The Water Sustainability Act

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The Future of Sustainable Protection of Surface and Groundwater;

The Water Sustainability Act.

Introduction:

The Water Sustainability Act is a new law that will be replacing the current Water Act that was made in 1909. The water act has now been outdated pertaining to our water needs, and our growing populations. The Water Sustainability Act will bring B.C. water laws into the 21st century. The water Sustainability Act will update the current laws from the Water Act, and also bring new policies into consideration, an example of this would be treating groundwater and surface water as one resource and protecting them both. The seven key areas that will be included in the Water Sustainability Act include: (A Water Sustainability Act For B.C., 2014, October)

  1. Protect stream health and aquatic environments
  2. Consider water in land use decisions
  3. Regulate and protect groundwater
  4. Regulate water use during times of scarcity
  5. Improve security, water use, efficiency and conservation
  6. Measure and report large scale water use
  7. Provide for a range of governance approaches

These improvements to the Water Act will insure that we are protecting are water so that we can be sustainable in the future. By protection the stream health and aquatic environments it prevents the dumping of wastes and pollutants. It also will protect streams from droughts. If the amount of water in a stream or river is effecting the aquatic life, there will be protection orders put out to stop any water being taken out of the stream or river, and anything that is under the influence of it. Another part of the act will be considering water in land use decisions. This is mainly focusing on sustainable development. The water on this planet will be protected and thought of before any development pertains near a water source. This will happen because new water objectives will be defined, and there will be more decision making towards a long-term health of aquatic environments, streams, rivers and any body of water. In this act the groundwater will also be protected, which is the first time in history that groundwater has been treated as a source water in British Columbia. Protection of groundwater will include; licencing of groundwater with an exception to domestic use, improvement of knowledge on the aquifers and wells, and updating all drilling requirements. These rules will improve our groundwater in quality and quantity because it will show how much groundwater is being used, how much groundwater every aquifer and well can give while still being sustainable, and by updating the drill requirements it protects from contamination of groundwater while improving the treatment process following source groundwater. The next point of the Water Sustainability Act is protecting water sources during scarcity. This will allow for adequate water needs for humans, but will also allow temporary restrictions to protect the quantity of water and the aquatic life that lives in it.

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