B.C. government refreshes century-old water law with new law expected in 2015

VICTORIA - The B.C. government has introduced legislation to update the province's century-old water law after years of consultation.

Environment Minister Mary Polak says the new law will better protect aquatic environments such as streams, consider water in land-use decisions and regulate the resource during times of scarcity.

She says the new law will also help officials measure and report large-scale use and regulate and protect groundwater.

The new law is expected to come into effect in the spring of 2015 after supporting regulations are finalized.

The provincial government is also reviewing its approach to water pricing and has released a set of principles that will help set up a new fee and rental structure.

Consultations on the new legislation began in 2009 and included First Nations and outdoor and recreational groups.

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