Working Together Toward a Water Use Plan
To ensure a Water Use Plan is reflective of the diverse interests and priorities of the residents and businesses of the region, a public advisory group (PAG) has been formed to work collaboratively through a structured process towards recommending a balanced long term solution to meet the community’s water use needs into the future.
The PAG is comprised of 20 members and includes representatives from local, provincial and federal governments, First Nations, industry, local community and interest groups, and area residents. Candidates interested in being considered to participate on the PAG were asked to fill out and submit a Cowichan WUP PAG Application Form by the October 27th. The Steering Committee reviewed applications and selected the final PAG membership. Additional details on the application process and PAG member responsibilities are provided in the Cowichan WUP PAG Application Instructions.
The PAG is expected to meet for approximately 4 full day meetings over the 8 month process (i.e., meeting every other month). The PAG will be supported by a number of technical sub-groups to scope issues and help estimate potential water use effects
Provincial Water Use Plan Guidelines
Guidelines for developing a water use plan were prepared by the BC Ministry of Environment, BC Hydro and Fisheries and Oceans Canada in 1998.
The process described in the guidelines is designed to seek consensus on a set of operating rules and, in some cases, proposed changes to the water control facilities in order to better satisfy the full range of water use interests at stake, while respecting legislation and other boundaries.
At this point, the process for the Cowichan Water Use Plan will be solely focused on the community planning during the ‘Plan development’ stage (i.e., Steps 1 through 8). Recommendations from the public planning will be sent to the Partner organizations for a decision on whether to proceed with submitting the WUP (in Step 9) to government, which typically includes an application for a new or amended water license and any associated works.