Sections 34 and 98 Ontario Water Resources Act R.S.O. 1990 and Water Taking Regulation O. Reg. 387/04

Contents of this document are subject to change without notice.

Addendum

Version History
Version Date Comments
1.0 February 2006  
2.0 September 2007 Document revised to reflect the new requirements of O. Reg. 451/07.

Foreword

This guide outlines procedures for applying to the Ministry of the Environment, Conservation and Parks for a Permit to Take Water (PTTW) and provides a step-by-step approach for filling in the required application form.

The requirements for this and other Ministry programs are continually updated, as environmental standards are modified to reflect changing needs of public health and environmental protection. As a result, the Ministry will be updating this guide in the future to reflect the most current requirements.

While every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of the information contained in this guide, it should not be construed as legal advice. If you have any doubts or questions regarding the legal aspects of this guide, you should consult legal counsel.

For more information about the PTTW program and permit application requirements, contact the Ministry’s regional office in the area of your water taking (see Appendix B for office locations).

The complete permit application form, required supporting materials and applicable payment should be sent to:

Ministry of the Environment, Conservation and Parks
Attention: Permit to Take Water Director
Client Services and Permissions Branch
135 St. Clair Avenue West, 1st Floor
Toronto, Ontario M4V 1P5

Introduction

Purpose of the Permit to Take Water (PTTW) Program

Water takings in Ontario are governed by the Ontario Water Resources Act (OWRA) and the Water Taking Regulation (O. Reg. 387/04) a regulation under the Act. Section 34 of the OWRA requires anyone taking more than a total of 50,000 litres of water in a day, with some exceptions, to obtain a Permit from a Director appointed by the Minister for the purposes of Section 34. Requirements of the permit system, including the factors a Director must consider in issuing a permit, notification and consultation, data collection and reporting, are contained in Section 34 of the OWRA and the amended Water Taking Regulation. The Regulation also addresses water takings in high use watersheds and the Great Lakes Basin.

The purpose of the Permit to Take Water (PTTW) program is to ensure the conservation, protection and wise use and management of the waters of the province. Permits are controlled, and not issued if the taking of more water in a given area would adversely affect existing users or the environment.

The requirements of the attached application form for a Permit to Take Water reflect the Ontario government’s continuing efforts to safeguard the province’s water supply. Detailed information is requested about individual water takings so that Ontario’s water resources may be protected for all users.

Requirements of the Water Taking Regulation (O. Reg. 387/04>)

The Water Taking Regulation enhances the Ministry’s role in protecting Ontario’s water resources. It prohibits water transfers out of a water basin, as defined in the regulation, and sets out specific matters for the Ministry to consider when reviewing applications for a Permit to Take Water. It also contains other important provisions:

Protecting watersheds - The Ministry must refuse new and expanded takings that would remove water in especially large quantities from watersheds that already have high levels of use. All tertiary watersheds in Ontario have been classified as high-use, medium-use or low-use, based on average annual conditions and summer low flow conditions. Taking water in a high-use watershed, for example, could be temporarily suspended during summer low flow conditions.

Notifying others - The Ministry must notify all affected municipalities and conservation authorities of permit applications posted on the Environmental Bill of Rights Registry.

Water conservation - Anyone applying for a permit required by the Ministry must document in their application all water conservation measures and practices that have already been undertaken or will be undertaken for the duration of the permit.

Reporting water takings - Permit holders will be required to keep track of the volume of water they take each day and to report these amounts on a yearly basis. As indicated by Section 9 of the Water Taking Regulation, the volume of water taken is to be measured using a flow meter or a method acceptable to the Director. Additional information is available on the Ministry of the Environment, Conservation and Parks website.

Basics of applying for a Permit to Take Water

When a permit is needed

With some exceptions, a Permit to Take Water (PTTW) is required when a person or organization wants to take more than 50,000 litres of water in a day. This includes the taking of water for any use; whether agricultural, commercial, construction, dewatering, industrial, institutional, recreational, remediation, water supply or other purposes.

Permits are not required for taking water:

  • for fire fighting or other emergency purposes
  • for domestic use
  • for farm use (with certain exceptions)
  • for some water takings where the means of water taking was constructed prior to March 29, 1961. These once “grandfathered” water takings are being phased-in to require a permit

Taking water for farm use requires a permit if the water is:

  • to be used for irrigating crops being grown for sale

As of January 1, 2009, the owner of a facility that is a phase one industrial or commercial water user shall be charged $3.71 per million litres of water used for the total amount of water the facility uses annually or in any other 12-month period as specified by the Director.

Regulation 450/07 identifies the following water takings as phase 1 industrial or commercial water takings:

  1. Facilities that manufacture or produce bottled water or water in other containers, whether or not for use as a beverage.
  2. Beverage manufacturing facilities, where water is incorporated into a produce.
  3. Fruit and vegetable canning or pickling facilities, where water is incorporated into a product.
  4. Ready-mix concrete manufacturing facilities.
  5. Non-metallic mineral product manufacturing facilities, other than those facilities described in paragraph 4, where water is incorporated into a product.
  6. Pesticide, fertiizer and other agricultural chemical manufacturing facilities, where water is incorporated into a product.
  7. Inorganic chemical manufacturing facilities, other than those described in paragraph 6, where water is incorporated into a product.

In your application, you must state how much water you need to take. If you need to take more water at a later date, you must request an amendment to your permit. The Permit to Take Water program is not intended for water reservation. There has to be a reasonable prospect that the water will be used in the near future. You cannot reserve water for future use.

The Director cannot approve applications for new or expanded water takings of specific types in high-use watersheds. Please refer to the ‘Create a Map’ tool to verify your location with respect to high-use watersheds if you are applying for a new or expanded Permit to Take Water for:

  • beverage manufacturing
  • fruit or vegetable canning or pickling (but not washing)
  • ready-mix concrete (not portable)
  • aggregate processing (to form a slurry)
  • manufactured products, where water is incorporated into products (but not pulp and paper or ethanol plants)

Who applies for the permit

Anyone may apply for a Permit to Take Water (PTTW). Whoever has legal responsibility for the water taking becomes the “applicant” for the permit.

If you are applying for a permit for personal use, you are the applicant. Please note: if you don’t own the land on which you will be installing a pump or other equipment for taking water, you must obtain written permission from the landowner.

If you are applying as an agent for another person or organization, that person or organization becomes the applicant. Your application must include a letter that authorizes you to act on their behalf.

If you are applying as a member of an organization (partnership, company, corporation), that organization becomes the applicant. In this case, you must have been specifically authorized by your organization to act in this capacity.

Review process

Ministry staff review all permit applications, measuring them against a number of requirements. Applications should typically be filed well in advance of the time that water taking is intended to start. The Ministry will post designated PTTW applications on the Environmental Registry in accordance with the Environmental Bill of Rights and consider public comments in its decision.

Please note that permits come with terms and conditions that must be strictly followed.

These conditions and the limited time periods allowed for permits are part of the Ontario government’s efforts to protect water resources and to prevent interference with other water users. Additional conditions may be applied for water takings within the designated high and medium use watersheds.

Other approvals

A Permit to Take Water authorizes you to withdraw water from a water source or water sources according to the terms and conditions on the permit. It does not authorize or extend to any other activities of your operation. The granting of a Permit to Take Water does not imply that other Federal, Provincial or Municipal approvals have been received or will be issued. It is your responsibility to obtain any other approvals, licenses or permissions that may be required. Examples of other approvals that may be required include the following:

  • Permission from a local conservation authority or the Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry to construct a works within a watercourse or floodplain.
  • Approval from the Ministry of the Environment, Conservation and Parks to discharge water to a receiving water body or to the subsurface.
  • Approval from the Ministry of the Environment, Conservation and Parks to supply drinking water.
  • Requirements of municipalities such as planning approvals (e.g., zoning bylaw, official plan amendments) or business licences, etc. where applicable.

Ministry of the Environment, Conservation and Parks approvals take the form of Environmental Compliance Approvals (ECA). More information about ECAs is available on the Ministry of the Environment, Conservation and Parks webpage or from the Client Services and Permissions Branch at 1-800-461-6290 (locally at 416-314-8001) or email enviropermissions@ontario.ca.

Categories of proposals for Permits to Take Water

Proposals for water taking are classified according to their anticipated risk to the environment; the greater the anticipated risk, the more evaluation required. Three proposal categories have been established:

  • Category 1 applications (unlikely to pose adverse environmental impacts)
  • Category 2 applications (requires a scoped assessment)
  • Category 3 applications (requires a detailed ecological/hydrological/hydrogeological study)

Table 1 summarizes the criteria for Category 1 and Category 2 PTTW applications. Applications not covered by any of these criteria are automatically considered to be Category 3 applications.

Table 1: Permit Application Category Descriptions - Category 1
Groundwater - Category 1 Surface Water - Category 1

Renewal

same or lesser amount, same purpose, same location, same source, no past interference/ impacts, and no scientific study required as part of renewal.

Renewal

same or lesser amount, same purpose, same location, same source, no past interference/ impacts, and no scientific study required as part of renewal.

Ponds
(e.g. irrigation and agriculture)

  • not connected to, nor receiving water from surface water; and
  • less than 4m deep and more than 100m from sensitive features footnote 1 ; or
  • less than 7m deep and more than 250m from sensitive features footnote 1

Ponds
less than 1500 cubic meters in volume that collect runoff and that are not drawing from groundwater, watercourses, wetlands, other lakes or ponds

 

Great Lakes
or connecting channel takings less than 1,000,000 L/day

Table 1 - Permit Application Category Descriptions - Category 2
Groundwater - Category 2 Surface Water - Category 2

Short-term, non-recurring taking less than 7 days
(e.g. pumping test and hydrostatic test).

Great Lakes
or connecting channels takings less than the Great Lakes Charter threshold (19,000,000L/day)

Short-term, non-recurring taking less than 30 consecutive days and less than 400,000 litres per day
(e.g. construction dewatering and dust suppression) footnote 2 .

Takings from sources with previous assessments
(i.e. further to a previous study and implementing previously established controls)

 

River and Streams (3rd order or higher order)
takings less than 5% of 7Q20

 

Transitional Permits
where the Director previously required upgrades/modifications to water taking

 

Takings and Returns
where water is removed for a short time only and water is returned to a nearby point with no significant change to water quantity or quality (i.e. for cooling, hydrostatic testing, hydraulic lake dredging)

 

Lakes and Ponds
takings less than 1,000,000L/day twice per week from water bodies greater than 10ha in size that are not on-stream and not part of the headwaters of any watercourse. More frequent takings require supporting studies.

Table 1 - Permit Application Category Descriptions - Category 3
Groundwater - Category 3 Surface Water - Category 3

All groundwater takings that do not meet Category 1 or Category 2 criteria.

All surface water takings that do not meet Category 1 or Category 2 criteria and new takings from 1st or 2nd order watercourses, wetlands, new on-stream reservoirs, impoundments and ponds, groundwater sources that potentially affect surface waters.

Note: For more information about application categories and requirements, please refer to the Permit to Take Water Manual.

To determine if your water taking is eligible for registration on the EASR, see the water taking user guide for environmental activity and sector registry or O. Reg. 63/16.

Common types of projects that may be eligible for registration:

  • surface water takings that are more than 50,000 L/day and are for highway projects and/or transit projects purposes that meet specified criteria about the purpose, rate or location of the water taking
  • construction site dewatering involving more than 50,000 L/day and less than or equal to 400,000 L/day of ground water, where the daily taking limits are applicable to:
    • each area of influence in the construction site if the areas of influence do not overlap with each other
    • the combined area of influence in the construction site if the area of influences overlaps with each other
  • seven-day pumping tests conducted in a 30-day period that take more than 50,000 L/day and less than or equal to 5,000,000 L/day

If your application does not meet the Category 1 or 2 descriptions above, you must provide a study prepared by a qualified professional to support your application under Category 3.

A Category 2 application requires a qualified person to conduct a technical review of the proposed water taking. A complete “Schedule 2 – Qualified Person Certification for Category 2 Groundwater Takings” or “Schedule 3 – Qualified Person Certification for Category 2 Surface Water Takings” must be attached to all Category 2 applications. These schedules are attached in Appendix F of this guide.

Categories 2 and 3 applications require assessment by a qualified person, as follows:

  • For groundwater studies, a licensed professional geoscientist or accepted professional engineer as set out in the Professional Geoscientists Act, 2000 of Ontario
  • For surface water studies, a professional engineer or a person with a degree in environmental science with specialization in hydrology, aquatic ecology, limnology, biology, physical geography and/or water resource management, as appropriate.

If your application is for more than one source, it will be classified according to the highest category of the individual sources.

For example, if your application includes a Category 1 source and a Category 2 source, your application will be classified as Category 2.

Table 2 - Category Document Requirements For Submission
Category Documents required with submission
Category 1
  • Completed Application Form.
  • Water Conservation Schedule 1
  • Information required by conditions of previous permit.
  • Payment of $750.
Category 2
  • Completed Application Form.
  • Water Conservation Schedule 1
  • Information required by conditions of previous permit.
  • Scientific evaluation (schedule 2 and/or 3) completed by a qualified person.
  • Payment of $750.
Category 3
  • Completed Application Form.
  • Water Conservation Schedule 1
  • Information required by conditions of previous permit.
  • Scientific study (hydrogeological and/or hydroecological study) completed by a qualified person.
  • Payment of $3000.

For more information about application categories and requirements, please refer to the Permit to Take Water Manual.

Expiry dates

Permits to Take Water are issued with an expiry date. If you receive a permit, please take note of when it expires. Allow yourself enough time to apply for a renewal of your permit to ensure continuity in your water taking. Expired permits for the following purposes cannot be renewed in high-use watersheds:

  • Beverage manufacturing
  • Fruit or vegetable canning or pickling (but not washing)
  • Ready-mix concrete (not portable)
  • Aggregate processing (to form a slurry)
  • Manufactured products, where water is incorporated into products (but not pulp and paper or ethanol plants)

For more information please refer to the Water Taking Regulation.

Updating information

Applicants should report any change of address or other updated information to the Ministry of the Environment, Conservation and Parks within 30 days of any such change. Failure to do so could delay your application or cause a permit to be cancelled.

Updated information should be sent to:

Ministry of the Environment, Conservation and Parks
Attention: Permit to Take Water Director
Client Services and Permissions Branch
135 St. Clair Avenue West 1st Floor Toronto, Ontario M4V 1P5

Section 34.1 of the OWRA authorizes the issuing of Permits to a specific person or organization. If the person responsible for the water taking changes, the person taking over the operation must apply for change of ownership.

When applying for a change of ownership , please include the following information:

  • A signed letter from the previous Permit Holder (or the Permit Holder’s authorized representative) confirming that there is no objection to the previous permit being cancelled and a new permit being issued. Please note: if this letter can not be obtained, the Director will send a notice to the Permit Holder revoking the old permit. A new permit can not be issued until the old Permit has been revoked and a 15 day appeal period has elapsed;
  • A letter from the applicant explaining that the application is for a change in person or organization responsible for water taking (i.e., change in ownership of the property for which the water is being taken);
  • Proof of legal name of the applicant (see Part 3: Applicant Information for examples);
  • A copy of the old Permit to Take Water.

Please note: the Ministry does not charge a fee for a request to change the name or address of the Permit Holder shown on the permit.

Where to get help

If you have questions about the requirements of the Permit to Take Water program or filling in the application form, please contact the Ministry of the Environment, Conservation and Parks regional office located in the area where you plan to take water.

Your local regional office can be identified using the ‘Create a Map’ tool, this can be done by verifying the location of your taking and clicking on the map to mark where your water source is located.

Additional information is available in:

Note: Certain water taking activities may require registration on the Environmental Activity and Sector Registry

Additional information is available in:

Where to send the permit application

The complete permit application form, required supporting materials and applicable payment should be sent to:

Ministry of the Environment, Conservation and Parks
Attention: Permit to Take Water Director
Client Services and Permissions Branch
135 St. Clair Avenue West 1st Floor Toronto, Ontario M4V 1P5

Completing the application form

General information and instructions

The approval of your application for a Permit to Take Water depends on you providing all of the information requested on this form. You must also supply all of the supporting information required and the proper payment as specified.

Use the letters “N.A.” in sections that don’t apply to your proposal for taking water.

If you have any questions about completing the application form, please contact the Ministry of the Environment, Conservation and Parks regional office in the area of your water taking.

Part 1: Permit administration

In this section of the form you should identify whether you are applying for a new permit or are amending or renewing an existing permit. For an existing permit, check off “renewal” if you have no changes to report and simply want to extend the expiry date. Please provide a copy of your existing permit if you are applying for an amendment or for a renewal.

Part 2: Classification

In this section of the form you should classify your water taking and indicate whether or not a fee is required for the application. For additional information about the three classification categories, please refer to “Table 1: Permit Application Category Descriptions” or to the Permit to Take Water Manual.

Part 3: Applicant information

This section of the form is used to identify the person or organization that is applying for the Permit to Take Water. If you are an individual applying for a permit for your own use, you are the applicant. If you represent an organization that is applying for a permit, the organization is the applicant.

Applicant name
This is the correct legal name of the individual or organization in whose name the Permit to Take Water is to be issued. Legal documents evidencing this name must be submitted with the application form.
Business name
This is the name under which the applicant conducts business, and it must be provided if it is different from the applicant’s legal name, as evidenced in a legal document.
Business Identification Number
This is the number assigned to a registered business name in Ontario. It can be found on the applicant’s Master Business Licence.
North American Industry Classification System (NAICS) code
This is the same industry code number used to identify a business for income tax purposes. Enter the six-digit NAICS (2002) industry code that corresponds to your business. If more than one code describes your business, or if your business has more than one activity, use the code that most closely describes your main business activity. To determine your NAICS code, consult the following sources:
  • Statistics Canada: North American Industry Classification System (NAICS) 2007. This Internet site has a listing of all NAICS codes by business activity.
  • Your corporate income tax return. Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) requires anyone who reports business income to submit an NAICS code (industry code), including the agricultural sector. For example, Form T2124, Statement of Business Activities, contains a field for “industry code.”
Applicant type
This is the type of legal entity that the applicant represents. Please check the box that applies to yourself, if you are the applicant, or the organization that you represent.
  • Corporation (Ontario)
  • Corporation (Canada)
  • Individual
  • Partnership (Limited)
  • Partnership (General)
  • Sole proprietor

Unless the applicant is a municipal, provincial or federal government, proof of legal name must be submitted with all PTTW applications.

Depending on the type of applicant, different documents are required. Please attach the appropriate document to your application form:

  • A photocopy of the most recent Corporate Profile Report, Master Business Licence, or “Initial Notice or Notice of Change,” stamped “Received” or “Effective,” by the Ministry of Consumer and Business Services (Form 1, 2, or 3 of Ontario Regulation 182) filed under the Corporations Information Act. or the most current registration filed under the Business Names Act, 1990; or
  • A photocopy of the most recent registration filed under the Business Names Act, 1990; or
  • A photocopy of the most recent Articles of Incorporation; and a Form 3 and Form 6 issued by Consumer and Corporate Affairs Canada; or
  • A photocopy of the Extra-Provincial Licence (Form 2) issued by the Ministry of Consumer and Commercial Relations under the Extra-Provincial Corporations Act; or
  • A photocopy of the appropriate business registration along with a copy of the applicant’s birth certificate is required; or
  • A copy of the applicant’s birth certificate or Driver’s Licence.

Part 4: Applicant physical address

This is the actual address at which you as the applicant (or the organization you represent) is located. The applicant’s physical address must identify the physical location of the applicant or organization and rural route number or P.O. Box.

Part 5: Applicant mailing address

This is the address at which you as the applicant (or the organization you represent) receive mail. In many cases, the applicant physical and mailing addresses will be the same. If so, please indicate this on the form.

Part 6: Project technical contact information

If you have a consultant dealing with technical matters on your behalf, please indicate this on the form and provide their name, organization and contact information as indicated. If you do not have a consultant dealing with technical matters on your behalf, please indicate this on the form.

Part 7: Source(s) information

Please provide basic information about the site where water taking occurs.

Multiple water taking locations

If your application is to include more than one location for taking water, you should make an extra copy of the Source Information section (pages 3 and 4 of the application form).

For each additional site and attach the extra copy or copies to this application. Additional copies may be obtained from the Ministry of the Environment, Conservation and Parks webpage.

Water Taking Sources included in this application

This is the summary of the number of all sources by type.

Source Location Information

  • Lot, Concession, Township, or City Street Address. Please provide the lot and concession numbers in which the water source is located. If you do not know your lot and concession numbers, you should be able to determine this information by contacting your local municipal office, or by consulting certain road maps. If you live in an urban area, you may provide your city street address.
  • Original Geographic Township. This refers to the original surveyed township in which the original lot and concession survey was made. It is the original township name, not the later name, for example, of a newer municipality created by the amalgamation of several older townships.

Geographic Coordinates

Please provide the Universal Transverse Mercator (UTM) coordinates for the source of your water taking. Typically, such coordinates are obtained using a Global Positioning System (GPS), or can be obtained from an Ontario Base Map for your area. Ontario Base Maps can be ordered by calling 1-800-667-1940 or online at Ontario Base Map Index.

In the space provided, please include as much reference information as you can (see Appendix C for details). Also indicate the UTM coordinates on the topographic map you provide with your PTTW application.

Site ownership

Check “Yes” or ‘No” to show whether the applicant owns the land where the water taking will occur. If you are taking water from a water source located on land you do not own, the Ministry requires that you submit a letter from the landowner, authorizing you to take water from a source located on their property. A Permit to Take Water does not give permission to trespass or use equipment that you do not own.

Niagara Escarpment Planning and Development Act

Please contact the Niagara Escarpment Commission to determine if your water source is located within the area controlled by this Act. Telephone 905-877-5191 or go on-line at Niagara Escarpment Commission.

You may be required to show proof of a Niagara Escarpment Development Permit or similar approval when you submit an application for a Permit to Take Water. Any project that is subject to the Niagara Escarpment Planning and Development Act and has not received a development permit cannot be approved under the Ontario Water Resources Act.

Oak Ridges Moraine Conservation Act

You can determine if your water source is located within the Oak Ridges Moraine Conservation Area by consulting maps of the area. These maps are available online at Maps of the Oak Ridges Moraine or by requesting publication number 5461 from the Ministry of the Environment, Conservation and Parks Public Information Centre at 1-800-565-4923.

Complaints resulting from water taking location

Please indicate whether you are aware of any complaints that have resulted from the taking of water at the location indicated in your application. (For example: complaints about interference with neighbouring wells, or complaints of downstream water use interference.)

Water in Containers

Please indicate whether water is placed in containers at the site or whether water is incorporated into a product. The Water Taking Regulation (O.Reg. 387/04) limits the amount of water that can be transferred out of a water basin. If you are taking water for “containerization,” you should review the regulation or contact the Ministry’s regional office in the area of your water taking.

Well Location, municipal water availability

Please provide the distance to nearest well and whether municipal water is available within 500 metres of the water taking location.

Taking start dates and periods

Provide start date and length of taking (i.e., July 1, 2005 – Oct. 31, 2005 is a 4 month period).

Environmental Assessment Act

If your activity is subject to the Environmental Assessment Act, you must identify this on your application. Certain activities, such as municipal undertakings or public or private water supplies, are subject to the Act. Certain other activities, such as water taking for agricultural use, are not subject to the Act. If you are unsure about your obligations under the Environmental Assessment Act, please contact your local office of the Ministry of the Environment, Conservation and Parks.

Public consultation

Please indicate whether your proposed water taking has been the subject of public meetings or notification to other agencies.

Watercourse

(You only need to answer this question if you are proposing to take water from a watercourse.) For the purposes of the Permit to Take Water program, a watercourse is any above-ground feature of flowing water. This includes rivers, streams, drainage ditches and municipal drains.

  • Watercourse name. Please indicate the name of the watercourse, if it has one, and the type of watercourse.
  • Tributary to. If it is a tributary, indicate, if possible, the stream or river into which it flows.
  • Flow stop in watercourse. If the flow in the watercourse normally stops sometime during the year, please indicate when this happens and for how long.
  • Pumping equipment. Where portable pumping equipment is in use, please indicate if it is moved and relocated during water taking operations. Show pumping locations on the map required under Part 9 of this application.

Well

(You only need to complete this section if you are applying to take water from a well)

  • Name/identifier. Please provide a reference name for your well.
  • Water well record number. If you know your well record number, please indicate it here. If you do not know your well record number, but know the last name of the owner of your property at the time that the well was drilled, please indicate it here. If you have a copy of the original well record prior to issuance of a reference number, please attach a copy of the well record with your application.
  • Well deepening. Please note whether the well has been deepened and when this took place.
  • Type of well. Please indicate the construction of your well. If it consists of a 15-to-25 cm (6-to-10 in) diameter steel casing, it is likely a drilled well. If it has a much larger diameter (e.g., 1 metre or 3 ft), and you can see water at the bottom of the well, it is likely a dug well.
  • Well depth. If you have recently measured the depth-to-water in your well, please indicate this in the box marked “Depth to Static Water Level.” If you are taking water from a well, the Ministry normally requires that the depth-to-water in the well be measured periodically. If you cannot measure the depth-to-water in your well(s), please indicate it here. The periodic measurement of the depth-to-water in your well provides useful information about your water resource as well as the sustainability of your proposed water taking.
  • Pumping test. If you have ever had a pumping test completed at this well, please indicate it here. If a test has been completed, the results of the test will be very useful in our evaluation. Please submit the results with your application.

Lake

(You only need to answer this question if you are proposing to take water from a lake.) Where a particular lake is known by an official name on a map, but locally referred to by a different name, please indicate the official name.

Pond/Reservoir

(You only need to answer these questions if you are proposing to take water from a pond, pit or quarry.)

  • Name identifier. Please provide a reference name for your pond.
  • Pond construction. Please indicate whether the pond was constructed. If the pond is still undergoing construction (e.g., a quarry), make a note of it here.
  • Pond size. This information provides the Ministry with an approximate idea of the dimensions of the pond. In the case of an irregularly shaped pond, please choose the longest length and width. The average and maximum depths should be estimated when the pond is full.
  • Pond type. The Ministry defines a pond in four ways. Select the diagram from the application form that most closely resembles your pond.
  • Source of Pond Water. This information provides the Ministry with an understanding of the source of the water that fills your pond. Make your selection as follows:
    • Seepage/Springs/Groundwater, if the pond is not connected to a watercourse, but fills naturally without precipitation
    • Surface water runoff, includes tile drains or natural overland flow but not a watercourse or open channel.
    • Pumped water, if you are filling a pond with water pumped from another source. In this case, you would need to fill out an additional Part 7 for the other source. This option does not include ponds that are directly connected to a watercourse;
    • Flowing water, if your pond is filled by a direct connection to a watercourse, including open drainage ditches. If a permit is issued, it will limit the taking from the pond to a rate that does not adversely affect flow in the watercourse.
  • Inflow and outflow of water. Please indicate whether water flows in and out of your pond and indicate the nature of the controlling structure (e.g., weir, dam).

You should be aware that if you are discharging water to a surface water body or to the subsurface, you may need to obtain a Certificate of Approval from the Ministry. If this is the case, please call the Ministry’s Environmental Assessment and Approvals Branch at 1-800-461-6290.

Part 8: Public consultation / Environmental Bill of Rights requirements

This section requires you to answer two questions that will help you determine whether or not the application may be subject to posting and/or public consultation requirements under the Environmental Bill of Rights. For more information about the Environmental Bill of Rights and the Environmental Bill of Rights Registry, please visit the Ministry of the Environment, Conservation and Parks Environmental Registry.

Part 9: Water taking volumes (Table A)

This section requires you to identify the purpose or purposes for which you are proposing to take water. It also requires you to specify the maximum and typical rates of taking. If you are taking water for two or more purposes (e.g., crop irrigation and snow making) you should specify the rates for each purpose.

Water source information Table A (units in litres)

This section requires you to indicate maximum rates and maximum durations of taking. It is understood that you may not always take water at the maximum rate or for the maximum duration. It is also understood that your taking can be dependent upon several factors, including the weather. Therefore, wherever you are asked to indicate the maximum rate or duration of taking, you should estimate what these values would be in the worst case scenario. (See Appendix C for definitions of column headings in Table A.)

The Ministry of the Environment, Conservation and Parks works exclusively with metric units (see Appendix C for conversion factors). If you are unsure about performing the conversion calculations, you may include a note with your application that includes the imperial measurements.

Part 10: Attachments

Map

The Ministry requires that you indicate the location of your water taking(s) on a detailed topographic map. This allows the Ministry to make informed decisions on your application based on local and regional water resources. You may provide a photocopy of the appropriate portion of the map that covers your area provided it is legible (see create a map).

If your water taking is located in southern Ontario, you should use the Ontario Base Map (OBM) 1:10,000 scale topographic map series. These maps are available from the Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry for a nominal fee. They can be ordered by calling 1-800-667-1940 or online at Ontario Base Map Index.

If your water taking is located in Northern Ontario, you should use the OBM 1:10,000 or 1:20,000 scale topographic maps available for your area. Otherwise, you may use the 1:50,000 scale National Topographic System maps provided by Natural Resources Canada. These maps are available at selected local retailers (look under “Maps” in the Yellow Pages). Copies of these maps may also be available at public libraries.

On your map, please outline the property from which you will take water. Also mark and label:

  • All existing and proposed water taking locations with names of sources;
  • All designated features within 500 metres of the water taking location (see form).

Description of proposed water taking operations

The description of your water taking operations does not have to be long (about 100 words), but it must convey the essential facts required for the proper processing of your application. It should identify all operations, including those where multiple sources are used and/or where water is transferred from one source and stored in another. Two sample descriptions of water taking operations are provided below:

Example A (Groundwater):

“I have two wells that I use to fill up a storage pond. I normally need to pump both wells at about 200 litres per minute each for 24 hours in order to fill up my pond. The pond receives some water from rain and runoff, but does not fill naturally by seepage. When I need to irrigate my crops, I pump water from the pond at about 1000 litres per minute. During dry periods, I may empty the pond about 3 times per week. Most of my irrigation occurs in July and August, though I may irrigate a few days in September if the weather is warm and dry.”

Example B (Surface Water):

“My company takes water from the Green River at a constant rate of about 2000 litres per minute. We estimate that about 25% of this water is incorporated into our product and the remaining 75% is used for closed circuit cooling and then discharged back to the river about 50 metres downstream of our intake. This plant operates 8 hours per day, 5 days per week for the whole year.”

EBR registry

The description you provide may be used for the Environmental Bill of Rights (EBR) Registry. Some applications for Permits to Take Water are posted to the EBR registry for a 30-day public comment period. Your application will not usually be posted if it meets one of the following criteria:

  • Water takings for less than one year
  • Water takings for irrigation of agricultural crops
  • Water takings for activities subject to the Environmental Assessment Act
  • Emergency takings

For further information on the Environmental Bill of Rights Registry, please consult Environmental Registry website.

Water taking needs

Please provide a description (with calculations) of how you determined the volume of water requested (rates, amounts and time period). For example, is your rate of water taking based on your pump capacity, on irrigation demand calculations, on pressure required for proper water distribution, or some other means? You should be able to justify why you have requested the rates specified on your application.

Water conservation

You are encouraged to take all reasonable and practical measures to conserve water and to be up-to-date with the best management practices for water conservation for your sector (for example, whether you are implementing or will implement water conservation best water management standards and practices relevant for your sector). Contact associations that represent your sector for information on published best practices, such as the Ontario Water Works Association for the municipal sector or the Audubon Cooperative Sanctuary Program (ACSP) for Golf Courses. Fact Sheets and guides on best management practices for the agricultural sector are available through the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture and Food and the Ontario Federation of Agriculture, including information on efficient irrigation systems, staggering irrigation schedules and preparing Environmental Farm Plans.

You are required to indicate what efforts you plan to make to conserve water. Please submit accurate information on water conservation measures and practices which you have undertaken or will undertake for the duration of the permit, including:

  • A statement of your goal for reducing the use, loss and/or waste of water (e.g., percentage or litres per day or per unit of production);
  • A description of the best management practices applied or to be applied;
  • A schedule outlining when the best management practices will be applied;
  • A description of equipment and processes, such as water used for industrial production and/or irrigation system(s);
  • Related information used in determining water conservation and efficiency management practices and measures.

For example, water takings for irrigation should include information on the purpose of irrigation (e.g., crop or sod), total acreage irrigated, irrigation methods, pump specifications, and other information used in determining water use efficiency. If you have completed an Environmental Farm Plan, refer to it for the relevant information on water conservation.

Please note that this section may not be directly applicable to certain takings, such as pumping tests, instream uses, site dewatering and certain industrial processes. In these cases, consideration must be given to the fate of the water or system design requirements.

Part 11: Statement/signature of applicant

In this section the applicant must declare and sign to the accuracy and completeness of the information supplied in the application form.

It is an offence under section 98 of the OWRA to knowingly give false information to the Ministry in respect to matters under the Act and regulations. Penalties for this and other violations could result in fines up to $50,000 for the first conviction and up to $100,000 for each subsequent conviction where the offence is committed by an individual and $250,000 and $500,000 respectively where the offence is committed by a corporation. [Section 98 is a tier two offence, see section 109 of the OWRA]

Part 12: Application fee

The fee structure for a Permit to Take Water application is as follows:

  • Category 1: $750
  • Category 2: $750
  • Category 3: $3,000

Application fees came into effect on April 1, 2005. The fees were introduced to cover the costs to process, review and issue a permit.

The following permit adjustments are free of charge:

  • Administrative amendments (e.g., name/address change)
  • Amendments made necessary because of actions the Director may require of an applicant to meet permit requirements
  • Revocation of an existing permit

The differences in fees reflect the time that Ministry staff need to complete reviews of different types of applications. Category 1 and Category 2 applications require relatively basic evaluations compared to Category 3 applications, which must undergo highly detailed technical reviews.

Water takings for irrigation and frost protection for agricultural purposes, including vegetable crops, fruit orchards, flowers, nurseries, tree and sod farms, tender fruit and aquaculture (fish farming), are exempt from permit fees. The exemption does not apply to agribusiness and food processing operations, including vegetable and fruit canning, processing, pickling, and beverage manufacturing, wine-making and water-bottling.

Effective September 1, 2007, the PTTW administrative fee will be waived for first time permit applications by previously grandfathered water takers that are now required to obtain a permit. Upon renewal, these applicants will be required to pay the fee.

You can pay the PTTW fee with a certified cheque or money order, or by credit card (visa or Master Card), in Canadian funds, payable to the Ontario Minister of Finance.

Failure to pay the required fee will result in the submitted application for a Permit to Take Water being cancelled and returned.

The Director may return the fee to the applicant if:

  • the application is incomplete
  • the application is not accompanied by the appropriate fee
  • where an application has been withdrawn or refused and in the opinion of the Director the amount of time spent by Ministry staff and the expenses incurred by the Ministry in the review of the application is insignificant

Appendix A: Ontario Regulation 387/04, Water Taking

O. Reg. 387/04: Water Taking and Transfer

Appendix B: Location of Ministry of the Environment, Conservation and Parks Regional Offices

Ministry of the Environment, Conservation and Parks Regional and District Offices

Appendix C: Definitions, Conversion Factors and Georeferencing

Definitions

Maximum Rate Per Minute
This is typically the maximum capacity of your pumping equipment. You may be able to obtain pump output rates from the manufacturer. Tables at the end of this appendix provide information on how to estimate the rate of water taking by some common models of irrigation equipment.
Maximum Number of Hours Per day
This refers to the number of hours in a day in which you actually take water. It does not indicate the length of your potential period of water taking. For example, if you normally take water sometime between 8:00 a.m. and 8:00 p.m., but you only actually plan to take water for four hours during this period, you should specify four hours in this instance.
Maximum Volume Per Day
This is the maximum amount of water you might take in one given day. In some cases you may be able to determine this total by multiplying the maximum rate per minute by 60 (minutes per hour) and then by the maximum number of hours that you might operate your pumping equipment on any one day. In other cases, you may be able to determine the maximum rate by demand calculations. The maximum volume per day may be equal to, or less than, the rate per minute, multiplied by 60 (minutes per hour), multiplied by the number of hours that you operate your pumping equipment.
Typical Volume Per Day
You may feel that the maximum volume per day is not typical of your normal rate of withdrawal. Please specify a more “typical” rate of withdrawal. This may be equal to or less than the maximum volume per day.
Maximum Number of Days of Taking Each Year
This refers to the number of days in a year during which you actually take water. It does not include the length of your potential period of water taking. For example, if you normally take water sometime between May 1 and September 30, but you only actually plan to take water for 25 days during this period, you should specify 25 days.
Earliest Likely Calendar Date of Taking
This is the earliest day in the year on which you might start to take water. If you take water year-round, this date will likely be January 1. If you take seasonally for irrigation, this date might be June 1. It is understood that this date will vary from year to year, depending on climate and your own activities.
Latest Likely Calendar Date of Taking
This is the last day in the year on which you might take water. If you take water year-round, this date will likely be December 31. If you take seasonally for irrigation, this date might be October 1. It is understood that this date will vary from year to year, depending on weather conditions and your own activities.
Transitional Permits
These are permits where the Director has previously required upgrades/modifications to water taking. Transitional surface water Permits are issued when an existing water taker who has been asked by the Director to implement upgrades or modifications to their water taking facilities applies for a temporary short term taking that would allow him/her to continue to operate while scientific studies are being finalized and improvement works are being implemented.

Common conversions and calculations

To convert to litres:

If you have a value in imperial gallons, multiply by 4.546.
If you have a value in U.S. gallons, multiply by 3.785.

To convert to metres:

If you have a value in feet, divide by 3.280.
If you have a value in inches, divide by 39.37.

To convert to hectares:

If you have a value in acres, divide by 2.471.
If you have a value in square feet, divide by 107,639.
If you have a value in square metres, divide by 10,000.

To convert a pump rating to the maximum volume of taking per day

Example. If you have a pump rated at 300 U.S. gallons per minute and pump continuously for 12 hours per day, what is your maximum volume of taking per day?

Step 1: Convert US gallons to litres.
300 × 3.785 = 1135.5 litres per minute

Step 2: Multiply rate by number of minutes in 12 hours
1135.5 litre per minute × 60 minutes per hour × 12 hours = 817,560 litres per day

Therefore, if you pump at 300 U.S. gallons per minute for 12 hours per day, your maximum taking is 817,560 litres per day.

To estimate a daily water demand for irrigation

Example. You have 20 acres of a crop that needs to be irrigated to a depth of 1 inch. How much water do you need for one application?

Step 1: Multiply the area by the depth of water to be applied
20 acres × 1 inch = 20 acre-inches

Step 2: Convert acre-inches to litres
20 acre-inch × 102,800 Litres per acre-inch = 2,056,000 litres

or

Step 1: Convert acres to hectares.
20 acres ⁄ 2.471 = 8.1 hectares

Step 2: Convert hectares to square metres.
8.1 hectares × 10,000 = 81,000 square metres

Step 3: Convert inches to metres.
1 inch /39.37 = 0.0254 metres

Step 4: Multiply the area by the depth of water to be applied.
81,000 square metres × 0.0254 metres = 2057.4 cubic metres

Step 5: Convert cubic metres to litres.
2057.4 cubic metres × 1000 = 2,057,400 litres

Georeferencing

You must provide geographic coordinates for your water taking site on the topographic map you submit with your PTTW application. Specifically required are Universal Transverse Mercator (UTM) Northing and Easting coordinates as point(s) of reference.

Typically, such coordinates are obtained using a Global Positioning System (GPS). An example of the type of information required for the application form is as follows: NAD 83 [map datum], GPS [method of collection], +/- 10 m accuracy, Zone 17, 593159 m E, 4944010 m N.)

Map Datum
This is the UTM datum of the map or GPS (Global Positioning System) used to specify position of the point of reference. Currently, there are two map datums in use in North America, namely, the North American Datum 1927 (NAD27) and NAD83. The NAD83 Is preferred, as the current Ontario Base Maps are constructed using this datum.
Zone
This is the UTM Zone within which the site is located. There are four UTM Zones within Ontario, namely 15, 16, 17 and 18.
Accuracy Estimate
This is the accuracy (+/- metres) of the provided UTM Northing and Easting coordinates for the point of reference. The accuracy of the data depends on the method used for generating the data. The accuracy of a direct geodetic survey, for example, may be less than 1 metre. A GPS may guarantee accuracy from 1-10 metres to more than 10-30 metres. A topographic map may provide accuracy of 10-100 metres.
UTM Easting
This is the distance in metres east from the western delimiter of the UTM Zone to the point of reference.
UTM Northing
This is the distance in metres from the equator to the point of reference.

Appendix D: Application form for Permit to Take Water

Download and complete Application for Permit to Take Water