New Water Sustainability Act would help communities lighten British Columbia’s ‘Water Footprint’
A new Water Sustainability Act
In December 2010, the Ministry of Environment released its ‘Policy Proposal’ on British Columbia’s new Water Sustainability Act. The Policy Proposal summarizes the overall framework of a modernized Water Act.
In a news release, the Ministry stated that the new Act “will help lighten B.C.’s water footprint and transition us to a new way of managing water.” The Policy Proposal states that the provincial framework will be based on risk, competing demands and scarcity.
To Learn More:
To download a copy of the document, click on Policy Proposal on British Columbia’s new Water Sustainability Act.
On the matter of a ‘water footprint’ way-of-thinking, it is interesting that the mission of the international Water Footprint Network is to promote the transition towards sustainable, fair and efficient use of fresh water resources worldwide. To learn more about the concept, click here.
Facilitating Alignment at Three Scales: Provincial, Regional and Local
“The proposed Water Sustainability Act recognizes the relationship between land and water. This represents a quantum leap forward in moving BC along a pathway that leads to integration of land and water management practices,” observes Tim Pringle, President of the Partnership for Water Sustainability in British Columbia, an autonomous non-profit society incorporated in 2010.
“The vision of the Partnership is that water sustainability will be achieved through implementation of green infrastructure policies and practices. The Partnership mission is to facilitate change. This includes helping the Province implement Living Water Smart, British Columbia’s Water Plan. We are doing that by collaborating with local governments and supporting their interests so that they are informed about how to align regional and local actions with provincial goals.”
Connecting the Dots Between ‘Land Ethic’ and Water Sustainability
“It is our land ethic that ultimatelty will determine whether we achieve water sustainability. Respect for the land, that is so key, especially in those urban and suburban areas where BC’s population is concentrated.”
“If we make it a priority to respect the land, and if we ‘design with nature’, then over time BC’s communities will reduce their ‘water footprint’ in two ways. In dry weather periods, they will use less water to irrigate lawns and gardens, and water supplies will be conserved. During wet weather periods, less water will run off the land and stream health will be protected,” concludes Tim Pringle.
About the Partnership for Water Sustainability
The Partnership for Water Sustainability in British Columbia is an autononous society. The Partnership had its genesis in the Water Sustainability Committee of the BC Water & Waste Association.
The Partnership primarily works in the local government context, with a focus on community and regional planning systems, to influence uptake of strategies that will integrate decisions about use and conservation of land with water sustainability outcomes. The guiding philosophy is design with nature.
Posted January 2011