Province failing on groundwater control

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The province’s groundwater is not being effectively looked after or controlled.

That’s the message from B.C. Auditor General John Doyle in an audit looking into current protection measures and controls around access to groundwater. The report also examined how the government has been managing the resource.

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The report states that the government does not have proper information to correctly manage the province’s groundwater resources and there is a lack of appropriate controls on groundwater access.

It specifically mentions how various types of wells, including groundwater, oil and gas wells can have an effect on the quality of groundwater. However, it also states that the Ministry of Environment – which monitors groundwater – does not have ready access to information from the Oil and Gas Commission in regards to its wells.

The report outlines seven recommendations that are expected to help address the resource’s sustainability.

Some of the recommendations include that the ministry should classify the province’s aquifers in high priority areas and that the ministry should combine all information on groundwater monitoring. It also recommends that the ministry develop a framework that will outline local and provincial responsibilities for overseeing groundwater.

The full report can be viewed below.

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