Healthy water and watersheds are vital to B.C.’s economy. Sustaining them is an important investment for the B.C. government, for everyone who does business in the province, and for you. A fresh and flexible approach is required to deal with ever increasing and competing water demands and climate risks.

Mountain Pine Beetle Damage
Living Water Smart will change the way British Columbians do business around water. If you are a farmer, developer, planner, business owner/operator, or associated role, these actions will affect you. Just as we are now beginning to consider energy costs in the planning of roads, buildings, towns and transportation choices, we must consider stream health when making these same decisions. By 2012, all land and water managers will know what makes a stream healthy, and therefore be able to help land and water users factor in new approaches to securing stream health and the full range of stream benefits.

Earth
Since streams and rivers run across jurisdictional boundaries, effective stewardship requires a common set of management principles, regardless of the land jurisdiction or ownership. Stream health can be measured using a standardized codified checklist like “Proper Functioning Condition” (PFC) developed and widely used in the U.S. (and also used in B.C.). Development and resource use must consciously consider the effects on stream health and make sure the long-term and life-cycle costs of land use decisions avoid unforeseen future ecological and economic costs. By using water more responsibly, the B.C. governments can save on the costs of water infrastructure and energy, reduce the need to find new water supplies, and protect water quality for healthier communities. Businesses can save money, and enhance their competitiveness.