Send in the Bailiff

BC’s Water Sustainability Act came into effect in 2015.

One of the Act’s prime purposes was to ensure that water is being used efficiently and responsibly.

Section 32 (2) allows for the government to appoint a “Water Bailiff” in cases where: ”

(2) If an engineer reports to the comptroller or a water manager that works used by more than one person are not being adequately repaired or maintained, the decision maker may appoint in writing one or more water bailiffs, set the terms and conditions of the appointments and give directions to the water bailiffs, including, without limitation, directions to

(a) operate and inspect the operation of specified works, and

(b) perform routine repairs on and maintain specified works.

In other words, if, as an example, an Improvement District, drawing water from a lake which had many other water licences on it, had leaks amounting to 19,000,000 gallons a year (25% of its withdrawal), and the works (pipeline supply) in question had not maintained to deal with the leaks, or that the reported leaks had not been investigated, the comptroller can appoint a Water Bailiff to remedy the leaks.

Given North Salt Spring Waterworks has not addressed the self-reported, annual, 25% leakage in the St. Mary Lake system since the Act became law, perhaps its time for the comptroller to send in the bailiff.

What’s the point of having a water conservation law if its not enforced against those who waste 19,000,000 gallons/year?


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