Ground water is an essential and vital resource for many residents
of British Columbia and provides numerous households with water for drinking
In recent years, events affecting ground water quality have heightened
public awareness and concern about the importance and vulnerability of
Any addition of undesirable substances to ground water caused by human
activities is considered to be contamination.
This legislation provides a detailed and comprehensive framework for drinking
Most of the legislation will be administered by the BC Ministry of Health
Services and the Regional Health Authorities (Interior Health).
Ground Water Protection Regulations were passed under the provincial Water
Act in July 2004. water, soils.
This is the report from the second of the workshops, held March
21 and 22, 2002, and co-chaired by NWRI and the British Columbia Ministry
of Water, Land and Air Protection.
Natural Groundwater Contamination - Not all substances in groundwater
are harmful to human health are man-made substances.
Canadian Framework for Collaboration on Groundwater - A National Ad-hoc
Committee on Groundwater has developed a Framework focused on: acquiring
a high standard of groundwater information and knowledge; improving communications
and collaboration among all groundwater stakeholders; establishing effective
linkages of groundwater information systems; providing a resource base
accessible to all levels of government and stakeholders; and fostering
national consistency with respect to groundwater standards, guidelines,
qualifications of professions and drillers, and training. groundwater,
NOTE: The concepts and ideas presented in this framework are
the responsibility of the members of the National Ad Hoc Committee on
Groundwater and do not necessarily represent the views of any government
or nongovernment agency.
The Framework recognizes and strongly emphasizes the need to address the
groundwater issues of Canada through close co-operation between federal,
provincial, territorial, municipal, and First Nation governments.
acquiring a high standard of groundwater information and knowledge; improving
communications and collaboration among all agencies and organizations
involved in groundwater activities; establishing effective linkages of
groundwater-information systems; and providing a resource base accessible
to all levels of government for the development of groundwatermanagement
Canada's valuable groundwater resources are very significant, but groundwater
is less known and understood than surface water because it is hidden from
The Framework will address the groundwater quantity and quality priorities
in each jurisdiction, so as to include regional concerns.
Provincial ministries of environment and other provincial agencies, as
well as federal agencies such as Natural Resources Canada and Environment
Canada, have expertise in groundwater studies.
One of the greatest challenges for the Canadian Groundwater Advisory Council
(CGAC) is defining its scope.
A National Groundwater Inventory doesnot have to be a stand-aloneproject. Rather,itcouldbebuiltby
provincial and national agencies in the course of discharging their regular
obligations through the adoption of a standardized workflow. The standardized workflow would bedesigned to generate the data for the Inventory
as a byproduct of regular government activities.
Canada's groundwater resources are threatened by a variety of natural
and anthropogenic activities.
Those that address specific and localized problems Those that support
longterm and regional ground water-resourceassessments Monitoring programs
that address¬ specific and localized problems¬ or issues are
typically very local¬ ized within the vicinity of the¬ problem,
and monitoring is rela¬ tively short term, being under-¬ taken
only for the duration of the¬ problem. groundwater, industry.
Drinking Water - Public Health Protection
The Drinking Water Program provides expert advice to Health
Authorities, and develops legislation, guidelines and policies on drinking
To deliver on its commitment, the provincial government has consulted
across jurisdictions and ministries to establish a comprehensive framework
for the protection of drinking water and public health.
British Columbia is committed to improving and protecting the province's
drinking water system.
The Drinking Water Protection Regulation has been amended (PDF 31.7KB)
to defer certification requirements for operators of small water supply
Environmental Health Protection Programs are administered locally by Medical
Health Officers and Environmental Health Officers, who are responsible
for direct service delivery in BC's Health Authorities. drinking water,
Drinking Water Protection Act
Subject to the regulations, a drinking water officer may, in
writing, delegate to any person a power or duty of the drinking water
officer under this or another enactment.
may be paid remuneration in accordance with the directives of Treasury
Board, if the person is not an employee under the Public Service Act.
A water supplier must ensure that a laboratory conducting monitoring analyses
under this section is aware of the applicable standards and requirements
established by the regulations and the operating permit for the water
In addition, a water supplier who receives notice under subsection (1)
must give immediate notice to the drinking water officer advising that
the water supplier has been notified by the laboratory as required by
this section. regulations, drinking water officer.
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