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April 30, 2014

New Water Sustainability Act Sets up Regulatory Regime for Groundwater Extraction, Use and Pricing

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British Columbia’s Minister of Environment, Mary Polak, tabled on March 11, 2014, Bill 18, the Water Sustainability Act. The Bill follows more than four years of consultations and builds on a detailed legislative proposal originally released on October 18, 2013.

Key features of the Bill that are likely to impact industry are as follows:

  • A new regulatory regime for groundwater extraction, use and pricing
  • A new requirement to measure impact of environmental water flow of a stream
  • A new requirement to make subdivision approval and land use decisions subject to "water sustainability plans"
  • Short-term Water Use Approvals
  • New Enforcement Tools

The BC government anticipates that the Water Sustainability Act will be passed by the legislature by the end of May 2014 and brought into force in spring 2015, once supporting regulations have been drafted and finalized.


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