BC’s New Water Sustainability Act Enables Water Use Monitoring Initiative proposed by Okanagan Basin Water Board
Water Commission Proposed for BC
While there is provision in existing laws (and supported in BC’s new Water Sustainability Act) for water license holders to measure, record and report their water use, the requirement is largely discretionary, and there is no legal requirement for it to be applied consistently – or to be applied at all, depending on the circumstances. The reporting that does occur is generally paper-based, which limits how the information can be used in local and provincial resource management and planning activities.
Moving Towards Informed Water Resource Decisions & Management
The Okanagan Basin Water Board has proposed a new Water Use Commission for British Columbia. This would create the necessary linkage between good water-use data and water management, a significant improvement to the current process of managing BC’s most precious resource – water.
The business case proposed by the OBWB envisions a new commission that would manage water and build on the made-in-BC Water Use Reporting software developed in the Okanagan and piloted in the Okanagan and the Regional District of Nanaimo.
This proposal is the result of a suggestion made in 2013 to the minister, which he requested the OBWB flesh out for his consideration, noted board member Don Dobson, who also chairs the Okanagan Water Stewardship Council which spearheaded development of the water use reporting tool. “The water utilities have been very supportive,” he added. “This approach will streamline fee payments and give much greater value to communities at very little additional cost.”
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