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17th February 2022
EDITOR
Nelson-Creston MLA Brittny Anderson writes about the need for input from the Kootenays

BLACK PRESS SUBMITTED Feb. 10, 2022 11:45 a.m. COLUMNISTS OPINION

by Brittny Anderson

Nelson-Creston MLA

Water impacts every part of our lives. Itís in our bodies, we play and work in it, it draws natural boundaries, and we marvel in its beauty. Every living thing in and around our communities needs it, and our communities rely on a clean, consistent supply so we can take care of ourselves and one another.

We also know that this vital resource is at risk, especially here in the Kootenays. Weíve seen the impacts that climate change can have on our water supply, and itís important that we take action to maintain clean water for ourselves and the world around us.

Thatís why we are developing B.C.ís first ever Watershed Security Strategy. Our government is taking a holistic approach to understand how we as people, and the plants and animals around us, use water and what risks exist to its supply.

Many people in the Kootenays have shared concerns with my office about our local watersheds, which is why this strategy is so important. Iíve heard from community members who have had to rely on the generosity of neighbours to truck water to their homes after their water supply dried up. Some constituents have raised concerns about the potential for flooding while others have been impacted by forest fires or were out there fighting those fires themselves.

We know that climate change is accelerating these and other impacts on our watersheds, which is why we are leading the continent with our CleanBC Roadmap to 2030 plan to slow the progress of climate change and to ensure we are building cleaner, stronger, more resilient communities. This includes actions across sectors to decarbonize and electrify our economy with renewable energy Ė in transportation, buildings, and industry. It also includes a Climate Preparedness and Adaptation Strategy, which will be finalized in the coming months to help people and communities prepare for our changing climate.

This past year, we saw these impacts of climate change firsthand with the heat dome, forest fires, and floods. Thatís exactly why weíre taking action to protect our most precious natural resource.

Our government has opened consultations to everyone in the province. I really hope that many people in our region take the time to make sure their voices are heard and that our concerns about watersheds are addressed as part of the provinceís strategy going forward.

As your representative, I will continue raising the concerns of people in our region with the Minister of Environment and Climate Change Strategy. You can help amplify our collective voice by completing the engagement at the following link: https://engage.gov.bc.ca/watershedsecurity

If you donít have a computer, regular internet access, or would prefer to write your thoughts in a different format, you can also email livingwatersmartgov.bc.ca or write to Water Protection and Sustainability Branch, Ministry of Environment and Climate Change Strategy, PO Box 9362 STN PROV GOVT, Victoria B.C. V8W 9M2.

Submissions will be accepted until March 18.

https://www.nelsonstar.com/opinion/column-have-your-say-on-b-c-s-watershed-security-strategy/?mc_cid=1e5ada4fa8&mc_eid=30488675cb