Overview

Provincial shorelands and nearshore (littoral and riparian) areas are sensitive. Activities that can impact these areas or affect the aquatic environment will require prior approval.

Work in and around a water body will generally require at least two provincial approvals under the following Acts:

The work may also require federal approval. See the Department of Justice Canada’s:

Activities requiring approval

The following activities that occupy the bed and shore of a water body or result in its disturbance will require prior authorization under the Public Lands Act.

Lakeshores

Activity Approval Type
Required
Plan Type Required
Aquatic vegetation control TFA** Sketch
Beach development/renovation (below OHWM*) DLO Sketch
Boat launch / Ramp DLO Sketch
Boat lift, Swimming rafts TFA Sketch
Docks, Piers, Wharves (seasonal, temporary use) TFA Sketch
Docks, Piers, Wharves (commercial, permanent) DLO Sketch
Dredging, Excavation DLO Sketch
Erosion protection works DLO Sketch
Grazing Grazing Permit Sketch
Groynes DLO Sketch
Haying Hay Permit Not required
Lakeshore vegetation management TFA Sketch
Lot Infilling / Re-grading TFA Sketch
Marinas (in lake) DLO Sketch
Marinas (inland) TFA Sketch
Mooring Fields DLO Sketch
Water control structures DLO Sketch
Water supply lines DLO Sketch

TFA: Temporary Field Authorization

DLO: Licence of Occupation

* OHWM = Ordinary High Water March (legal bank of waterbody)

**A Temporary Field Authorization may be exempt if there is no disturbance or modification to the lake bed or its banks.

Rivers & Stream Beds

Activity Approval Type
Required
Plan Type Required
Boat launch / Ramp DLO Sketch
Beaver dam/house removal TFA Sketch
Dams DLO Sketch
Docks, Piers, Wharves (seasonal, temporary use) TFA Sketch
Docks, Piers, Wharves (commercial, permanent) DLO Sketch
Dredging, Excavation DLO Sketch
Erosion protection works DLO Sketch
Grazing Grazing Permit Sketch
Groynes DLO Sketch
Haying Hay Permit Not required
Lot Infilling / Re-grading TFA Sketch
Outfalls (below OHWM*) DLO Sketch
Riparian vegetation management TFA** Sketch
Watercourse Re-alignment DLO Sketch
Watercourse crossings DLO Sketch
Water Intake DLO Sketch
Water supply pump/lines DLO Sketch
Weirs DLO Sketch

TFA: Temporary Field Authorization

DLO: Licence of Occupation

* OHWM = Ordinary High Water March (legal bank of waterbody)

**A Temporary Field Authorization may be exempt if there is no disturbance or modification to the lake bed or its banks.

Submission and approval process

A Temporary Field Authorization under the Public Lands Act can be applied for through regional offices. Search for ‘Temporary Field Authorization’ on www.alberta.ca for required forms and contact information. You can apply for a Water Act Approval through the department’s Environmental Approvals System (EAS) OneStop.

Plan confirmation service (PCS)

All surface disposition plans identified for digital submission must be submitted to the PCS website.

PCS is a secure site for clients creating plans for applications or amendments of surface dispositions on public land. You can download successfully validated plan packages. The zip file will contain:

  • a PDF version of the plan
  • an encrypted package
  • a confirmation number

For more information, see: Plan Confirmation Service.

Accessing EDS and PCS

A Government of Alberta account and password is needed to access EDS and PCS. For more information, see: User ID for Industry Online Services.

Applications

Submission

The following items must be submitted when submitting an EDS application:

  • an acceptable plan that meets requirements. See: Step One – Pre-Application
  • consent from adjacent landowners
  • First Nation consultation (FNC) number
  • plan confirmation number from PCS

Completeness review

A completeness review ensures the application is acceptable for a referral. Unacceptable applications are rejected and the applicant will need to reapply.

Merit review

A merit review determines if the application can be approved. Co-ordinated approvals will be issued pending approvals under both the Public Lands Act and Water Act. See the Activities Requiring Approvals section of these acts for more information.

Unauthorized uses

Approval must be obtained to use or occupy public land. Failure to do so may be considered an unauthorized use of public land.

Section 54 of the Public Lands Act prohibits any unauthorized activity that may result in damage to beds or shores. Such activities are considered offences under the Act.

There are penalties for unauthorized uses and offences under the Act. A person may be fined up to $5,000 for each day or part of day the offence occurs or continues.

Contact

To connect with Land Approvals staff: