Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

What is the mandate of the Water Resources Commission (WRC)?

WRC was established by an Act of Parliament, Water Resources Commission Act, 1996 (Act 522). Under this Act, the property in and control of all water resources is vested in the President on behalf of and in trust for the people of the Republic of Ghana. The President has delegated these powers to WRC to regulate and manage the use of water resources and to co-ordinate any policy in relation to them.

Which sources of water require water use right/permit?

In accordance with the Water Use Regulations L.I. 1692, the sources of water for which permits are related are freshwaters such as stream, rivers, and lakes, and springs, and underground water. 

Which water uses or categories require water use right/permit from the Commission?

Water uses/purposes such as industrial, mining, domestic, municipal, hydropower, navigation, aquaculture, small town water supply, commercial (e.g. sachet and bottled water production), livestock watering, irrigation, construction, damming, dewatering, diversion, dredging, underwater wood harvesting and freshwater spillage.

Which water uses do not require water use permit?

The use of water in households for domestic purposes and irrigation on farm lands less than a hectare, do not require permit but have to be registered. Water use for fire fighting is exempt from permit acquisition. Also, the use of sea or marine water for any activity does not require permit.  A water use registration form can be obtained from our offices or website. (Click for water use registration form)

How much does it cost to register a water use activity that does not require a permit?

Registration of a water use activity is free.

What is the procedure for applying for a water use permit or drilling licence from the Commission?

Fill an application form obtained from our offices in Accra and the various basins or website, attach all relevant documents, and submit the filled form for processing and site inspection. (Click for application forms)


What is the cost involved in obtaining a permit or licence from WRC?

The fees charged by the Commission are as set by law in the legislative instrument and are categorized under different water uses. Applicants are required to pay non-refundable processing fees and water use charge/licence fees. The particulars of these fees can be found in the Fees and Charges (Amendment) Instrument, 2016 (LI 2228)

How do I pay the fees charged by WRC?

All fees charged are payable in cash, certified cheques or bank drafts to the Accounts Department of the Commission.

How long does it take to obtain a permit or licence?

The process for acquiring a water use permit does not take more than four (4) months, and for a drilling licence not more than two (2) months. The receipt of complete documentation facilitates expeditious processing of applications.

What is the validity period for a water use permit or drilling licence?

The validity period of a water use permit is subject to the type of water use activity but the drilling licence is for a period of three (3) years. Both are subject to renewal three months prior to expiration.

How do I renew my expired permit or licence?

An expired permit or license should be renewed by filling an application form and attaching revised documents (e.g. Water Demand Management Plan, Environmental Management Plan, and well records) and renewable documents of other institutions (if applicable).

Is a water use permit or drilling licence transferable to an individual or company?

A permit or licence is not transferable except with the prior approval in writing of the Commission.

Who needs a drilling licence?

A drilling licence is issued by the Commission to hirers or owners of water well drilling rigs for the exploration of groundwater resources in accordance with the Drilling Licence and Groundwater Development Regulations L.I 1827 . The general public and institutions are obligated by this law to engage only licensed drillers for the drilling of water wells.

How can I contact a drilling license holder?

The list of valid license holders can be accessed from our website or offices in Accra, Wa (Black Volta Basin), Bolgatanga (White Volta Basin), Sunyani (Tano Basin), Kumasi (Pra Basin), Tarkwa (Ankobra Basin), and Koforidua (Densu Basin).

What is difference between WRC and Ghana Water Company Limited (GWCL)?

WRC is a Regulator managing and regulating the use of freshwater while GWCL is a Service Provider that distributes treated freshwater to urban areas in Ghana.