This page was updated on June 3, 2020

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.

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 is an application for emergency amendment processed?

Please review the Yukon Water Board Guidelines for Processing an Application for Emergency Amendment. 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" but the Board, however, has typically been reluctant to bypass the public consultation process and has defined an emergency as a sudden occurrence which requires immediate action. The Board has also typically expected Licensees to show that there will be an adverse environmental consequence if the application for amendment is not dealt with immediately. For further information or if you have any questions, please contact the Yukon Water Board.