Working in or about a Watercourse

The provinical government has "downloaded" stream and fish protection to local governments. The Ministry of Environment says that there are three streams on Lasqueti that need to have Riparian Area Regulation protection, and 19 that might need it. The Trust will need to do assessments and mapping of these streams over the next few years.

Here is the current regulation concerning streams. Note the definition in the first paragraph.

If you are interested, there is a Lasqueti Island Water Allocation Plan, published in 1992, that shows the streams, etc. It's available at:


Water Act, Section 9
Approvals and Notifications for “Changes In and About a Stream”

In British Columbia, the ownership of water is vested in the Crown as stated in the Water Act, the primary provincial statute regulating water resources. Under the Water Act, a "stream" is defined as "includes a natural watercourse or source of water supply, whether usually containing water or not, and a lake, river, creek, spring, ravine, swamp and gulch."
Section 9 of the Water Act requires that a person may only make “changes in and about a stream” under an Approval; in accordance with Part 7 of the Water Regulation, including Notification where required; or under a Water Licence or Order.
Under the Water Act, “changes in and about a stream” means

  1. any modification to the nature of the stream including the land, vegetation, natural environment or flow of water within the stream, or
  2. any activity or construction within the stream channel that has or may have an impact on a stream

An Approval is a written authorization for changes in and about a stream that are of a complex nature.
Approvals are the responsibility of the Resource Stewardship Division of the Ministry of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations. The Division's goal is to process Approval applications within 140 days of receipt. Though we are committed to making decisions on Approval applications within as short a timeframe as possible once received, depending on the complexity of the circumstances, (e.g. significance of environmental impact, First Nations interests etc.), applications for Approvals can take longer to process than our target timeframe. Where possible, applications should be submitted well in advance to allow for this timeline.
Prior to receiving an Approval the proponent is required to submit an application and fee. In addition, the applicant must also provide all habitat assessments as well as designs and plans for the works needed to determine the effects of the proposal on the legal rights of downstream water licensees. The proponent must also address channel stability, flood levels as well as fish and wildlife resource values as appropriate. An application for an Approval is typically referred to other regulatory agencies such as Ecosystem Branch of the Ministry of Environment and Fisheries and Oceans Canada (DFO) for comment during the adjudication process.
Notifications are typically used for works that do not involve any diversion of water, may be completed within a short period of time and will have minimal impact on the environment or third parties.
Notifications are the responsibility of the Environmental Stewardship Division of the Ministry of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations.
A person must not make a change in and about a stream under a Notification unless that person notifies a Habitat Officer of the Ministry of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations within the region in which the proposed change will be made. The Habitat Officer will require information specified in the Notification Form at least 45 days prior to commencing the change. The proponent must also comply with specified terms and conditions for the proposed change from the Habitat Officer. If the Habitat Officer has not contacted the applicant within 45 days, from the receipt of the Notification Form, the person may proceed to make the change. However, the submission of an incomplete Notification Form does not constitute authorization to proceed.