About watershed security
The province is committed to developing the Watershed Security Strategy and Fund with Indigenous peoples and in collaboration with local and federal governments. We will also hear from industry, environmental non-governmental organizations and people who have varied and unique contributions to make on the path to watershed security. The discussion paper is designed to promote discussion and acknowledges that:
- The relationship between the provincial government and Indigenous peoples, particularly First Nations, is distinct from the government’s relationship with local governments and stakeholders and creates different legal obligations.
- People who live in and do business in a watershed are most directly affected when issues with water arise such as water scarcity or drought, flooding, pollution, degraded aquatic and riparian ecosystems and or other problems.
- Many communities are already doing important work to protect and restore their local watersheds, and all people in a watershed have an important role in managing water. Healthy watersheds are critical for achieving watershed security and resiliency and are the foundation of a stable economy.
The Watershed Security Strategy will identify a role for everyone to contribute to the care of our watersheds.
This discussion paper is not the Watershed Security Strategy – it is designed to promote discussion and does not indicate any government commitments for change at this stage. Key themes the Watershed Security Strategy may explore:
- Watershed governance
- Climate change adaptation
- Healthy aquatic ecosystems
- Safe drinking water
- Community and economic stability
- Improved education and knowledge
Research and studies
The Watershed Security Strategy will focus on freshwater resources, including both groundwater and surface water. Several ongoing projects will inform the development of the Watershed Security Strategy, including:
- Development of related strategies such as the the Wild Salmon Strategy, Coastal Marine Strategy and Climate Preparedness and Adaptation Strategy.
- Work to implement the recommendations of the Auditor General’s report on improving drinking water management and source water protection.
- Ongoing efforts to modernize Land Use Planning and consider cumulative effects.
- Ongoing projects focused on governance and managing watersheds, including in the Nicola Valley, the Upper Bulkley and Morice River watersheds, and the Hullcar Valley.
The province is working to address many environmental priorities such as biodiversity, conservation, invasive species and clean energy. The government will collaborate to ensure the Watershed Security Strategy is coordinated with these priorities.