Report: A Strong Water Sustainability Act Requires Regulations, Funding, and Partnerships

lake okanagan

Lake Okanagan.

Population growth, climate change and competing demands have increased pressure on British Columbia’s water resources and watersheds are now beginning to show signs of distress.

In 2014, the Province enacted the Water Sustainability Act (WSA), replacing the century-old Water Act. In order for the WSA to meet its mandate, the Act requires additional details and regulations to help water users manage demand on BC’s water resources.

With funding from the Real Estate Foundation of BC, the University of Victoria’s POLIS Project on Ecological Governance has released Awash with Opportunity, a report with recommendations for implementing and strengthening BC’s Water Sustainability Act with regulations for water users, resources for implementing the Act and partnerships between governments and stakeholders. In particular, the report recognizes that the Province must involve First Nations communities in decision-making and enforcement.

The report’s recommendations are based in international best practices in five key areas:

  • Groundwater licensing,
  • Environmental flows,
  • Monitoring and reporting,
  • Water objectives and
  • Planning and governance

With full implementation of these recommendations – regulations, funding and partnerships – the WSA can help manage competing pressures on the province’s water resources and ensure that water is shared fairly today, and in the future.

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Read more:

Awash with Opportunity: Ensuring the Sustainability of British Columbia’s New Water Law (full report / executive summary)

POLIS Project on Ecological Governance