LiveSmart BC

1008 Ways to Modernize the Water Act

Submissions by Stakeholder Groups & First Nations - total 1008- Click to Enlarge

When we started the process of asking British Columbians to tell us what is needed to modernize the Water Act, we were sure that you’d respond. What has impressed us here at the Living Water Smart Team is the importance that you place on our fresh water resources. We share your passion! To see the levels of input that we have has been truly inspirational.

So far, we’ve tallied a total of 1008 submissions on Water Act Modernization. That’s a lot! Most of these submissions came by email from individual British Columbians. Stakeholder group submissions by email made up the next largest chunk of submissions. These were followed closely by submissions through our online forms. Next came submissions by comment to the Living Water Smart Blog. As you can see, we’ve had a wide range of submissions through many conduits.

We’re now in the process of breaking down your submissions even further. We’ll use the Living Water Smart Blog to report out our findings. We’re already seeing some key themes, but we want to make sure that they’re echoed across all the submissions before we start announcing them.

We’re also balancing our methodology. Some of the data we’ve received is quantitative – pure numbers. Much of it is qualitative – comment, and opinion. So, we’re undertaking measures to champion that comment and opinion, identify the similarities between comments, and highlight your collective vision for modernizing BC’s Water Act. It’s a challenging process. Our plan is to provide you our Report on Engagement by the end of June, 2010.

That’s a short timeline so we’d like to know how it should look:

What would you like to see in the Report on Engagement? What are the key areas you want to be sure that we address in reporting back to you what is said? What is the best format to bring the report to you?

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7 comments to 1008 Ways to Modernize the Water Act

  • John Newcomb

    Modernization of the BC Water Act is appropriate, and must include consideration of allowing international raw water exports. The Fraser Institute’s recent publication, “Making Waves: Examining the Case for Sustainable Water Exports from Canada”, is a useful contribution to the debate over international raw water exports.

    Currently, BC allows inter-watershed water exports, as we see in Victoria, with the export of water from the Sooke Basin, into Victoria and the Saanich Peninsula.

    International raw water exports are currently being explored by the city of Sitka, Alaska to Mumbai, India – a distance of 11187 kms. The water sales could bring Sitka between $26 to $90 million USD. Prince Rupert is not much further from Mumbai, at 11577 kms, and it would be much safer to promote water tankers than oil tankers in our BC Coastal region.

    Besides being an essential part of life, water is a commodity that is embodied in almost every agricultural and manufactured product that BC exports. If we can build an environmentally-sustainable rural resource base through international raw water exports, we must consider that seriously.

  • Nelle Maxey, water license holder

    3 months since the deadlines for public submissions on the WAM process and still no posting of either those submissions or your Report on Engagement.

    This is beginning to look like classic foot-dragging.
    The submissions themselves should and could have been posted almost immediately.

    What is going on?

  • Nelle Maxey

    Is the Report on Engagement ready yet?

    • LWSEditor

      Not quite yet. We’ve read and gathered input from all the Water Act Modernization submissions we’ve received. That’s 953 to date, when duplicate submissions are accounted for. We’re doing our best to get a useful Report on Engagement out to you as fast as we can. We’ll have more information, including highlights, geographic and submission channel information, methodology information and more, as well as copies of every submission we took in – with personal identifying information removed where appropriate – over the next little while. We’ll be offering much of this information through the Water Smart Blog, so keep watching this space!

  • Nelle Maxey, water license holder

    It is imperative that you post all the public comments you have received. I have participated in other government consultations and the comments in toto were always posted; whether it was the BCUC or the Agricultural Land Commission.

    A “report” is not the same as making the comments available for the public to read, consider and learn from. It is a simple matter to make all the comments available electronically on this blog.

    I have received no reply to my previous query regarding this matter.

    Nelle Maxey

    • LWSEditor

      Thank you for your comments Nelle. We post all public comments that we receive as part of Water Act Modernization. The only time we don’t include Living Water Smart Blog comments is when they don’t meet with our terms of use or moderation policy, but we do respond to all comments, pointing out what would need to be changed in order to be posted.

      Please do keep in mind that we’ve a thousand submissions to read and to draw inputs from. We’re hoping to have a Report on Engagement, the full version of which will include all submissions to Water Act Modernization – with personal identifiable information removed. Simply managing the size and high quality of submissions from British Columbians will mean some lag between getting the submissions in, processing them and then getting them out ot you.

      You mention that previous inquiries have gone unanswered. How did you first try to get in touch with us?

      • Nelle Maxey, water license holder

        Thank you for your reply. I am glad the full version of the report will include all submissions you have received. This is a very valuable tool for community education on the issues.

        In my previous inquiry I emailed the “water smart team”.
        Nelle