B.C. government failing to register groundwater users, say critics

VICTORIA — Only 20 per cent of people in B.C. who use wells to get their water have bothered to register under the province’s new mandatory groundwater law.

The low enrolment, which comes four and a half years after B.C. passed landmark reforms on water sustainability, undermines the province’s attempts to track and prioritize who is drawing from aquifers and groundwater sources across the province, said Green MLA Sonia Furstenau.

“Because we’re in a time of climate change and potential real impacts to our water supplies, whether it’s drought, which is a very serious risk, we want to know how much water is being used,” said Furstenau.

“We want to have an idea of the water capacity in the different parts of the province so that … if we’re in a real crisis and government has to make decisions on the kind of hierarchy of protection you need to implement for water use.”

The Province, July 14, 2020