Challenges and Gaps in WSA

CHALLENGES & GAPS IN THE WSA: “Why we need to talk about unvested water in British Columbia” – the story behind the story as told by Donna Forsyth and Mike Wei, retired senior civil servants in the Ministry of Environment (April 2022)

When BC’s Water Sustainability Act (WSA) came into force in 2016, “certain things were left behind”. Released in January 2022, the government’s Discussion Paper on Watershed Security Strategy represents a once per decade window of opportunity to revisit assumptions and decisions that defined the WSA scope, reflect on the context for those assumptions and decisions, and determine what action should be taken in light of new understanding. “It is possible that no water-related legislation, bylaw, plan or strategy can be applied to unvested water,” stated Mike Wei.

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CHALLENGES & GAPS IN THE WSA: “What might a Water Sustainability Act 2.0 look like?” – a joint submission by Donna Forsyth and Mike Wei to the government of British Columbia lays out five issues of concern (March 2022)

“So far, the current engagement for the Watershed Security Strategy has prioritised the questions that relate to: ‘what can First Nations and local organisations do to help with the management of BC’s water’. Our submission focused on government’s actions that we believe need to be discussed and addressed in conjunction with the Watershed Security Strategy in order to unlock the full potential for sustainable water management in BC. Since climate change is all about water – too much or too little – these changes should fit into climate related initiatives as well,” stated Donna Forsyth.

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