Regional District of Nanaimo draws attention to need for “appropriate resources and enabling legislation” in its 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 Regional District of Nanaimo (RDN).
“The RDN supports the goals outlined in the Water Act Modernization Discussion Paper and encourages the Provincial government to take the necessary action to support these goals by providing the appropriate resources and enabling legislation,” states the staff report prepared by Mike Donnelly, Manager of Water Services.
“The RDN appreciates that the Water Act is focused primarily on water allocation. To address most of the issues related to water protection and water use will require that a broader approach be taken that integrates water allocation with watershed management.”
“An adaptive, integrated watershed-based approach to water management that recognizes groundwater and surface water as the same resource requiring protection, regardless of use, is required.”
“The RDN supports the movement to legislation and a system that embraces a watershed focus with all other acts being consequentially amended to be consistent with a new Water Act.”
To learn more and download a copy, click on Regional District of Nanaimo – Water Act Modernization Submission
Posted June 2010