GROUNDWATER LICENSING IS A CRISIS IN THE MAKING: “Groundwater licensing is a serious issue. In case one thinks this is a partisan political issue, remember it was before the NDP was elected as government, it was the BC Liberal government that brought in this modernization of the Water Act,” wrote David Zirnhelt, newspaper columnist in small town BC and former provincial cabinet minister (May 2021)
NOTE TO READER:
Groundwater licensing is the biggest endeavour the Province of BC has taken on in its water management history. There are an estimated 20,000 historical groundwater wells supplying farms, businesses, industries, utilities, and institutions across the province. Yet, after 5-plus years, a mere 1 in 5 have applied for a water licence. March 1, 2022 is the looming deadline to apply. Now it is a crisis in the making. What will it take to motivate the other 4 in 5 to apply in their own self-interest?
RANCH MUSINGS: Groundwater licensing a crisis in the making
“Groundwater licensing is a serious issue. All users of groundwater, other than domestic users, must get an application for a license in to government before March 1, 2022. This deadline has been set under the “new” Water Sustainability Act (WSA) which came into force in 2016,” wrote David Zirnhelt on May 23, 2021 in his Ranch Musings column published by the Williams Lake Tribune.
David Zirnhelt was a provincial cabinet minister for 10 years from 1991 through 2001, and in three different portfolios, in successive NDP governments.
“In case one thinks this is a partisan political issue, remember it was before the NDP was elected as government, it was the BC Liberal government that brought in this modernization of the Water Act.”
“One of the major aspects of this new law is the requirement that to use groundwater (not surface water which already had this requirement of licensing) a user other than a domestic (household) user must license the use.”
To Learn More:
To read the complete article by David Zirnhelt, download a copy of RANCH MUSINGS: Groundwater licensing a crisis in the making.
For a fuller understanding of the groundwater licensing issue, download a copy of Living Water Smart in British Columbia: The Emerging Crisis Around Groundwater Regulation Implementation.