BC Watershed Security Strategy

    STRENGTHENING THE FOUNDATION FOR WATER LAW IN BRITISH COLUMBIA: Once-in-a-decade opportunity for water sustainability in BC

    “In a nutshell, ‘vesting’ is the legal concept that has historically been used to establish the government’s authority to write the laws that govern water use in BC. This means that any use of water that is unvested remains outside of those provincial laws. Vesting all water does not mean the use of every drop will or needs to be regulated. That concern is a red herring. The real issue centres on what government cannot do when the water use involves unvested water,” stated Mike Wei.

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    What might a Water Sustainability Act 2.0 look like?

    “During development of the Water Sustainability Act, the stars appeared to be aligning and everything was pointing to water becoming a real priority for the government. That was our frame of reference in 2014. We believed that the initial version of the WSA would not be government’s only kick at the can. Given that water is now being recognized as such a big priority, we could say to ourselves: ‘we will be back for WSA 2.0 to deal with the things that we had to leave behind’,” stated Donna Forsyth.

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    ARE STREAMS WORTH THE SAME AS CONSTRUCTED ASSETS? – Local governments need real numbers to deliver green infrastructure outcomes!

    “The message about ‘getting it right’ is a good summary of the green infrastructure goal of EAP, the Ecological Accounting Process. But it goes far beyond that thought. Not only do local governments have to make the financial case for stream restoration, they also actually now have to do it! But, the Partnership team wondered, what is the look ahead for readers of Construction Business magazine? The editorial challenge was to make a bridge from the regular construction world to the Partnership’s watershed world. An invitation to the reader of the article became a desired goal,” stated Ray Fung.

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    NANAIMO REGION’S DRINKING WATER & WATERSHED PROTECTION PROGRAM: Strong, Informed, Enduring Political Leadership is a Foundation Piece for Living Water Smart

    “The Regional Board provided the Province with feedback on exactly what municipalities and regional districts need so that we can take on more initiative and responsibility around watershed-scale decisions. This is a time for regional districts and stakeholders to speak up to ensure that what goes in the Watershed Security Strategy and Fund is adequate to meet the needs that we have been calling for. Fundamentally it comes down to resourcing. Funding will enable all the outcomes that the Province is hoping to achieve,” stated Ben Geselbracht.

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    BC’s Watershed Security Strategy & Fund

    “Without effective provincial participation at local government tables, nobody has the authority to deliver a consistent, unified message about over-arching provincial goals and expectations. Consequently, the relevant analogy is a ‘wild west’ scenario. Without an effective provincial presence, there are consequences – for example, failure to close the gap between ;’state-of-the-practice’ and ‘state-of-the-art’ as it relates to water sustainability in an era when the water cycle is changing,” stated Kim Stephens.

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