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Important notice: New Water Act licence applications in the Digital Regulatory Assurance System (DRAS)

Effective November 15, 2021, applications for Water Act licences for surface water and groundwater must be submitted through DRAS. Temporary diversion licences (TDLs) will continue to be submitted through WATERS and will be included in DRAS at a later date.

Overview

On June 21, 2021, Alberta Environment and Parks took a significant step towards streamlining its regulatory system with the new Digital Regulatory Assurance System (DRAS).

About the Digital Regulatory Assurance System

DRAS will make reviewing applications more transparent and efficient while maintaining high environmental standards.

The new system is designed to clarify environmental regulatory expectations to applicants and to support all authorization types managed by Alberta Environment and Parks under the Water Act, Environmental Protection and Enhancement Act, and the Public Lands Act. DRAS will be used to manage the entire lifecycle of a project from application to authorization, monitoring and compliance reporting, to remediation and closure.

DRAS implementation

The Digital Regulatory Assurance System (DRAS) will roll out in stages throughout 2021 to 2023 and will eventually house all applications online.

Future rollouts will include:

  • Water Act temporary diversion licences
  • Public Lands Act dispositions for commercial and industrial activities
  • drinking water management and the remaining host of activities Alberta Environment and Parks regulates

For applicants, DRAS will provide:

  • the ability to apply for one project with multiple activities via an integrated application
  • clear, upfront application standards and requirements
  • a clear decision-making process
  • the ability to track the status of applications in real-time
  • increased province wide-consistency in application processes

Process improvements

Improvements to public notice and Statement of Concern processes

A public notice viewer has been created in DRAS that enables Alberta Environment and Parks to immediately post applications when public notice is required and to receive Statements of Concern directly in the system.

  • For applicants, this simplifies the public notice process, and provides clear timelines.
  • For the public, the public notice viewer on DRAS has an interactive map that enables members of the public to search areas of interest and includes a built- in form to instantly submit a Statement of Concern. Submitting a Statement of Concern through the public notice viewer on DRAS allows the filer to track the status of their submission in real time.

Public notices may be posted in other media, such as in newspapers and on bulletin boards, as users become familiar with DRAS. Statements of Concern will also continue to be accepted in other ways such as through mail or email.

Indigenous consultation process updates

To align with Alberta’s proponent-led Indigenous consultation method, applicants for Water Act approvals and, as of November 15, 2021, Water Act licences, will now use the Electronic Disposition System (EDS) to seek consultation requirements.

Information for Water Act approval and licence applicants on the proponent-led Indigenous consultation method can be found on DRAS:

What is Indigenous Consultation in Alberta?

What is an Indigenous Consultation Adequacy Assessment?

DRAS delegation updates

Applicants can add representative(s) to their DRAS profiles to give them permission to read, write and/or submit applications and further delegated permissions on their behalf. Find out more about this process :

Training

Webinars on DRAS for Water Act licence applications are being offered to assist applicants with this change. To register for a session, visit our EventBrite website:

DRAS Webinars:

The webinars are recommended for any person or company planning to undertake an activity that may affect the land or vegetation under or around a water body, or may affect the location, flow, or quality of the water or aquatic environment.

The current webinars are:

  1. Water Act Licence Application Training
    • Teaches applicants how to apply for a new Water Act licence for surface water and groundwater, amendments, renewals, and amalgamations.
    • Register for application training.
  2. Water Act Licence Reporting Training

Instructional videos for DRAS are also available on YouTube:

How to access DRAS

Step 1: Create an account

To access DRAS, all users will require a valid MyAlberta Digital ID (MADI) account or MyAlberta Digital ID for Business (MADI-B) account.

  • Individuals submitting an application require a MADI account.
  • If you are applying on behalf of a business or organization, a MADI-B account is required.
    • The administrator(s) for a MADI-B account will send invitations to other employees of the organization in order to add them under the MADI-B account.
    • Do not invite anyone outside of your organization to join your company's MADI-B account.

For help, email [email protected] or call 1-844-643-2789.

Step 2: Log in to DRAS

Once your MADI or MADI-B account has been obtained, you must log in to DRAS with your MADI or MADI-B credentials to have a DRAS profile. This is required before an application or notice can be submitted or before a representative can be assigned to submit on your behalf.

Supported browsers:

  • Google Chrome
  • Mozilla Firefox

Mobile browsers are currently not supported.

Go to DRAS

Contact

Connect with Alberta Environment and Parks:

Hours: 8:15 am to 4:30 pm (open Monday to Friday, closed statutory holidays)
Phone: 780-427-6311
Toll free: 310-0000 before the phone number (in Alberta)
Email: [email protected]

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