Feature Story Tuesday, March 14, 2017
On the Water Front
Pipeline plan over aquifer still up in the air
Ian Stephen Stephen, Waterwealth/Voice file photo
Hope Slough. Below Ian
Stephen speaks at a 2015 protest rally.
aybe there is infrastructure more critical than drinking water, and if there is, I'd be interested to hear what it is.” So said Chilliwack City Councillor Jason Lum.
Few would disagree, yet the healthy abundant fresh water we have always enjoyed in the Fraser Valley is under many stresses, to name a few:
Against the milieu
of challenges we have BC’s new Water Sustainability Act, which came
into effect just over a year ago, but for which regulations are
still being developed.
Sustainability Act has the potential to be truly world-leading,”
said Ian Stephen, Program Director of the Chilliwack-based
WaterWealth Project. “but how it plays out depends on regulations
still in development. Earlier phases demonstrated exemplary public
consultation by the BC government. British Columbians need to
continue to be engaged on this if we are to achieve the potential of
this new law.”
While the province is updating its water law, law in which the province claims all right to water is vested in the Crown, so First Nations are putting their own water laws to paper. The Nadleh Whut’en and Stellat’en First Nations were reportedly the first to declare Aboriginal water laws.
They are by no means the only First Nations to have declared or be developing their own water laws, perhaps driven in part by the province’s failure to match public consultation with robust First Nations consultation in development of the Water Sustainability Act.
For more information about WaterWealth visit here.
Candidates Meeting March 22, 2017
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