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This version is current as of December 4, 2013.
It has been in effect since October 9, 2008.
Note: Earlier consolidated versions are not available online.
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C.C.S.M. c. G110
The Ground Water and Water Well Act
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HER MAJESTY, by and with the advice and consent of the Legislative Assembly of Manitoba, enacts as follows:
1 In this Act,
"department" means the department of government over which the minister presides and through which this Act is administered; (« ministère »)
"drilling" includes boring, digging, driving and jetting; (« forage »)
"ground water" means water beneath the surface of land; (« eaux souterraines »)
"minister" means the member of the Executive Council charged by the Lieutenant Governor in Council with the administration of this Act; (« ministre »)
"owner" includes a purchaser of land under an agreement for sale; (« propriétaire »)
"well" means any opening made by drilling into the ground for the purpose of obtaining ground water or scientific data on ground water, whether water is obtained or not; (« puits »)
"well driller" means a person who drills or reconditions wells. (« foreur de puits »)
2(1) Subject to subsection (2), this Act applies to all sources of ground water and to all wells whether drilled or developed before or after coming into force of this Act.
2(2) This Act, except
(a) sections 7 to 11; and
(b) regulations made under section 12, other than regulations respecting certification or licensing;
does not apply to a well that is drilled or developed by an owner on his land, using equipment owned by him, for the purpose of obtaining water solely for his domestic use.
2(3) This Act does not apply to a well as that term is defined in The Oil and Gas Act.
3 No person shall engage in, or advertise himself as engaged in, the business of drilling wells unless he is the holder of a subsisting licence to engage in the business of drilling wells, issued to him under this Act.
4(1) An application for a licence to engage in the business of drilling wells shall be made in writing to the department in such form and containing such information as may be prescribed in the regulations.
4(2) An officer of the department authorized by the minister for the purpose, may, upon receiving an application therefor and upon the payment of the fee prescribed in the regulations, issue a licence to engage in the business of drilling wells; and in doing so, he may fix terms and conditions in respect thereto.
S.M. 1989-90, c. 26, s. 2.
(a) the minister receives a report from an officer of the department that the holder of a licence issued under this Act is not complying with this Act or the regulations or any terms and conditions of the licence; or
(b) the minister deems it advisable in the interests of the community or for the purposes of proper conservation, development or utilization of water;
the minister may suspend any licence issued under this Act.
7 An officer of the department authorized by the minister has access to all wells, and to all records, plants and equipment relating to or used in, or in connection with, wells and the drilling of wells. Every well driller and owner must permit such an officer to enter upon the premises at all reasonable times, inspect any wells, operations, records, plants or equipment there, and take samples or carry out tests or examinations that the officer considers necessary.
8(1) The minister may direct
(a) that a survey of ground water resources of the province be undertaken; and
(b) that a study of the conservation, development and utilization of ground water be undertaken.
8(2) For the purpose of carrying out a survey or study directed to be undertaken under subsection (1), any person authorized by the minister for that purpose, may at all reasonable times, enter upon land to make tests, to take samples, and to construct, maintain, operate or inspect wells.
9(1) Where the minister directs the owner of a well to control the flow or output of water therefrom and the owner fails to do so, the minister or any person authorized by him for the purpose, may enter upon the land and do such things and take such action as he may consider necessary to control the flow or output of water from the well.
9(2) Where the minister or any other person authorized by him enter upon land under subsection (1), the minister may determine
(a) the cost of the things done and the actions taken to control the flow or output of water from the well;
(b) the person who is responsible for controlling the flow or output of the water; and
(c) the person who is liable for the cost, or any part of the cost, of the things done or actions taken to control the flow or output of water from the well.
9(3) A person affected by any matter determined by the minister under subsection (2), may by written notice delivered to the minister within 30 days of receiving a notice of the determination, submit the matter to arbitration.
9(4) A person determined under subsection (2) to be liable for the cost or a part of the cost of doing things or taking actions to control the flow or output of water from a well who does not submit the matter to arbitration within the time mentioned in subsection (3) shall pay the cost or that part of the cost, as the case may be, to the government; and in default of payment, the cost or that part of the cost, as the case may be, may be recovered from the person in a court of competent jurisdiction.
9(5) Notwithstanding subsections (2) and (4), where in the opinion of the minister the circumstances warrant, the cost of doing things or taking actions to control the flow of water from a well, or a part thereof, may be paid from and out of the Consolidated Fund with moneys authorized by an Act of the Legislature to be paid and applied for the purposes of this Act.
10(1) No person shall drill a well without taking reasonable precautions to avoid polluting, or contaminating, or diminishing the purity of, ground water in the area.
10(2) Subject to The Environment Act, no owner shall deposit or place, or allow any other person to deposit, or place in or near a well on his property, any material, substance, or thing, that might pollute, or contaminate, or diminish the purity of, water in the well or ground water in the area of the well.
10(3) If an officer of the department authorized by the minister is satisfied that, due to a well having been abandoned or not properly sealed or capped,
(a) water in the well; or
(b) ground water in the area of the well;
is or may become polluted, contaminated or diminished in purity, the officer may order the owner of the well to rehabilitate, seal or cap the well in a manner satisfactory to the officer.
10.1 Where a well driller or an owner fails to comply with section 10, the minister or any person authorized by the minister for the purpose may, without notice or legal process and at the expense of the person who has failed to comply, enter upon the land and do such things and take such action as the minister or the person authorized by the minister considers necessary to prevent or remedy the pollution or contamination of water in the well or of ground water in the area of the well.
S.M. 1989-90, c. 26, s. 3.
11 Every person who contravenes or fails, neglects or omits to comply with a provision of this Act or the regulations or an order of the minister is guilty of an offence and is liable, on summary conviction,
(a) in the case of an individual, to a fine of not more than $10,000. or imprisonment for a term of not more than three months, or both; and
(b) in the case of a corporation, to a fine of not more than $25,000.
12 For the purpose of carrying out the provisions of this Act according to their intent, the Lieutenant Governor in Council may make such regulations and orders as are ancillary thereto and are not inconsistent therewith; and every regulation or order made under and in accordance with the authority granted by this section has the force of law; and without restricting the generality of the foregoing, the Lieutenant Governor in Council may make regulations and orders,
(a) prescribing fees for licences issued under this Act;
(b) prescribing forms for applications for licences issued under this Act and the information to be contained therein;
(c) governing the issue of licences under this Act;
(d) prescribing terms and conditions subject to which licences are issued under this Act;
(d.1) respecting the certification of well drillers and of installers of equipment related to wells, including prohibitions against uncertified persons drilling a well or installing equipment;
(e) respecting the establishment of ground water conservation programs and for the purposes of such a program, restricting and regulating the use of ground water and the flow or output of water from wells;
(f) regulating the methods of drilling wells and prescribing precautions and measures to be taken in drilling and developing wells; and regulating the flow or output of water during the drilling of a well;
(g) requiring well drillers to keep and submit for inspection by officers of the department, logs, reports and geological and other information, and specimens and samples of materials encountered in drilling wells;
(h) prescribing specifications and standards for casings, equipment and materials used in, or in drilling, wells;
(i) regulating the spacing and depths of wells;
(i.1) prescribing specifications and standards for the maintenance of wells by owners;
(j) regulating the abandonment and closing of wells and prescribing methods to be used and precautions to be taken in abandoning or closing wells;
(k) prescribing measures to be taken to prevent or diminish the pollution and contamination of ground waters;
(l) respecting any other matter relating to the conservation, development and control of ground water resources and the drilling and operation of wells and the production of ground waters therefrom.
S.M. 1989-90, c. 26, s. 4; S.M. 2005, c. 26, s. 41.
13 Nothing in this Act or the regulations restricts or modifies any provision of The Water Rights Act, The Drinking Water Safety Act, The Environment Act, or The Public Health Act or of the regulations made under those Acts.