British Columbia’s watersheds are the sources of our fresh water, and the envy of the world.
50 years ago, BC's political leaders took bold action to secure our farmland by creating the the British Columbia Agricultural Land Reserve.
This act of vision and courage created a legacy of food security that still benefits British Columbians today.
But securing our farmland was only half the job: just like farmland is the source of our food security, healthy watersheds are key to our water security.
Now, with climate change destabilizing our fresh water sources, adding droughts, fires and floods to the existing threats of contamination and reckless resource development, it’s time to take bold action once again to secure and sustain our critical fresh water sources forever.
The CodeBlue BC Plan has 3 parts:
1. Get tough on water wasters and polluters.
Good resource development should never degrade our watersheds, or waste, overuse or pollute our fresh water. Tougher rules, better enforcement, and stronger penalties will make resource companies clean up their act, and create real consequences when they fail to do so.
2. Make big industrial users pay to clean up the damage they've done and restore our watersheds.
Our water is priceless, and it must never be sold or commodified. BC’s system of water licences and fees lets big industry pay pennies to use our water, while British Columbians are stuck paying to secure our watersheds and clean up the impacts of water extraction and watershed degradation on our fish, wildlife, lands and people. This needs to change: it’s time to stop subsidising big industry and make them pay the true cost of using BC’s water.
3. Give local people the power and resources to restore and manage their local water sources.
BC’s fresh water sources should be owned and managed by the people who know them best and need them most. It's time to provide local people with the funding, training and authority they need to look after their local watersheds. This can create a surge of good jobs in every corner of BC, and empower towns and First Nations communities across BC to monitor, manage and restore their local water sources.