BC Oil and Gas Commission

  • Tessa Bousfield posted an article
    Visit www.bcwatertool.ca/ to access the tool. see more

    Victoria, BC – March 1, 2016 – This week the Province of British Columbia replaced the Water Act with the Water Sustainability Act, a large framework of policies and regulations aimed at caring for BC water resources. 

    Under the new Act, a significant amount of location-specific water information is required when applying for a water use license. Fortunately, a free, online tool exists to collect, aggregate, and turn complicated water resource data into meaningful information to support water resource decision-making. 

    Visit http://www.bcwatertool.ca/ to access the tool.

    “The best decisions are made when you have the best information,” says Ben Kerr, CEO of Foundry Spatial, and lead developer of the BC Water Tool. “The BC Water Tool provides the information most users need for the first step in applying for a water use licence.”

    The new Act includes requirements for groundwater use and licensing, well construction and maintenance, dam safety, and compliance. For the first time, users of BC groundwater for non-domestic purposes like irrigation, industry, water bottling and municipal water systems require a water license and must pay fees and annual water rentals, just like surface water users. 

    First Nations, industry, researchers, and members of the public can use the BC Water Tool to access accurate, science-based information on water supply in the northern regions of BC using an online, map-based program that supports decision-making on water use planning and license approvals.

    “The BC Water Tool is for everybody interested in our water,” says Kerr. “It’s fast, and it’s free.”

    Traditional hydrologic data analysis can take a week or two to collect and prepare the required information for water use license applications. The BC Water Tool takes minutes, and has no cost to access the most up-to-date information available. 

    The BC Water Tool uses innovative technology to produce data for each watershed, including estimates of stream flow for rivers, lakes and streams, watershed characteristics such as land cover, climate and impacts from predicted future climate change across northern BC.

    Developed by Victoria-based Foundry Spatial, with the support of the Ministry of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations and the BC Oil and Gas Commission, the BC Water Tool is unique in North America as a water-resource decision-support tool. But not for long. 

    “This is just the beginning,” says Kerr. “We’re very excited to be rolling out sophisticated tools that support sound water resource management in other regions of Canada. Next month we will release the first Alberta Water Tool.”


    Media contact:
    David Sovka
    250-580-8478
    david.sovka@gmail.com 

    About Foundry Spatial
    Based in Victoria, BC, Foundry Spatial is an environmental science and consulting firm. Our expert team of scientists and programmers builds helpful tools that turn raw data into meaningful information for smart, sustainable, resource management decision-making. We have a proven track record, having delivered hydrology modeling and decision support tools for more than one million km2 of Western Canada. For more information, visit www.foundryspatial.com 

    About the Water Sustainability Act
    More information about the new Water Sustainability Act and the new regulations can be found at: http://www.gov.bc.ca/water.