In an effort to modernize BC’s 100 year old Water Act, the BC government has introduced into the Legislature the new Water Sustainability Act. Although it will have some familiar features from the old Water Act and the Fish Protection Act, it will introduce some new features such as the establishment of water objectives, consideration of environmental flow needs of streams in licensing decisions, new powers when streams are at risk of falling below critical environmental thresholds and an administrative monetary penalty scheme. It will also regulate groundwater for the first time in BC, and the BC government is currently reviewing its approach to water pricing.
The new Water Sustainability Act has been at least five years in the making. Some of the key features of the proposed law are:
If passed, the new law is proposed to take effect in the Spring of 2015. Between then and now, we can expect the development of a set of regulations that will provide more details of this proposed new regime.
For further information, contact Tony Crossman at firstname.lastname@example.org or 604.643.1244.