The POLIS Water Sustainability Project has published a new report, Towards Watershed Security: The role of water in modernized land use planning in B.C.

This report offers an extensive review of past and current land use planning efforts and draws conclusions on the future of water and land management and governance in B.C. The project responds to the provincial government’s mandate and commitment to modernize land use planning and its linked priorities of reconciliation, rural economic recovery, water security, and climate adaptation.

“The goal of a modernized approach to integrated provincial planning is to help address real issues, achieve multiple economic, social, and sustainability benefits, and, critically, to prevent future problems, reduce conflict, and save money,” said Oliver M. Brandes, Director at the POLIS Water Sustainability Project, University of Victoria.

The report uses real-world examples and leading practices to describe emerging opportunities for the provincial government, Indigenous nations, and community partners.

3 key messages:

1. Reconciliation and land use planning cannot be successful without explicit and sustained attention to water.

2. Economic recovery and a resilient local economy require clarity around resource development and investment potential, including what can and cannot be done on the land and in the water.

3. The provincial government and planning partners need capacity, a clear priority, and sustained support for a new planning regime if they are to succeed.

The actions identified in the report provide immediate practical steps that the provincial government can take now to meaningfully achieve existing commitments, as well as long-term priorities to change how land and water use planning are undertaken in the province.

Click here to download the full report.

Click here to download the decision makers’ brief.