Water Sustainability Act

    FACT SHEETS FOR AGRICULTURAL WATER USE: “All reservoirs, whether natural or constructed, that take water from a stream to fill the facility will need a storage licence. The subsequent water use purpose, irrigation, also requires a water licence,” stated Stephanie Tam, Water Management Engineer with the BC Ministry of Agriculture (January 2022)

    Farmers in British Columbia often need storage facilities to supply farmstead water or to support water licences from surface or groundwater sources that do not provide sufficient flow during summer months. Water storages can be on either private or crown land, but a licence will be required to store water that is vested to the Province. Storages can be in the form of dugouts, reservoirs with small berms, or large reservoirs behind a dam. The rules and regulations that must be followed will depend on the type of storage facility being built.

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    FLASHBACK TO 2015: The Water Sustainability Act allows for the development of Water Sustainability Plans to integrate water and land use planning to address the potential impacts of land use decisions and actions on water

    “The scale and scope of each Water Sustainability Plan – and the process used to develop it – would be unique, and would reflect the needs and interests of the watersheds affected. Planning will be an effective tool where the need is great, and where other area-based management tools are not able to address the links between land use and watershed impacts,” explained the Ministry of Environment’s Jennifer Vigano. Water Sustainability Plans can be combined with other local, regional or provincial planning processes.

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