Western and Bow River Irrigation District Applications

Water Act Licence Applications – Western Irrigation District and Bow River Irrigation District

In 2006, Cabinet approved the South Saskatchewan River Basin Water Management Plan. Supported by a 2007 ministerial order and a Crown Reservation issued by regulation under Section 35 in 2007, this plan effectively closed three sub-basins (i.e. Bow, Oldman, and South Saskatchewan) to new surface water licence applications.

Alberta Environment and Parks no longer accepts applications for new surface water allocations. However, under the Order, water may be allocated from the Crown Reservation for the following purposes:

  • Water conservation objectives
  • Storage of peak flows to mitigate impacts on the aquatic environment and to support existing licences
  • First Nations Reserves
  • Licences and registrations that may be issued for applications and registrations that were deemed complete and submitted to the Director prior to the date of the Allocation Order

There are approximately 364 outstanding applications in the South Saskatchewan River Basin. For more information on these outstanding applications, please refer to the attached information sheet:

The Western Irrigation District and the Bow River Irrigation District have pending licence applications for large water allocations that were filed in 2000 and 1992 respectively, before the Bow River Basin, the Oldman River Basin, and the South Saskatchewan River Basin closed.

Abiding by the terms of the Bow, Oldman and South Saskatchewan River Basin Water Allocation Order Regulation, the Director is advancing these applications to the required 30-day Public Notice period. Public Notices may be viewed at:

For more information, please contact our Calgary Office at 403-297-7605. Call toll free by first dialing 310-0000.


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Updated: Sep 1, 2015