The FNFC is encouraging communities to be proactive and prepare to manage for low water flows connected to fisheries this summer. In conditions of extreme water shortage due to drought or water over-allocation, the BC Minister of Forests, Lands, Natural Resource Operations and Rural Development (FLNRORD) can implement one or more temporary regulatory tools under the Water Sustainability Act to protect aquatic ecosystems as well as water user rights and basic household needs.
- “Fish Population Protection Orders” temporarily give priority to fish ahead of other water uses (except for basic household indoor needs). For more info, please see the FNFC Memo on Fish Population Protection Orders by clicking here: https://www.dropbox.com/s/cuv2u5txph3n9qe/BN_Fish%20Protection%20Orders%20under%20WSA_July%2014%202016.pdf?dl=0
- “Critical Environmental Flow Protection Orders” determine the volume of water flow in the stream below which significant or irreversible harm to the aquatic ecosystem of the stream is likely to occur. This volume of water is known as the “critical environmental flow threshold” and takes precedence over all water use licences issued under the WSA, regardless of their precedence or when they were issued. For more info, please see the March 2017 FNFC Memo on Environmental Flow Needs by clicking here: https://www.dropbox.com/s/dntyi0df9108x7b/BN_Eflows%20and%20Workshop_March%202%202017.pdf?dl=0
- If your First Nation has concerns about impending water shortages, it is recommended to communicate to the Regional Water Manager or Comptroller of Water Rights within the FLNRORD as early as possible. Click here for a list of FLNRORD staff names and contact information: https://www.dropbox.com/s/f4ns95oi7umqfal/List%20of%20Water%20Comptroller%20and%20Regional%20Water%20Managers_July%202018.pdf?dl=0
- During our March 2017 Water Wednesday webinar, Charles Hunter, Director of the FLNRORD First Nations Relations Branch, presented on the current drought situation and forecast in BC, the impacts of drought and actions that First Nation communities can take to plan, prepare and respond to drought. Charles also shared many online resources where First Nations can get more information on drought conditions and management in BC. You can access the webinar video and Charles’s PowerPoint slides by clicking here: https://www.dropbox.com/sh/qc96dl2lpmn7pio/AACE8yWSnvBm3uYA3stAn2sva?dl=0
As you may have noticed, the Water for Fish program did not run a Water Wednesday webinar in June. The summer season is always very quiet and we will hold our next one in September. Stay tuned! In the meantime, please contact me if you have any water-related questions or concerns.
Project Coordinator, Water for Fish
First Nations Fisheries Council of BC
320-1200 West 73 Ave. | Vancouver, BC | V6P 6G5
Tel: 778-379-6470 ǀ Fax: 778-379-6469
“A United Voice for First Nations Fisheries”