By Terry Lake
Minister of Environment
VICTORIA - March 22 is World Water Day, so it's a good time for all of us to think about conserving and protecting one of our most precious natural assets. World Water Day reminds us how valuable our water resources are and the responsibilities that come with being stewards of this resource.
A clean and secure supply of water is essential to our health, our vibrant communities and the environment that supports them. Water is also central to growing our food and to the operation and growth of our resource sectors, such as agriculture, energy, mining and forestry.
There's no question our water is facing increasing pressure from population growth, increasing demand and climate change. We all have a responsibility as governments, industry, communities and individuals for managing our water carefully for current and future generations. Together, we need to challenge ourselves to think about the steps we can take daily to protect our water. Everyone can be part of the solution.
Living Water Smart: B.C.'s Water Plan is government's vision and commitment to ensuring that our water stays healthy and secure for future generations. Released more than three years ago, I'm encouraged to see the many organizations, businesses and individuals that have stepped up to help deliver this vision.
A key action the B.C. government is taking under the plan is modernizing our outdated Water Act. Bringing the act into the 21st century will better protect our water resources and help keep our environment, economy and communities strong. Modernizing the Water Act will help us respond to current and future pressures on water, and benefit all British Columbians.
The Ministry of Environment has been engaging on Water Act modernization since December 2009. The process has arguably been the most open and comprehensive public engagement ever done by the B.C. government. To date, we have received suggestions and ideas on an unprecedented scale and quality, with more than 2,250 written submissions from individual citizens, First Nations organizations and stakeholder groups.
Government remains committed to modernizing the Water Act and will be further engaging with the public later this year. Modernizing the act will position B.C. as a leader in water stewardship, and I encourage British Columbians to be part of the conversation.
What government does is only part of the solution - so I challenge all British Columbians to think about how they can protect, preserve and conserve our water.
Learn more and share your ideas by visiting the Living Water Smart blog at: http://blog.gov.bc.ca/livingwatersmart/
Editor's note: For a head and shoulder shot of Environment Minister Terry Lake, please visit: http://www.newsroom.gov.bc.ca/biographies/environment/env.html