Takeaways from Summer 2023
It was quite clear—to our government and anyone else who was paying attention—that drought and wildfire would be a problem this year. Though the province did take actions, such as restricting groundwater use in specific areas and launching an emergency task force, it was ‘too little, too late’. If anything, their actions did little but shine a light on many ongoing failings by the province when it comes to managing B.C.’s watersheds.
For example, the implementation of fish protection orders, restricting licenced groundwater use in watersheds such as the Koksilah, highlighted several problems. The province’s ability to manage commercial groundwater use—a very important thing to do during a drought—was undermined by their failure to bring thousands of unlicenced commercial water users into compliance over the past several years.