NAFTA is not an issue, but funding a sustainable management system is
“With streams running dry, wildfires raging, reservoirs running low, watering restrictions in place, and severe drought declared across the populous south coast of B.C., fresh water is the hot topic,” wrote Deborah Curran and Oliver Brandes in an op-ed article published by the Vancouver Sun on July 20, 2015.
Deborah Curran is the Hakai professor in environmental law and sustainability in the faculty of law at the University of Victoria. Oliver Brandes is the co-director of the University of Victoria’s POLIS Project on Ecological Governance, where he leads its water sustainability project. Both teach water law and have written widely on the potential of the new Water Sustainability Act.
“We have an unprecedented opportunity and public support to remodel B.C.’s water regime. Sufficient resourcing through water rents is a big part of sustainable water management and we must not be distracted by unfounded fears of turning B.C. water into a commodity or triggering NAFTA claims when we are seeking to secure the necessary resources to manage our most valuable resource.”
“Someone — whether it be B.C. taxpayers or water users — must pay for our water management system. This is not commodification. It is implementing a robust user-pay regime. Linking use directly to an effective system of full-cost recovery is more equitable and also more sustainable (from both financial and ecological perspectives) than the current underfunded approach,” conclude the authors.
To Learn More:
To read the complete article, click on Opinion: Managing B.C.’s water resources