A new law that commenced in early 2016 provides a suite of tools to protect freshwater in B.C. The Water Sustainability Act has replaced the former 107-year old Water Act and offers new opportunities for watershed-based water sustainability planning.
As climate change disrupts what we’ve come to expect from our temperate seasons, particularly with regard to drought, new protections for freshwater resources are increasingly important.
A collaboration of First Nations, regional governments, water stewardship groups and watershed boards in Canada took action recently to protect freshwater at two SFU symposiums: Watersheds 2016 and the Freshwaters Alliance Living Waters Rally.
The Vice-president of WWF-Canada’s Freshwater Program, Elizabeth Hendricks, expressed the acute attention needed to water sustainability planning in this country as we progress further into an era of natural resource insecurity:
At WWF-Canada, we are forging conservation partnerships with river communities, closing knowledge gaps around national freshwater health and threats, building capacity behind local water stewards to collect and disseminate freshwater data, and bringing the monitoring and management of this precious resource into the 21st Century. We are advocating for and supporting open source data and technology through recommendations to the Canadian Environmental Assessment Act and Fisheries Act, as well as working toward making our own assessments and data open-source.