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The Ground Water and Water Well Act
This is an unofficial archived version of The Ground Water and Water Well Act
as enacted by SM 1987-88, c. 9 on July 17, 1987.

R.S.M. 1987, c. G110

The Ground Water and Water Well Act

HER MAJESTY, by and with the advice and consent of the Legislative Assembly of Manitoba, enacts as follows:

Definitions.

1

In this Act,

"department" means The Water Resources Branch; ("Direction")

"director" means the director of The Water Resources Branch; ("directeur")

"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")

Application of Act.

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.

Exception.

2(2)

This Act, except sections 9 and 10, 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.

Further exceptions.

2(3)

This Act does not apply to

(a) a well from which oil or natural gas is obtainable; or

(b) a well drilled or being drilled for the purpose of obtaining water at a depth greater than 500 feet below the surface of the ground to inject into an underground formation to assist in the production of oil or natural gas; or

(c) a well used for the purpose of injecting, or disposing of, gas, air, water or other substance into an underground formation to assist in the production of oil or natural gas.

Licence required.

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.

Application for licence.

4(1)

An application for a licence to engage in the business of drilling wells shall be made in writing to the director in such form and containing such information as may be prescribed in the regulations.

Issue of licence.

4(2)

The director, or any officer of the department authorized by him 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.

Notice of drilling well.

5

No person shall commence drilling a well unless he has, prior thereto, notified the department in writing of the location of the well and the method he intends to use for drilling it.

Suspension of licence or permit.

6

Where

(a) the minister receives a report from the director 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.

Access to wells and records, etc.

7

The director, or any officer of the department authorized by him for the purpose, 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; and every well driller and owner shall permit the director or such officer to enter upon the premises at all reasonable times, inspect the wells or operations thereon, and any such records, plants or equipment and to take such samples or carry out such tests or examinations as the director or officer considers necessary or desirable.

Surveys and studies.

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.

Right of entry for survey or study.

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.

Control of flow from well.

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.

Costs of controlling flow.

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.

Arbitration.

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.

Payment of costs.

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.

Payment of costs from Consolidated Fund.

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.

Pollution of ground waters.

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.

Deposit of polluting matters prohibited.

10(2)

Subject to The Clean 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.

Offence and penalty.

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, to a fine of not more than $100. for each day upon which the offence is repeated or continued.

Regulations.

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;

(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;

(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.

Effect on other Acts.

13

Nothing in this Act or the regulations restricts or modifies any provision of The Water Rights Act, The Clean Environment Act, or The Public Health Act or of the regulations made under those Acts.