Water Planning & Strategies

Planning for water use in British Columbia can have a major impact on the health of the humans, plants and animals that call B.C. home, as well affecting our economy, energy production, recreation and irrigation.

Living Water Smart is B.C.'s vision and commitment to ensure our water stays safe and secure. Many of the commitments in Living Water Smart have been fulfilled by the Water Sustainability Act (WSA), including those related to planning and conservation.

In addition to the WSA, a number of other initiatives use plans to protect aquatic ecosystems when developing communities and allocating water for use in agriculture, industry and energy production.

Conservation is encouraged among high volume water users as well as individuals. Working together, we can protect water sources, manage water demands, modernize water systems and infrastructure, and live water smart.

Water Use Planning

Water use plans were developed to protect aquatic ecosystems and fish stocks at water control structures (hydroelectric dams). Twenty-three of BC Hydro's facilities have water use plans in place, and a joint water use plan for Capilano and Seymour watersheds is in development by Metro Vancouver.

Water allocation plans exist for specific streams within the Southern Interior and Vancouver Island regions. A water allocation plan reviews how much water is available in the stream, considering the environmental flow requirements for fish and the existing and potential demands for water licences or use approvals.

Drought Information

The B.C. Government has collaborated with Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada to complete a B.C. Drought Response Plan. The plan builds on existing tools and outlines the actions taken before, during and immediately following a drought to reduce the impacts of drought.

Water Management Agreements

Managing water resources in British Columbia often requires that we make agreements with other provinces, territories and states.

Northeast Water Strategy

The Northeast Water Strategy is a proactive, long-term approach for the sustainable use and management of water resources in Northeast B.C. It recognizes that water is our most valuable resource, necessary for life to exist, for communities to be healthy and for our economy to thrive.

Wetlands in B.C.

Approximately 5% of the land in B.C. is wetland that provides critical habitat for fish, birds and other wildlife, in addition to filling an important role in recharging surface water and groundwater supplies. A comprehensive approach to conservation and management can help to reduce the loss of wetlands.