Open houses are happing in the Bulkley Valley this week for residents to register for the new ground water-licensing program.

Ground Water Licensing came into effect in February 2016.

Regional Hydrogeologist, Johanna Wick said the licensing “is to help manage groundwater resources in the province to help protect the aquifers, the stream, the environments, and the livelihood of people who depend on the environment.”

Groundwater licensing open house:
* Burns Lake, Lakes District Secondary school, Oct. 23, 4-7 p.m.
* Smithers, Nora Building (3726 Alfred St.), Oct. 24, 4-7 p.m.

Wick said staff will be there any questions and help people fill out the licensing applications online.

Those using groundwater for a business, including farmers have until March 1, 2019, to apply without any fees.

Wick said that anyone who is a new groundwater user would have to pay the fee.

The licensing Wick says gives the government a complete picture of who is using groundwater and how they can better sustain it.

“Water is a precious resource in B.C. but its also limited and given increasing pressures on B.C. freshwater resources like overuse, drought, and climate change we had to change the way we think about its suitability,” adds Wick.