Tag Archives: Water Sustainability Act

New Regulations under the Water Sustainability Act

The Province of BC on February 29, 2016 announced several initial regulations that have now come into force under the Water Sustainability Act.

Some of the highlights are as follows:

Water Sustainability Regulation

  • mandates the licensing of groundwater for non-domestic use – this includes community water supply, agricultural irrigation, industry etc.
  • groundwater users (non-domestic) will have a one-year grace period to apply for a license and have the application fee waived.
  • groundwater users have three years (from Feb. 29, 2016) to apply for a license if they want to maintain their priority date of first use.
  • all applications received after March 1, 2019 will be treated as new users, with no historic priority date of use.

Groundwater Protection Regulation

  • outlines operating and maintenance requirements and standards for groundwater wells.
  • mandates the submission of well records for newly drilled wells.

Other new regulations include: Dam Safety Regulation, Violation Ticket and Fines Regulation, Fees and Rentals Regulation.

Onward from 2016, further essential regulations will be developed under the Water Sustainability Act such as:

  • Water Objectives
  • Water Sustainability Plans
  • Measuring and reporting
  • Licence reviews
  • Designated areas
  • Dedicated agricultural water; and
  • Alternative governance approaches

For more information see the Provincial website at https://engage.gov.bc.ca/watersustainabilityact/ 

For more analysis of the opportunities that the new Act provides, you may be interested in the POLIS Project of Ecological Governance report entitled Awash with Opportunity: Ensuring the Sustainability of BC’s New Water Law

Your Chance to Comment on the Proposed Water Sustainability Act

Last week, on October 18th, the Provincial Government of BC released a legislative proposal paper for a new Water Sustainability Act.  This has been a long time coming for a couple of reasons:Legislative Proposal - BC Water Sustainability Act Oct

  • This is the first time an update and review of the Provincial Water Act has been undertaken since the inception of the Act in 1909.
  • The initial review timeline indicated changes to legislation would be presented in late 2010.

Your final chance to comment is now! Feedback from the public received by Friday, November 15, 2013 will be reviewed and considered as the provincial government prepares a final version of the new legislation.

Info on the proposal, background on the Water Act Modernization and your venue to provide feedback are laid out at:  http://engage.gov.bc.ca/watersustainabilityact/ 

Topics to be included within the updated Water Sustainability Act are:

  1.  Protect stream health and aquatic environments
  2. Consider water in land use decisions
  3. Regulate and protect groundwater
  4. Regulate water use during times of scarcity
  5. Improve security, water use efficiency and conservation
  6. Measure and report large-scale water use
  7. Provide for a range of governance approaches