WATER FOR FISH
Working to get strong & enforceable regulations in BC’s new Water Act.
BC’s new Water Sustainability Act came fully into effect on February 29, 2016. Many aspects of this new law are very promising and can help safeguard our waters and the life they support. However, over the next few years the provincial government must develop strong regulations in key areas to realize true sustainability under the Water Sustainability Act, and ensure it is more than just an updated version of the previous Water Act.
One of these key areas is ensuring that aquatic ecosystems survive and thrive through a strong environmental flow regime–that is, ensuring there is enough water left in rivers and streams for fish and other aquatic life.
The Act introduces new legal mechanisms to create a stronger environmental flow regime in BC. However, despite a commitment made in the BC government’s 2009 Living Water Smart, the Province has not delivered on its promise to regulate environmental flow needs, and instead appears to be relying on a policy-based approach. Unlike regulations, policy is not enforceable, and depends on the discretion of decision makers. Watershed Watch is working to ensure that government commits to developing strong and enforceable regulations to protect water flows for fish and the environment.