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21st September 2023
Gitanyow Hereditary Chiefs to establish new water protection framework

By Morgyn Budden
Sep 18, 2023 10:30 AM

itanyow Hereditary Chiefs are launching a pilot policy to create the framework of new water protection guidelines.

The Gitanyow Aks Ayookxw/ Lax’yip Water Policy will primarily apply to industrial development proposals like mining, forestry and more.

The policy aims to protect aquatic ecosystems, and water quality and quantity through three types of risk classifications for bodies of surface water.

Considered the highest sensitivity, type 1 water is described as being for human consumption, providing unique habitat needs, being culturally significant, linking to other waterbodies, holding high fishery values, and being vulnerable to climate change.

They’ll maintain that water quality through a non-degradation approach, which means the water must not drop in quality by more than 20 percent for types 1 and 2, and no more than 50 percent for type 3.

So far, the conceptual framework has 6 levels of responsibility spanning initial consultation and proposal, to an ongoing adaptive process.

Project lead Tara Marsden, says the plan complements the Gitanyow Lax’yip Land Use Plan and upholds the nation’s rights and responsibilities to their land.