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9th December 2021
Continued from Part 1

When a well stops producing, its owner is supposed to remove equipment and clean the site up so it meets regulatory standards, according to CAPP. But that doesn’t always happen — companies can go bankrupt, for example, which dumps the cleanup costs on taxpayers.

B.C. last updated its Water Sustainability Act in 2016 after a public consultation where British Columbians said water was undervalued in the province.

In an email, the Ministry of Environment said it recognized “the significant public interest in water use for oil and gas activities and the potential effects it may have on the sustainable management of water, especially when considering climate change, and increasingly severe natural hazards, such as drought.”

The ministry will also be keeping a close eye on the “potential and actual impacts of climate change and population growth on domestic water supply needs.”

The government did not directly respond when asked if it would consider including water in its current oil and gas royalty system review. Public consultation for the review is open until Dec. 10.

* Story updated on Dec. 7 at 4 p.m. to correct the year the Water Sustainability Act came into force. [Tyee]