Re: Water Sustainability Act
I have read an article about the Water Sustainability Act, dealing largely with the practice of FITFIR, first in time, first in right. I would like to address this and a few other points.
What water is used for is a far, far more important criterium for deciding on access to water than is prior appropriation. Even before drought situations, the rights of the electorate, municipalities, small farms and ecosystems must supercede the rights of corporations when it comes to water use. The former deal with actual survival. The latter deals with corporate financial deals. Rather than offering water on the old first come, first served basis all past and future applications should be examined on their own merits and open to local public input.
When a company is sold the buyer should not be able to use the original company’s date of first use. They are not the original company. They are a new company with a new application. In other words, Nestle is not Aberfoyle Springs.
Indigenous peoples obviously have the first in time, first in right jump on us all. They don’t have this right through appropriation (BC government’s approach) or application (corporate approach). They have an historical right, a cultural right.
Rates are far too low for corporate use of water. Given that water is either being bottled and sold back to us at ridiculous profit or is being used and returned to us full of toxins, rates need to be far higher.
Another priority is that our guidelines should be in line with the internationally binding resolution of the United Nations General assembly, to recognize the human right to water and sanitation. Humanitarian needs should come first.
We need to protect one of our most precious resources, water, not squander it.