This page was updated on September 15, 2021

Frequently Asked Questions

I already have a water use licence which is going to expire soon, why do I need to submit an entirely new application?

The Board requires that an application for renewal must be accompanied by a current application form. Legislation, policies, best management practices and the information needs may all change over time. Water use licences require that you conduct the project in the manner that was proposed in the application, but plans that were proposed some years ago may no longer reflect how you intend to carry out the project today. If you think that a copy of your previous application may be useful in completing the new application, please look on Waterline.

I have a water use licence, but I need to change it. How can I get it changed quickly?

Amendments to a licence generally take the same amount of time as a new licence, because the public notice process required by legislation is the same for both a new licence and an amendment. To make the process faster, submit a complete application and make an appointment with a Licencing Officer to ensure that we have all the required information.

Do I need an agent to understand/complete the application?

You are not required to have an agent.

The forms are intended to be user friendly but if you encounter problems a Licensing Officer can assist you.

We welcome suggestions on how our forms can be improved.

How long will it take for my application to be processed?

Although there are legislated time frames for certain stages of the licensing process, there is no guarantee that a licence will be issued within a certain time frame.

It is important to note that the length of time it will take to process and have an application approved is based on the responsiveness of the applicant to requests for information, the public notification process, the complexity of the project and the type of undertaking proposed.

After the Yukon Environmental and Socio Economic Assessment Process ("YESAA") has been completed, and after you have provided the Water Board with confirmation that your project has not changed through that process, then it would be reasonable to allow four months for the processing of a typical application for a type B water use licence. Applications which are incomplete, or where there are significant concerns raised by interveners, and applications that are subjected to public hearings, will take longer.

Do I need a fisheries authorization?

The Yukon Water Board cannot determine if an application will need a fisheries authorization. You should contact Fisheries and Oceans Canada early in the application process.

Does the Water Board require applicants to use the guidelines provided on the Board’s website?

The Water Board has developed its own guidelines and endorsed a number of other guidelines and guidance documents to assist applicants in planning, designing, operating and closing projects. Given that each project is unique and may vary significantly, it is the Board’s view that these documents are not fixed standards. Not all information in guidelines will apply in every case. The Board may deviate from or supplement the criteria identified in guidelines and will consider more or less stringent information that is supported by rationale derived from evidence in the application or in interventions. Should an applicant chose to not follow the guidelines, they must provide a solid rationale for using an alternate approach. Information provided in accordance with guidelines will aid the Board and third parties in efficiently reviewing applications and using alternate approaches could lengthen the licensing process.

What if I am dissatisfied with the licensing decision?

Every decision of the Board is final. Questions of law and jurisdiction may be appealed to the Supreme Court.

What if I sell my claim?

If you are selling or leasing your claim(s) you can also transfer (assign) your water use licence to the new owner. Both the present licence holder and the purchaser are required to sign declarations of agreement as part of the Assignment Application; this confirms that both parties are in agreement on the transfer of the water licence.

Will the Board issue a water use licence for a placer operation if a water licence has already been issued to someone else for the same placer grants?

The Board will consider an application that overlaps on grants where there is an existing water use licence; however, applicants must provide a letter of agreement with the existing Licensee and provide details/scheduling to show how the two operations will operate at the same time. With this information, the Board will make the final decision whether or not to approve the second licence.

Do I contact the Yukon Water Board for mining land use?

The authority to approve a Class 4 Mining Land Use Operating Plans for placer mining has been delegated to the Board. For all other Mining Land Use Operating Plan Approvals, contact Yukon Government, Mineral Resources Branch .

How does the Board process applications for amendment on an emergency basis?

The Waters Act allows the Board to dispense with the public notice period if the Board, with the consent of the Minister, declares that the amendment is required on an emergency basis. The legislation does not define "emergency". The Board's Rules of Procedure detail how the Board processes an application for amendment on an emergency basis. For further information or if you have any questions, please contact the Yukon Water Board.