New water conservation and protection measures introduced in B.C.
June 27, 2008
By Canadian Consulting Engineer
By the year 2010, the government of British Columbia plans to require all new construction to have purple pipes for...
By the year 2010, the government of British Columbia plans to require all new construction to have purple pipes for collecting and reusing water. The measure is just one of 45 listed by the government in “Living Water Smart: British Columbia’s Water Plan,” issued June 3. The province’s overall goal is to make the province 33 per cent more efficient in water use by the year 2020.
Many of the provisions in the water protection plan will likely result in demand for the services of consulting engineering firms by communities and companies, who will require engineers to help them conform to the stricter requirements.
Among the 45 measures outlined in the plan is one to have legislation recognizing the importance of water flow for ecosystems and species. The government will also regulate groundwater use in priority areas and monitor large groundwater withdrawals. There will be government support for communities doing watershed management planning and the conservation of streams and waterways. By 2012, all large water uses will have to report their water use.
The report suggests the government will be looking at the potential of decommissioning some dams in order to enhance some watersheds.
A specific proposal will have the government provide $4.5 million funding for the Mount Washington mine remediation project to restore the health of the Tsolum River.
The agricultural sector will have stricter controls on its water use, and companies that are heavy water users will have to measure and report their use.
Environment Minister Barry Penner announced the Living Water Smart plan at Musqueam Creek where a wild salmon habitat is being restored. He said the new plan lays out the “vision and steps needed to protect our rivers, lakes, streams and watersheds. This plan will make B.C. a leader in water stewardship.”
The need to conserve water in B.C. is becoming more pressing as the economy grows and the population is expected to increase by another 1.4 million people in the next 25 years. Water shortages are already known in areas like the Okanagan and the Gulf Islands. As well, climate change and deforestation due to the mountain pine beetle infestation is changing water cycles.