Originally published in 2018, the Groundwater Management Bulletin from the City of Vancouver provides rezoning and development permit applicants with information on the process and submission requirements related to groundwater management at development sites throughout the City of Vancouver.

The submission of a hydrogeological study is required for:

  • Rezoning and subsequent development permit applications located partly or wholly within any of the areas of concern for groundwater.
  • Applications (excluding single family homes, duplexes, and laneway homes) made directly at the development permit stage (i.e. under current zoning) within the Cambie Corridor study area.
  • Applications anywhere in the City that include open loop geoexchange systems.
  • Sites subject to the Rezoning Policy for Sustainable Large Developments

The City of Vancouver recognizes that groundwater has historically been pumped or drained during and after construction, and then discharged to the sewer system as waste. However, there are a number of concerns with both construction-related and permanent (i.e. post-construction) extraction/diversion of groundwater.

While many elements of the revised bulletin remain the same, highlights of the changes include:

  • Background on why the City is limiting groundwater discharges to the sewer system
  • More guidance on what is required in a hydrogeological study at each stage
  • Exclusions for most single family, duplex, and laneway homes from the requirement to submit a hydrogeological study, unless there are groundwater-related concerns
  • Broadened areas of concern where a hydrogeological study is required
  • An interactive online map to help determine if a site is in any areas of concern
  • A detailed submission checklist

The revised Groundwater Management Bulletin will better enable the City to address groundwater-related concerns such as sewer capacity, while providing additional clarity to applicants on the City’s requirements.

View revised Groundwater Management Bulletin from the “Topic Specific” section of the City’s Zoning and Land Use Document Library

To learn more about how the Groundwater Management Bulletin affects your business, contact us today.