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Rules and Directives

New Alberta Environment and Parks Water Directive

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Release Date: Feb 22, 2018

On February 22, 2018, Alberta Environment and Parks (AEP) issued Directive for Water Licensing of Hydraulic Fracturing Projects – Area of Use Approach, which provides industry with greater flexibility around water use for multistage hydraulic fracturing projects within a constrained mineral tenure area and clarifies how the AER will evaluate multiyear water licence applications.

Historically, licensees typically obtained temporary water diversion licences valid for up to one year for hydraulic fracturing projects. In order to obtain longer-term water licences, licensees had to specify at the time of application the exact location where water would be used, which is not always known for multistage hydraulic fracturing operations. 

Under this new directive, operators can apply for longer-term water licences valid for up to ten years where the hydraulic fracturing project areas are known at the time of application based on mineral tenure but where the exact location of water use cannot be confirmed until development plans are finalized. More details on the information required when submitting a water licence application to the AER can be found in the directive. 

For questions about the directive, please contact AEP at

For application-related questions, please contact the AER at or your Water Authorizations staff contacts.

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Mark Taylor
Executive Vice President
Operations Division