“Province of British Columbia is committed to water sustainability,” writes Environment Minister Mary Polak



Note to Reader:

To download a copy of the Opinion-Editorial posted below, click on BC’s commitment to water sustainability.



Modernizing BC’s Water Act

“Fresh water is one of British Columbia’s most valuable natural resources. It  provides us with clean energy, supports our iconic salmon runs and quenches our  thirst. It is the lifeblood of our province and, as a limited resource, must be  cared for wisely to ensure its continued health and security for future  generations,” wrote Mary Polak, BC’s Minister of Environment, in an opinion-editorial published in newspapers in September 2013.

“Modernizing B.C.’s Water Act was a key commitment in our government’s  election platform.”

Proposed Water Sustainability Act

“Premier Christy Clark has directed me to complete consultation with British  Columbians on a proposed new Water Sustainability Act with the intention of  passing new legislation in 2014. The new act will update and replace the  existing Water Act, respond to current and future pressures on water and position B.C. as a leader in water  stewardship.”

Consultation Process

“We started working on the proposed new act in 2009 and have engaged widely  with British Columbians. In the more than 2,200 written submissions, individual  citizens, First Nations organizations and stakeholder groups shared their ideas  and pride for their rivers, lakes, streams and watersheds. Government has  reviewed this input carefully and continues to refine the legislative proposals,  seeks to better understand sector concerns and works out the details of how the  new act will be implemented.”

Regulation of Groundwater

“We recognize one of the greatest weaknesses of the existing Water Act is that  groundwater – with a few exceptions – is not currently regulated in B.C. As  such, the province does not license or charge for withdrawing groundwater. This  is why regulating groundwater use will be a key component of the new Water  Sustainability Act.”

Perspective of First Nations

“I would also like to acknowledge that First Nations in B.C. bring a unique  perspective due to strong cultural, ecological and economic interests in water.  The B.C. government will continue to engage First Nations as we refine and  implement the proposed Water Sustainability Act. My predecessors and I have met  with members of the First Nations Leadership Council and I plan to meet with  them again later this fall.”

Shared Responsibility

“I continue to be impressed by the strong interest British Columbians have  taken in their water resources. What government does is only part of the solution. All  British Columbians are challenged to play their part to protect, preserve and  conserve our water. I look forward to introducing the new Water Sustainability  Act in the legislature in 2014.”

To Learn More:

For more information on the proposed Water Sustainability Act, visit:  www.livingwatersmart.ca/water-act/.