The Regulation respecting the charges payable for the use of water made under the Environment Quality Act was published in the Gazette Officielle du Québec on December 15, 2010. The Regulation came into force on January 1, 2011.

The purpose of the Regulation is to promote the protection and development of water as a resource and to ensure that there is an adequate quality and quantity of water from a sustainable development perspective. The Regulation establishes the charges payable for the use of water and will affect all industries that withdraw or use 75 m3 or more water per day whether the water comes from a distribution system or is taken directly from surface water or groundwater. The charges are established on the basis of the volume of water used in a year. The rate of the charge is set at $0.0025 per cubic meter of water used by the majority of industries. For certain industries, such as industries in the categories of bottled water, juices and beverages, non-metallic mineral products, agricultural products (pesticides and fertilizers), inorganic chemical products and oil and gas extraction, the charge is established at $0.07 per cubic meter of water used.

Those who are subject to the payment of the charges are required to determine the volume of water used annually by direct measurement taken by measuring equipment the installation, operation, monitoring and measurement of which meets the requirements set forth in the Regulation respecting the declaration of water withdrawals unless otherwise authorized to determine the volume of water by estimates based on indirect or spot measurements. The payment of the charges for the use of water during 2011 shall be paid no later than March 31, 2012.

The funds collected through these charges will be deposited in the Québec Green Fund to support various government commitments in the areas of integrated water resource management and knowledge acquisition.

The Regulation can be consulted at: