BC Water Act Modernization: Province releases report on stakeholder engagement process
Water Act Modernization (WAM)
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.
Synopsis of the Response from Stakeholders
The Report on Engagement and all public submissions are posted on the Province’s Living Water Smart website. These can be accessed at http://blog.gov.bc.ca/livingwatersmart/ or http://www.livingwatersmart.ca/water-act/submissions/. The submissions are organized into three main categories:
- First Nations,
- broad Stakeholder Group and
- Individual submissions.
Submissions are arranged into stakeholder groups based on those submissions’ self-identification with definable sectors, organizations and associations. Individual submissions are organized into nine volumes, based on the submission method and to ensure manageable file sizes.
“In response to the high level of public interest and repeated requests for more participation, the Ministry of Environment will announce additional opportunities to comment on specific Water Act modernization proposals later this fall,” states Lynn Kriwoken, Director, Innovation and Planning.
“Providing additional opportunities for comment will still allow government to meet its Living Water Smart commitment to modernize the Water Act by 2012. “
About the WAM Engagement Process
In December 2009, the Government initiated its engagement process on Water Act Modernization by launching the Living Water Smart Blog. The purpose of the Blog is to provide information and a forum for British Columbians to discuss water issues and options for legislative change.
In February 2010, the Government invited submissions from British Columbians on a Water Act Modernization (WAM) Discussion Paper. The Discussion Paper proposed eight principles to underpin a modernized Water Act as well as four goals, supporting objectives and possible solutions.
The Discussion Paper and a supporting Technical Background Report were developed to further encourage dialogue on ways to modernize the Water Act and describe opportunities for using, sustaining and managing water resources in our changing environment.
In addition to the Discussion Paper and submission process, the Ministry of Environment held a series of 12 one-day public workshops across the province during March and April 2010, including three sessions specifically for First Nations. The objectives of the workshops were to provide participants with contextual information about Water Act Modernization and explore potential solutions for water management.
In response, the Ministry received approximately 900 written submissions from a range of individuals, First Nation organizations and stakeholder groups. In addition, over 500 participants attended the Water Act Modernization workshops. Over 80 percent of submissions came from individual British Columbians.
Formal submissions were made by a variety of sector groups including agriculture, energy, forestry, local government, mining, water industry, professional, community and environmental organizations. Comments received covered a broad range of interests and perspectives and are summarized in this report.
To Learn More:
To download a copy of the report, click on British Columbia’s Water Act Modernization: Report on Engagement
To read the eight key messages iflowing from the submissions, click on British Columbia’s Water Act Modernization: Executive Summary for Report on Engagement
Posted September 2010