Water Supply & Demand Project

Water Licensing

Because water suppliers have planned for expanded capacity, the amount of water licensed for human use valley-wide is about double the amount actually used each year.

  • There are over 4,000 active water licences to store or use surface water in the basin.
  • 443,000 ML of surface water is allocated annually for offstream use, supported by 163,000 ML of licensed storage.
  • 350,642 ML of surface water is allocated for in-stream (conservation) uses.
  • About 95% of the 443,000 ML licensed for offstream use is held by 57 large water suppliers in the basin.

The amount of water available for licensing depends on how much risk we are willing to bear with respect to water shortages, and the location of the water source. This project compares the amount licensed to the amount that is actually used by licensees.

Although the amount of water licensed for human use is about double the amount actually used, there is no guarantee that the licensed amount will be available in any given year.

There are two independent power producer licences in the Okanagan: one held by the District of Lake Country on their reservoir outfall, and the other a small licence for domestic power supply.

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