Watershed Watch has just released a new report on water scarcity in B.C.: Tapped Out: A Special Report on Water Scarcity and Water Solutions in British Columbia.
Many people believe that B.C. has limitless water supplies. Unfortunately, this is simply not true. All over the province, communities are already experiencing water shortages, and low water levels in many rivers threaten the survival of salmon.
With a growing population and a warming climate, the stress on our rivers and salmon is only going to get worse.
Tapped Out describes the scale of water stress across British Columbia, identifying areas likely to experience water shortages, and offers concrete solutions for how to tackle this imminent crisis.
2.9 million British Columbians live in areas where water shortages are likely to be a serious problem in the coming years. Water shortages will also hurt endangered salmon runs, compounding the many other threats they face.
With swift action to better secure our water, we can give many of our salmon runs a fighting chance at survival.
Tapped Out lays out some concrete actions to take. We are calling on the provincial government to:
- step up monitoring of our water sources;
- to make good on their obligation to regulate groundwater extraction;
- to better protect water flows for fish; and
- to better support communities and First Nations to manage their local waters.
Our next step is to get Tapped Out into the hands of decision-makers and work with our allies to push them to take those actions.
Read Tapped Out: A Special Report on Water Scarcity and Water Solutions in British Columbia.
Find out more about our Water for Fish campaign.
A province-wide legally-enforceable environmental flows regulation must be developed under the Water Sustainability Act. This will be the primary precautionary approach for managing the effects of drought on salmon, and for maintaining healthy watersheds.
British Columbia needs to dedicate significant resources towards improved monitoring and measuring. Complete a comprehensive state of our water reporting, data gaps must be filled, and governance systems developed, including:
• mandatory water use measuring and reporting by all licenced users;
• integration of data collected by community-based organizations and appropriate and respectful bridging with Indigenous knowledge;
• a systematic approach to checking compliance with authorized water uses, including estimating the extent of unauthorized water use; and,
• development of publicly accessible data and reporting.
I recommend extra effort be applied in areas of known water stress.
@jjhorgan @JustinTrudeau does that seem like an opportune time to be subsidizing more fracking? Fracking the most methane producing and most toxic extractive activity on the planet! No problem it is not a viable industry but we’ll use billions of taxpayers money to allow them to keep on killing the planet and toxify what is left of BC’s drinking water. Salmon, orcas, First Nations, children, residents be dammed!