Development of Bill 18 and Royal Assent

In October 2013, government released a Legislative Proposal for a new Water Sustainability Act. This proposal was informed by the many ideas submitted by British Columbians during the initial 2009-2010 engagement process.

Overview of the Legislative Proposal [PDF 3.47MB] – October 2013

Legislative Proposal [PDF 1.9MB] – October 2013

Over the four-week comment period on the Legislative Proposal, government received over 3000 submissions by email, mail and the blog, as well as 12,000 website visits. Ministry of Environment staff reviewed all comments in the process of preparing the legislation.

On March 11, 2014 Bill 18, the Water Sustainability Act (WSA), was introduced into the B.C. Legislature. On May 29, 2014, after three readings and Committee Debate, the bill received Royal Assent. At that time, government determined that the new Act would come into force early in 2016.

The WSA establishes the broad legal framework for managing water in British Columbia. Much of the detail about how the general principles laid out in the WSA are to be applied will be provided in regulations.

Due to the complexity of the WSA and the number of proposed regulations and policies, government is taking a phased approach to its implementation. Public comments will continue to be a resource through the ongoing development of regulations and WSA implementation.