Under the Waters Act an application must be made to the Board and a Licence issued prior to the use of any waters or disposal of any waterborne waste.

The requirements for application are binding on those using inland waters including businesses, industry as well as municipal, territorial and federal governments and their agencies. The only exclusions are the use of water for domestic purposes, in-stream users (fishing, swimming, boating), for extinguishing a fire, or on an emergency basis, controlling or preventing a flood.