Under the proposed law, critical environmental flows will have priority over licensed rights on streams and connected groundwater users, meaning that companies such as Nestlé (Nestlé Waters Canada will draw an estimated 300 million litres of groundwater for its bottling plant in Hope this year) could see the taps turned off in some circumstances. You must submit notification of proposed work to FrontCounter BC a minimum of 45 days before beginning work. In many ways, The New Water Sustainability Act is still business as usual when it comes to industrial use and is a drop in the bucket when it comes to the real changes needed to give the power to our communities and First Nations to protect and steward our precious water here in BC.

Furthermore, it still includes a First In Time First In Right section so that those with the older/oldest permit have rights over new permits. Update on the Mount Polley Mine Disaster - Imperial Metals and Government Focus on Covering Up Instead of Cleaning Up, LNG Pipedreams, Fractured Futures and Community Resistance. Water used for fracking is currently sourced from both surface and groundwater. Moving forward, it is clear that any efforts to govern water must involve leadership from First Nations who have been stewards of fresh water in this province for thousands of years. As a result, an older permit held by a gas or mining company can take priority over a new permit for domestic use, (which includes water for drinking, sanitation, preventing fires, etc), or conservation.

Our reviews of the Act were mixed – it included some good new legal tools for regulating water in times of scarcity, but also some missed opportunities in terms of guaranteeing water for fish and wildlife and for drinking water. In 2013, more than seven billion litres of water were used for fracking in B.C.

The theme for World Water Day this year is Energy and Water. The long-awaited BC Water Sustainability Act (WSA) was brought into force on February 29, 2016. government has been working to update the 105-year-old Water Act. British Columbians need strong legal protection for our water. About usTake ActionCampaignsAnalysisUpdatesContact Us, Donate nowRenew your supportOther ways to give, The Council of Canadians 200-240 Bank Street, Ottawa, ON K2P 1X4, Tel. Will the government require fracking companies to disclose all the chemicals they are going to use for a fracking project in order to be issued a water license? It also includes provisions for restricting water usage during shortages. Despite these projects causing significant damage or posing threats to the streams, lakes, rivers, drinking water, and hunting and fishing activities on these territories, the vast majority of them still receive government approval, support, and water licenses. Many critics are concerned that the new legislation won't charge enough to large scale water users (like Nestle or the fracking companies). As the government rolls out its new regulations, we will be watching – and sounding the alarm if those rules do not do enough to protect BC’s fresh water. The New Water Sustainability Act fails to adequately recognize First Nations rights and title. And unfortunately that leaves too much up to the discretion of government regulators, who have shown on many an occasion that when it comes to competing water needs, Industry wins at the expense of the environment and local communities! The BC provincial government has introduced Bill 18, The New Water Sustainability Act, to replace the current 105-year-old Water Act. For example, the new act mentions that the government could rely on industry information to “determine the environmental flow needs of the stream”. Vancouver, BC V6B 2Z6, xʷməθkʷəy̓əm (Musqueam), Skwxwú7mesh (Squamish) & səl̓ilwətaʔɬ (Tsleil-Waututh) Territories.

In fact, it outlines the water licencees right to expropriate land which is “reasonably required for the construction, maintenance, improvement or operation of works authorized or necessarily required under the licence.” Furthermore, the act says that the ‘decision maker’ will decide when an hearing is warranted, which is insufficient as there should be situations that automatically trigger a public comment period/hearing process. The BC government is in the process of developing the rules that will determine how the Act works, and our team has been working hard to tell the government that those rules need to be strong.

The WSA allows the government of British Columbia to control groundwater and also surface water in the province. The minister of environment, Mary Pollack, has launched another round of public consultation before coming out with the proposed pricing for water use by major industrial producers, including natural gas companies that withdraw huge amounts of water for fracking. However, the province has not clearly spelled out who and what gets precedence in a drought situation (or other situations of scarcity). Water allocation must be based on the principles that water is a commons, public trust and human right. Wider notice should be given as certain projects could impact other people’s drinking water, for example.

The new act is being heralded as a long overdue step in the right direction, though many are also calling it the "Watered-Down Act".

A household of 5 people (especially if someone is ill) would be wholly inadequate to meet basic needs. Submitting more than 45 days ahead of time is recommended.

The New Water Sustainability Act (Bill 18), Protests Disrupt Kinder Morgan Pipeline Drilling Attempt, Protect the Sacred Headwaters: Stop Imperial Metals Red Chris Mine. The WSA also gives consumers certainty about their water rights, and it provides transparency in the rules pertaining to water. The BC provincial government has introduced Bill 18, The New Water Sustainability Act, to replace the current 105-year-old Water Act.

After an extensive development period, the British Columbia provincial government introduced Bill 18—Water Sustainability Act (WSA) into legislature this spring and it received Royal Assent in May.

The Water Sustainability Act (WSA) is a British Columbia water management law that came into force on February 29, 2016.. There is concern that the government, in wanting to please big industrial users, will not charge the appropriate fees so that it can actually afford to enforce the law and protect our waters. The New Water Sustainability Act will introduce a new pricing regime on groundwater users.

The government really should be doing their own assessments in the first place and not asking industry for this info as they have a vested interest in having the licence issued. This allowed corporations and industries in B.C.

The legislation does not recognize water as a human right or public trust.

When it comes to incorporating community input, while the new act does require that the applicant give notice to those that will be affected by the licence/amendment (this includes an authorization holder, a change approval holder, an applicant for an authorization or change approval, a riparian owner, and a land owner), it does not require that notification be given to other people in the watershed.

Though in some ways the new act is moving in the right direction,  there is significant concern that the government lacks the resources and internal capacity to implement and enforce its regulations and monitoring. During the public comment period that the BC government held in 2013. Furthermore, Nestlé Canada, in its submission last November, argued that its bottled-water production “should be considered an essential human-need function during times of drought.”.

Seems like the fox watching the hen house! as the only province in Canada that didn't regulate groundwater use. For the first time ever in BC, groundwater (along with surface water… Whether it is fracking companies who are able to withdraw large volumes of water from the Peace River while farmers fields go dry, or it is the provincial governments steadfast support for destructive projects such as the Site C Dam and Tsaseko's New Prosperity Mine proposal (which would have destroyed Fish Lake as well as impacted the health of several major rivers), the BC government has prioritized corporate profit over the wellbeing of our watersheds time and time again.

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