1 West Coast Environmental Law calls for a strong Water Sustainability Act | West Coast Environmental Law

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West Coast Environmental Law calls for a strong Water Sustainability Act

Friday, October 18, 2013

Vancouver.  The West Coast Environmental Law Association responded to the Ministry of Environment’s release, today, of a legislative proposal for a new Water Sustainability Act.  The environmental law organization is encouraging British Columbians to press the provincial government for a strong Act that protects water, fish and sustainable communities. 

“Water, and how we treat our water, is one of those fundamental issues that touches on so much of who we are, what we do, and how we build our economy,” said Andrew Gage, staff lawyer with the West Coast Environmental Law Association. “A weak Water Sustainability Act could fail to deal with current unsustainable and inefficient water use, and could lock in these problems for years to come.  A strong Act could address past over-use, and wasteful use, of water and protect drinking water and fish from over-use, poor oil and gas, logging or mining practices, and other threats.”

Gage agreed that it was high time that BC considered new legislation protecting water.  “BC’s 104-year-old Water Act is failing our fish and our communities, which is why we’re pleased that the BC Government committed to passing a new Water Sustainability Act in 2014.”

West Coast Environmental will be carefully examining the Water Sustainability Act proposal to be sure it includes strong legal protection for our streams, lakes, and groundwater and guarantees water for fish and drinking water ahead of industrial water use.  British Columbians have until November 15th to comment on the proposed Water Sustainability Act, after which legislation is expected in the Spring.

“British Columbians need to use this consultation period to press the government for a strong Water Sustainability Act that lives up to that name,” said Gage. “We also urge BC to engage honourably with First Nations to resolve outstanding issues they have so that this important legislation can move forward.”

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For more information contact:

Andrew Gage, Staff Counsel, West Coast Environmental Law Association at 250-412-9784 or 604-684-7378 ext 206.  

Jessica Clogg, Executive Director, West Coast Environmental Law Association at 604-684-7378.

For a pdf version of this release, click here