31.95. If it involves an average quantity or consumptive use of 379,000 litres or more per day or a quantity or consumptive use determined by regulation of the Government and is not for transfer out of the St. Lawrence River Basin, a new withdrawal from the Basin, an increase in a new withdrawal or an increase in a withdrawal existing on 14 August 2014 may be authorized only if it meets the conditions set out below and the conditions prescribed by the Government or the Minister under other provisions of this Act:
(1) all water withdrawn is to be returned to the Basin, with preference to the direct St. Lawrence River tributary stream watershed from which it was derived, if applicable, less an allowance for consumptive use;
(2) the quantity of water withdrawn or consumed would result in no significant individual or cumulative adverse impacts on the quantity or quality of the waters of the Basin or on water-dependent natural resources in the Basin;
(3) the withdrawal or consumptive use is subject to water conservation measures determined by regulation of the Government, or by the Minister under other provisions of this Act; and
(4) the quantity of water withdrawn or consumed is reasonable having regard, among other things, to
(a) the water’s intended use;
(b) the measures implemented for the conservation and efficient use of water, including water from existing water supplies;
(c) the balance between economic, social and environmental development;
(d) the foreseeable impacts on the environment and on other uses, and the measures for avoidance or mitigation of such impacts; and
(e) the supply potential of the water source and other interconnected water sources.
For the purposes of this section, “new withdrawal” means any water withdrawal authorized after 14 August 2014.
This section does not apply to water withdrawn for the purposes mentioned in subparagraphs 3 and 4 of the third paragraph of section 31.90.