We’ve also put up two more volumes of email submissions. In the past three weeks, we’ve received over 200 emails and almost 100 blog comments. Thank you all for taking the time to give us feedback on this important legislation. Keep your comments coming in this final week of the feedback period!
The importance of water quality protection has been raised a few times in your comments. Currently, provincial natural resource legislation and local government statutes include a number of measures intended to protect water quality, water quantity and aquatic ecosystem health, however these measures vary across statutes. For example, the Environmental Management Act protects water quality by regulating industrial and municipal waste discharge, pollution, hazardous waste and contaminated site remediation. The Drinking Water Protection Act provides the legal framework for drinking water protection in BC. The Forest and Range Practices Act and its regulations include water quality provisions to protect water resources from the impacts of forest practices on Crown land.
The proposed Water Sustainability Act would allow government to establish Water Objectives for water quality, water quantity and aquatic ecosystem health. Water Objectives would provide strategic direction and a more consistent approach for decision-makers – primarily those in the natural resource sector and within local governments – when making decisions which may impact water resources. Objectives could be established for a stream, an aquifer or an area of land or watershed. Decision-makers would also be empowered to establish terms and conditions in authorizations to help prevent or mitigate water-related impacts. Development and implementation of the Objectives would be integrated with other government programmes such as government’s Environmental Mitigation Policy.
How do you see Water Objectives working? Share your thoughts by leaving a comment below on the Blog.