CAVI draws attention to need for integrated watershed management in Water Act Modernization Submission
Context for Water Act Modernization
Modernization of the Water Act is seen by the Province, and others, as an essential part of delivering the Living Water Smart vision. It is about making BC’s water laws simpler to understand, communicate, administer and enforce as communities respond to current and future challenges. The four goals of Water Act Modernization (WAM)are to:
- Protect stream health and aquatic environments
- Improve water governance arrangements
- Introduce more flexibility and efficiency in the water allocation system
- Regulate ground water use in priority areas and for large withdrawals
To inform British Columbians and solicit comment on Water Act Modernization, the Province has released both a Discussion Paper and a Technical Background Report. These provided a basis for inviting feedback and input from stakeholders by April 30, 2010.
Response from Stakeholders
“The response to WAM has been overwhelming. Over 600 people attended 12 workshops held across the province and we have received almost 1000 written submissions. Our team is currently summarizing the diversity of perspectives into a Report on Engagement that will be posted online early this summer,” states Lynn Kriwoken, Director in the Ministry of Environment Water Stewardship Division, and the Province’s lead person for Living Water Smart.
One of those 1000 submissions was from the Convening for Action on Vancouver Island Leadership Team.
“Although CAVI supports all four goals of the WAM initiative, it is Goal 2 that is of particular interest to our efforts of promoting water-centric planning at the local government and community level. The goal to improve water governance arrangements aligns with what CAVI is pursuing to achieve ‘on the ground’ in communities throughout Vancouver Island,” wrote John Finnie, CAVI Chair.
“The WAM Discussion Paper appears to miss the opportunity for an integrated watershed management approach, rather focussing on water management and allocation. CAVI’s experience suggests that the integration of land use and water management at the regional or local level is germane to successfully reforming the Water Act.”
To learn more and download a copy, click on CAVI – Water Act Modernization Submission
Posted June 2010