel washing,
  • road construction,
  • hydraulic pressure testing, 
  • thermal power generation and other purposes that the Water Security Agency may designate.

Service Standards

Our goal is to review and respond to applications for licenses within five business days. In order to process your application we must have all required information and supporting documents. We aim to meet the service standard (five business days) 95 per cent of the time. 

Apply Online

You can apply, receive approval and make payment for Temporary Water Rights Licences at


The following types of use are exempt from requiring a Temporary Water Rights Licence:

  • Water supplied directly from licensed urban municipal waterworks systems and used within the boundary of the urban municipality; and
  • Water to be used for domestic use, provided the water is being supplied from a source on the owner’s or occupier’s land. 


The evaluation of each application will consider scarcity of the water supply, impacts to adjacent water users, purpose of the water use and quality of the source water.  A licence may be denied if adverse impacts are identified or the source of water is inappropriate.

Request for withdrawals from small surface water sources such as dugouts may be limited to a maximum withdrawal of 2000 cubic metres per year.

Generally, the term of the licence will be less than one month (typically 2 – 4 weeks).  Each diversion point will be considered for licence independently.

The application should be submitted at least three working days before the intended use date, to provide sufficient time to process the application and to provide sufficient time to find an alternative source, should the application be denied.

Fees (Non-refundable)

The application fee is $200.00 for each point of diversion. 

An Industrial Water Use fee will be charged for water use in increments of 1,000 cubic metres, based on current policy. Volumes will be metered or estimated by methods acceptable to the Water Security Agency.

Other Approvals May Be Required

Some approvalswhich may also be required include:

  • Aquatic Habitat Protection Permit 
  • Clearance by Fisheries and Oceans Canada.