“Proposed BC Water Commission would improve water services at very little additional cost,” says the OBWB’s Nelson Jatel
Okanagan Basin Water Board Proposes New B.C. Water Commission
“British Columbia’s new Water Sustainability Act introduces a range of new water management service needs including groundwater license management, watershed planning, source water protection, and enforcement. A new water-use reporting commission would help government support the delivery of these services,” observes Dr. Anna Warwick Sears, OBWB Executive Director.
“The old entrepreneurial saying states, we can’t manage what we don’t measure. Combining water rent billing with data collection is a thoughtful strategy to connect measuring water-use and managing it. Water rent collection delivered by the same entity makes sense, because the information is closely related and from the same source.”
“Needed improvements to surface and groundwater water licensing and management in British Columbia would be well served by the OBWB proposal of a new water commission, one management option that is transparent and has a strong business case. Such a commission would also enable a provincial grant program to support local government’s delivery of services outlined in the new Water Sustainability Act.”
Water Use Reporting Centre
“The proposed new commission creates the necessary link between good water-use data and water management, a significant improvement to the current process of managing BC’s precious water resource,” continues Nelson Jatel OBWB Water Stewardship Director. “The business case proposes 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.”
Nelson Jatel explains that “the BC Water Use Reporting tool allows utilities and others involved in water management to use the data for planning and managing the resource at an appropriate scale. With a new commission operating the web-based Water Use Reporting Centre province-wide, current data on water use would always be up-to-date and available for making important decisions about shared water. This approach would improve water services to BC residents and communities at very little additional cost.”
“Building on previous senior and local government investments to develop the Water Use Reporting Centre in the Okanagan, we are in a unique situation to develop a new model that supports sustainable water management, economic development and provides a world-class system for British Columbia,” concludes Anna Warwick Sears.
TO LEARN MORE:
To download a copy of the submission to the Minister, click on Improving Water Management in British Columbia: OBWB Proposal for a New Water Commission (PDF)
To read a supporting story posted elsewhere on the Water-Centric Planning community-of-interest, click on Okanagan Basin Water Board Proposes New B.C. Water Commission.