The people have spoken. Water matters in B.C.

New research released today by Angus McAllister indicates than an overwhelming 98 per cent of British Columbia residents think fresh water is critical to the province’s prosperity and quality of life.

Nine in ten people said fresh water is B.C.’s most precious resource, and 94 per cent support stronger water regulations.

These dramatic numbers underscore what Ecojustice has known for a long time: an updated B.C. Water Act must stay at the top of the province’s priority list.

We know water laws can seem complicated, but what we need our water laws to do is straightforward: protect our environment, provide water for our communities, ensure water is used efficiently, and to share water fairly.

Water reform now just makes sense. B.C.’s Water Act is a century old. It’s time for to bring this archaic set of regulations into the 21st century.

To its credit, B.C. has promised to bring in a new Water Act — a process Ecojustice continues to work on every step of the way — but recent shakeups on the province’s political front could delay successful implementation.

Complicating matters is the fact that only a mere 14 per cent of people surveyed said they have heard of B.C.’s efforts to update the Water Act, indicating a clear communication gap between the province and its residents.

Poll results clearly indicate the time is ripe for action. More than half of residents surveyed said the status quo does not do enough to ensure the future sustainability of B.C.’s fresh water resources.

An even greater majority said they want to see water handled as a publicly-owned resource, rather than leaving our rivers, lakes and streams at the mercy of political and industry interests.

Now it’s up to us to make sure the B.C. Water Act modernization process stays on the radar. Please go to www.ourwaterbc.com to sign an online petition and make your voice heard.