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Our estimated processing time for this application is 10 business days. See our timeline spreadsheet for updates.

Purpose of the Application

Under the Water Act¸ we can issue multiyear-term water licences and temporary diversion licences for energy projects. A company with a temporary diversion licence can temporarily divert surface water or groundwater for up to one year. Learn more about our responsibilities under the Water Act.

Reasons to apply include

  • short-term diversion and use of water for emergency water supply;
  • dust control and bridge washing;
  • drilling oil and gas wells (drilling fluid);
  • temporary use of water while a multiyear-term licence application is under review; and
  • other short-term uses, except those exempted under schedules 3 and 4 of the Water Ministerial Regulation and the Water Act.

Once we approve an application, we will issue a temporary diversion licence that allocates the amount of water a company can use. The licence may also include restrictions for such things as timing and rate of diversion.

Process Checklist

Submit an Application
Companies must submit their applications through the Water Act temporary diversion licence electronic review system (WATERS). The applicant will receive a copy of their submission for record keeping.

Under Government of Alberta indigenous consultation policies and guidelines, applications for this type of licence are exempt from requiring First Nations or Métis settlements consultation.

Questions about temporary diversion licences should be emailed to @email.    

Review Process

  1. We share all applications on our Public Notice of Application page to encourage public participation in the approval process.
  2. Anyone who believes that they may be directly and adversely affected by an application can file a statement of concern (SOC). If we receive an SOC, it may take us longer to process the application.
  3. The application is processed by WATERS, which either automatically issues a licence if the application meets standard conditions or assigns the application to a subject matter expert for a full technical review. Our review looks at
    • the amount of water a company is applying for based on a present and reasonable need; and
    • the potential impact to other water users and the aquatic environment.
  4. We may request additional information (through a supplemental information request) to complete our technical review.
  5. We will decide to issue or refuse to issue the temporary diversion licence. If we refuse to issue it, the applicant may reapply without prejudice. Decisions on temporary diversion licence applications cannot be appealed.
  6. We will email the applicant to notify them of our decision. Our decision is accessible through the Integrated Application Registry. We will also share our decision on our Publication of Decision page.