From the Ministry of Environment

Reminder to lawyers about land sales and water licences

BC’s Ministry of Environment reminds lawyers that the Water Act requires anyone conveying or disposing of land to report the change of ownership to the comptroller of water rights or regional water manager if there are one or more water licences appurtenant to the land. All water licences are appurtenant to land and must be transferred to the new owner, complete with consideration of prepayments or arrears. Water licences are not recorded in the Land Title Office.

When conveying or disposing of land, lawyers are required to report, in writing, the transfer of ownership with water licences (s. 16(2) of the Water Act).

Information is available at the Ministry of Environment, Water Stewardship Division website at

The status of a client’s account for water licences is available from any FrontCounter BC office ( Call 1-800-361-8866 or fax 250-356-0605 prior to the land sale for a current balance on the licences and to report the transfer of ownership.