Feedback invited on Water Sustainability Act proposa

VICTORIA - Environment Minister Mary Polak released government’s legislative proposal for a new Water Sustainability Act.

  • Nov. 5, 2013 2:00 p.m.

Following extensive stakeholder engagements over the past number of years, Polak is inviting all British Columbians to review the proposal  and submit final comments before the act is introduced during the spring 2014 legislative session.

The proposed Water Sustainability Act will update and replace the  existing Water Act, respond to current and future pressures on water,  and position B.C. as a leader in water stewardship.

“Modernizing the Water Act was a key commitment in our government’s  election platform. We promised to engage with British Columbians one  more time before introducing the proposed Water Sustainability Act into  the legislature, which is why we are now asking them to review the  legislative proposal and let us know what they think. It’s important we  take the necessary steps today to ensure that our water stays healthy  and secure for future generations.” ~ Mary Polak, Minister of Environment.

Since 2009, the B.C. government has engaged widely, and received  suggestions and ideas on an unprecedented scale and quality with more  than 2,250 written submissions from individual citizens, First Nations  organizations and stakeholder groups. This is the third time that  government has invited British Columbians to comment on its proposals  for a new Water Sustainability Act.

Consistent with the engagement feedback received to date, the Water  Sustainability Act will make improvements in seven key areas, to:

* Protect stream health and aquatic environments.

* Consider water in land-use decisions.

* Regulate and protect groundwater.

* Regulate water use during times of scarcity.

* Improve security, water use efficiency and conservation.

* Measure and report large scale water use.

* Provide for a range of governance approaches.

During the next two weeks, British Columbians are encouraged to share  their comments through an online blog. In addition to the legislative  proposal, there will be a number of successive blog posts about the  proposed new act.

Participants can submit their feedback on the blog, or by email, fax or  post, until Nov. 15, 2013. All input received by the deadline will be  posted online. This feedback will help refine the final legislation and  will also assist government as it develops the subsequent regulations  and plans for detailed implementation.

Learn More: To view and comment on the legislative proposal and summary document  for the new Water Sustainability Act, please visit:

http://engage.gov.bc.ca/watersustainabilityact/