Andrew MacLeod

    PARTNERSHIP FOR WATER SUSTAINABILITY ISSUES ‘CALL FOR ACTION’ DURING BUDGET 2022 CONSULTATION: “BC’s groundwater licensing system is still in crisis. Experts warn of chaos and economic disruption, but say it is not too late to save the needed initiative,” wrote Andrew MacLeod in his article published by The Tyee (October 2021)

    “There’s still time for the British Columbia government to save its troubled groundwater licensing system, observers and experts say, but it will require stronger commitment and action than the province has shown so far. The consequences of a failed groundwater transition — political, economic, ecological — cannot be overstated and are extremely difficult to reverse, they add. Failure would erode the public trust in the government’s ability to manage water resources and undermine the Water Sustainability Act, they also say,” wrote Andrew MacLeod.

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    CALL FOR ACTION TO GET GROUNDWATER LICENSING BACK ON TRACK IN BRITISH COLUMBIA: “This is the moment for leadership from the highest level to demonstrate that the provincial government is implementing the Water Sustainability Act in good faith. It is also a moment for ALL to embrace shared responsibility to ‘get it right’,” stated Kim Stephens, Partnership for Water Sustainability (October 2021)

    “The responsibility for water needs to reside in one ministry with the mandate to require other ministries to communicate, cooperate, coordinate, and collaborate. In our system of government, accountability flows through the minister. For this reason, the water champion (or water leader) can only be a cabinet minister who has the authority and accountability to make water a priority; and has a mandate from the Premier to facilitate collaboration across government. And to ensure success in carrying out the WSA mission, it is essential that the minister empower and support staff,” stated Kim Stephens.

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    GROUNDWATER LICENSING IN BRITISH COLUMBIA IS A CRISIS IN THE MAKING: “I think there’s a lot of frustration all around, and it’s because the government, in my mind, hasn’t taken this file seriously. It’s a big story but it hasn’t gotten much traction. It’s going to be a big story,” stated David Slade, a Past-President of the BC Groundwater Association (August 2021)

    BC’s faltering effort to manage groundwater use brings a looming crisis. Thousands of groundwater users could be cut off effective March 2022 as they fail to apply for water licences. Critics blame government inaction. The way it looks to David Slade, a water-well driller with 50 years of experience, some 15,000 British Columbia groundwater users are going to become criminals overnight next March. “That certainly seems to be the trajectory we’re on now. I don’t know if it’s willful ignorance, or just people are ignoring it in hopes it will go away,” said Slade.

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