Keystone Agricultural Producers (KAP) has given feedback on the proposed amendments to regulations under the Water Rights Act.

The Department of Sustainable Development was accepting feedback on a proposed water rights regulation to support a streamlined approach to drainage and water retention approvals.

The farm lobby group says it supports the province's intention to raise its licensing project application fee to $500, however KAP members would like to see that money refunded if the application is rejected. The application fee has not changed since 1988.

KAP President Bill Campbell was pleased that the government decided to extend its comment period to January 26th.

"Hopefully everybody that has drainage concerns was able to summit to the consultations, so that everybody's voices will be heard through this process," he commented.

Positive feedback was expressed by members regarding the option to bundle related projects.

Members were in favor of the regulation allowing water resource officers to overrule a complaint by an adjacent landowner, although some members expressed concern with the decision being left to the discretion of a single water resource officer. Therefore, KAP recommend that should an application need to go through the licensing process due to the inability to obtain downstream approval, the licensing fee should be waived.

KAP is also recommending that drainage of Class 3 wetlands, which are seasonal in nature, should not be subject to the same compensation that farmers must pay for drainage of Class 5 wetlands, which are permanent.

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