New Brunswick releases water strategy
By Ground Water Canada
By Ground Water Canada
Dec. 29, 2017, Fredericton – New Brunswick has released a strategy it developed to guide the provincial government in protecting and managing water. Key issues addressed include watershed management, wetland protection, public reporting and establishing a recreational water monitoring program.
The strategy was based on input from stakeholders, the public and First Nations, the environment and local government said in a news release.
“In its 2015 speech from the throne, your government committed to develop a provincewide water strategy, and we got things done, as New Brunswick now has a long-term water strategy that articulates a set of specific goals and planned actions directed toward the protection and management of water, now and in the future,” said environment and local government minister Serge Rousselle in the release.
According to the release, the strategy is meant to allow the government to build on areas of success, share information with New Brunswickers, and encourage collaboration. It covers such areas as protecting drinking water, preserving and enhancing aquatic ecosystems, understanding and sharing knowledge about water, working co-operatively and reporting progress publicly.
The strategy identifies water-related challenges and opportunities, provides a vision for the province’s water resources, establishes goals in support of the vision, describes actions necessary to achieve those goals, and assigns responsibility for the actions.
Key issues identified by the province include a renewed approach to watershed management, improved wetland protection, enhanced public reporting, and establishing a recreational water monitoring program.
During the engagement process, the Water Classification Regulation under the Clean Water Act was frequently raised as a concern. As a result, in October 2016, the Department of Environment and Local Government established a technical working group to look at this issue in depth while the overall draft water strategy was being developed. The working group, which includes members of watershed groups, non-governmental organizations, industry, First Nations, regional service commissions, academics and department staff, recently presented its report with recommendations to the minister for his consideration.
The final water strategy is available online.
The report by the technical working group on watershed management is also available online.