‘Urgent action’ needed to protect British Columbia’s groundwater, Auditor General says



An audit of the management of groundwater resources in bc - cover (475p)

One Million People Rely on Groundwater

The provincial government needs to take “urgent action” to protect its groundwater resource since one-quarter of B.C.’s population relies on it for their daily use, provincial Auditor-General John Doyle concluded in his latest report.

John doyle (120p) - bc auditor general“One million British Columbians rely on groundwater for daily use and the demand is increasing. It’s a large group of people and that is not including industry or agricultural use,” stated John Doyle.

Auditor General’s Recommendations

The report examined existing information, protection measures and access controls in place to ensure groundwater sustainability. Titled An Audit of the Management of Groundwater Resources in British Columbia, the report made seven recommendations, which include:

  1. Classifying the provincial aquifiers in priority areas
  2. Review the Provincial Ambient Groundwater Quality Monitoring Network to ensure there is sufficient monitoring of groundwater levels and quality across the province.
  3. Develop a groundwater information management strategy that takes into account detailed scientific information and identified trends
  4. Take the lead on coordinating the consolidation of all of the groundwater monitoring information collected by provincial ministries and other agencies
  5. Develop and deploy systems to protect groundwater from depletion and contamination
  6. Develop a framework that clearly outlines the roles and responsibilities for managing groundwater provincially and locally
  7. Ensure that integrated watershed management plans are developed for all priority watersheds.

The report noted that the Ministry of Environment is already in the process of reviewing its Groundwater Program, and is updating the provincial Water Act through its Living Water Smart program.

To Learn More:

To download a copy of An Audit of the Management of Groundwater Resources in British Columbia, click on OAGBC_Groundwater

To download a copy of the news release by the Auditor General, click on Government not effectively ensuring groundwater sustainability

Click on ‘Urgent action’ needed to protect B.C.’s groundwater to read the story published in the Vancouver Sun newspaper.

Click on Province needs to invest in protecting water supply: Auditor General to read the story published by The Tyee.

Click on Auditor general raps B.C.’s groundwater plan to read the story published in the Vancouver Province newspaper.


Posted December 2010