The Water Act Modernization Process
There are four key phases of Water Act Modernization:
Phase 1 – Scoping, jurisdictional review and background research (complete). In this stage wide input on water management issues was gained through a review of science and monitoring information regarding B.C.’s watersheds, a review of literature, and Canadian and international best practices.
Phase 2 – Engagement and policy development (Winter 2009 – February 2011). This phase began with the launch of the Living Water Smart Blog in December 2009, and was soon followed by the release of the Water Act Modernization Discussion Paper and a Technical Background Report in early 2010. Regional workshops were held in the spring of 2010, and public submissions were gathered, analyzed and summarized in the Report on Engagement, released in September 2010.
Responding to British Columbians requests for more opportunities to be involved. Government released a Policy Proposal for a new Water Sustainability Act in December 2010 and accepted comments until March 2011. Over the summer, Ministry of Environment staff reviewed the public input and continue to refine the proposed policies and assess their implications.
Phase 3 – Request for legislation and legislative drafting (2012). Final recommendations will be submitted to Government for consideration and final policy options will be drafted. Government will be further engaging with British Columbians on draft legislation in 2012.
Phase 4 – Bill introduction and approval. Once final decisions are made through the B.C. Government’s parliamentary and law-making process the bill obtains Royal Assent and becomes law.
We are currently in Phase 2 – Engagement and policy development.
The Drinking Water Protection Act
and Water Protection Act
also work in conjunction with the Water Act
to ensure the protection and sustainability of water for human uses including drinking water, and prohibiting bulk water removals and inter-basin transfer of water.