Water Management

FACT SHEETS FOR AGRICULTURE: Partnership for Water Sustainability assists governments of Canada and British Columbia to develop guidance documents for water licensing and storage (January 2022)

“Farmers in British Columbia often need storage facilities to supply farmstead water or to support water licences from surface or groundwater sources that do not provide sufficient flow during summer months. Water storages can be on either private or crown land, but a licence will be required to store water that is vested to the Province. Storages can be in the form of dugouts, reservoirs with small berms, or large reservoirs behind a dam. The rules and regulations that must be followed will depend on the type of storage facility being built,” stated Ted van der Gulik.

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ACCESS AND DOWNLOAD A SET OF REPORTS ON: British Columbia’s Agriculture Water Demand Model – learn about province-wide application and results

“This water management planning tool calculates current and future agriculture water demands in British Columbia, and accounts for climate change. Inputs for the AWDM include land use, soil and climate information. The field component of the AWDM program centres on compilation of land use inventories for all regions of the province. The power of the tool is in the provincial database, in particular the 500 metre gridded climate cells,” stated Stephanie Tam, Ministry of Agriculture.

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OP-ED ARTICLE: Kim Stephens – Celebrating a decade of living water smart in B.C., but where to from here? (published in the Vancouver Sun in June 2018)

“A game-changer flowing from Living Water Smart is the B.C. Agricultural Water Demand Model. It accounts for climate change, is applied to establish future needs for Agricultural Water Reserves, and is the engine for the online B.C. Agriculture Water Licence Calculator. Developed to support implementation of the B.C. Groundwater Regulation, the Calculator quantifies outdoor water use for any property in B.C., including residential,” wrote Kim Stephens.

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Water Licensing Calculator: Managing Water as One Resource in British Columbia

Passed by the British Columbia Legislature in Spring 2014, the Water Sustainability Act and new regulations were brought into effect on February 29, 2016. It is a game-changer because it recognizes the connection between land use actions and the implications for the both the water cycle and watershed sustainability. “The Water Sustainability Act recognizes that groundwater and surface water are interconnected and addresses the need to manage them together,” stated Minister of Environment Mary Polak.

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