We are a province known for water. We are the Wet Coast. We are the rainforest. We are salmon filled rivers that inspire awe. We are fuelled by hydropower. The Province of B.C. transformed our relationship with water by passing a new law last week. Its name recognizes the essential nature of this resource and our duty to keep the water flowing clean and abundant for generations to come.
Congratulations to the B.C. Legislature for passing British Columbia’s Water Sustainability Act!
With your support, WWF has been working for years to protect water for nature and water for people. Water laws historically placed people’s needs first. Nature’s needs were an afterthought. The new BC water law helps restore the balance, as it embeds environmental flow protection , and regulates groundwater, at long last.
Here’s just some of the WWF actions that our supporters helped make possible:
- Serving on province’s multi-stakeholder Technical Advisory Group giving feedback and advice on the Act’s development for the past 3 years
- Providing multiple detailed submissions to the province on what needed to be in the Act
- Publishing the “Top Ten Reasons Why We Need a new Water Act” fact sheet
- Hosting, organizing and co-sponsoring a workshop with the province on the key concept of environmental flow, shown in this photo
- Publicizing the need for the law in blog after blog, media stories, transit ads, and public engagement events like our Water/Salmon Pecha Kucha.
- Working with our awesome Freshwater Ambassador hockey star Scott Niedermayer, star and narrator of our freshwater video
- Working with clean energy partners to understand the impacts of their projects on environmental flows
- Publishing academic articles such as “CPR for Canadian Rivers – Law to Conserve, Protect, and Restore Environmental Flows in Canada” in the 2012 Journal of Environmental Law and Practice
- Hosting special sessions at the Canadian Water Resources Association AGM, and IUCN Academy of Law water conference, among others
- Working with a wide range of partners like the Watershed Watch Salmon Society and the POLIS Project on Ecological Governance.
More than a hundred years ago, when the Province of B.C. passed the original law, miners’ and farmers’ needs for water came first and foremost. Today it’s all about sustainability: Meeting the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs. Congratulations, BC!