The Government of British Columbia intends to improve water management and the protection of the environment by developing livestock watering regulations under the Water Sustainability Act.
An intentions paper, posted today, proposes new regulations that would improve livestock watering practices on range land where there is low-density livestock grazing, either on Crown land or private range lands.
The proposed regulations would allow the diversion of water from a stream or aquifer for livestock watering. It would also allow for construction of livestock-watering works, subject to requirements that would minimize adverse effects on aquatic ecosystems.
The Province seeks input from the public, First Nations and industry stakeholders. Feedback on the proposed policies will inform final recommendations to government in spring 2018. Comments on the intentions paper will be accepted until Feb. 16, 2018.
- A beef cow/calf pair requires about 45 litres of water daily.
- Summer water needs of livestock grazing on Interior range land are less than 1% of average summer precipitation.
- There are about 21 million hectares of Crown range land and 5 million hectares of private range land in B.C.
- Over 95% of livestock grazing on range lands in B.C. are cattle. Other grazing livestock include sheep, goats and horses.
- In 2015, there were about 200,000 head of cattle in B.C., on more than 4,000 ranches.
The intentions paper is available online: https://engage.gov.bc.ca/app/uploads/sites/71/2018/01/Livestock_Watering_Regs_intentions_paper.pdf