Water Sustainability Act

BC’s Water Sustainability Act – Water Leaders identify two critical issues essential to the success of implementation

Passed into law in May 2014, the associated regulations are now being developed. In October 2014, a diversity of individuals working on issues related to water sustainability came together at a workshop held at the University of Victoria. “This group of water leaders developed a statement of support to the province which identified action was required on two critical issues to insure success of the Water Sustainability Act,” reports John Finnie.

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BC’s New Water Sustainability Act Enables Water Use Monitoring Initiative proposed by Okanagan Basin Water Board

Water use reporting software used in the Okanagan would allow information on major groundwater and surface water extractions to be gathered efficiently from all over B.C. “The water utilities have been very supportive. This approach will streamline fee payments and give much greater value to communities at very little additional cost,” stated Don Dobson.

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“The Water Sustainability Act provides a fresh opportunity and framework to collaborate and implement watershed-based solutions,” says Ted van der Gulik

“The provision for development of watershed-based Water Sustainability Plans will enhance food security by securing water for future development of agricultural lands; ensure critical environmental flows for survival of fish and other aquatic habitat; promote a water balance way-of-thinking; and establish a water reporting system so that water is used beneficially,” states Ted van der Gulik.

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‘Historic achievement’ as British Columbia replaces its 105-year old Water Act

The Water Sustainability Act replaces the 105-year Water Act. After the act was passed, Environment Minister Mary Polak described it as a historic achievement for British Columbia. “Those were different times with different demands on our water resource. B.C.’s entire population was only 350,000. Today, our provincial population is 4.6 million,” she added.

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Historic New Water Legislation Introduced in British Columbia

Given our growing population, changing climate and expanding development, we must take concrete steps to ensure our supply of clean fresh water is sustainable. Our generation has a duty and an obligation to be water stewards today, and for the generations that follow,” stated Minister of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations Steve Thomson.

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“Water Sustainability Act working in tandem with the Environmental Management Act would be a powerful combination,” says Derek Richmond

“The Water Sustainability Act recognizes the connection between land use actions and the implications (consequences) for both the water cycle and watershed sustainability in the local government setting. This is important because restoration and protection of watershed health is a priority for local governments in BC,” states Derek Richmond.

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