The Public Trust and a Modern BC Water Act

June 2010

The Public Trust Doctrine helps protect ecological values, ensure water for future needs, engage the public, and protect public uses and interests. The principles embedded in the Public Trust Doctrine are being used in many places around the world to form the cornerstone of effective, efficient and modern sustainable water management regimes. Many of the foundational aspects of the doctrine—as applied to freshwater management—already exist in British Columbia’s legal framework. Proactively adopting the public trust as part of the Water Act modernization process allows the BC Government to implement the doctrine in a comprehensive and efficient way that is best suited to decision making processes and existing Living Water Smart priorities.

Oliver M. Brandes and Randy Christensen

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