Thursday, March 13, 2014
Muxlow says revised Water Act doesn't go far enough
Released by Sheila Muxlow, Dir. WaterWealth Project, Chilliwack
fter more than 100 years, it is encouraging to see the B.C. government respond to public concern over fresh water by introducing the new B.C. Water Sustainability Act.
We are pleased to see that B.C. will finally regulate the use of groundwater and recognize that sufficient environmental flows are essential to the well-being of communities throughout the province.
However, this Act is still only a broad framework and the government has decided to defer many of the details to future regulations. It is critical that BC residents stay engaged in the process to ensure that the legislation has some teeth and isnít another false dawn.
One aspect we are disappointed with is the failure to adequately recognize First Nations rights and title. Moving forward, it is clear that any efforts to govern water must involve leadership from First Nations who have been stewards of fresh water in this province for thousands of years.
We also know that the government lacks the resources and internal
capacity to implement and enforce this Act. It is absolutely
essential that the government reform the pricing of industrial water
use in B.C. to ensure that large corporations like Nestle are no
longer taking us for a ride and that water is being used sustainably.
British Columbians have until April 8th to comment on principles for
water pricing and we will be working with local communities in the
Fraser Valley to ensure that their voices are heard.
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