Published On: June 1st, 2013
Author: Ben Parfitt
This report argues that the B.C. provincial government should safeguard the public interest by creating a robust, publicly accessible water-use database that covers all withdrawals from both surface and groundwater sources by major users. It recommends three immediate courses of action to set the stage for a robust water use reporting regime in future years.
This report was co-published by the POLIS Project on Ecological Governance and the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives. It is the second report in a series addressing the water-energy nexus in B.C.
Although not highlighted in Counting Every Drop, the BC Water Use Reporting Centre is a good existing pilot project. This voluntary program shows that a province-wide monitoring program is possible, and offers a viable model that could be expanded upon. This online water management and reporting system is an initiative of the Okanagan Basin Water Board, in partnership with the Province of B.C. and Environment Canada. It was designed to help utilities and large water users regularly record their water use. Learn more and download the Information Guide. In addition, further information on this topic is also provided in the 2012 BCWWA position paper Reporting of Water Withdrawals.