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Welcome to the B.C. Guide to Watershed Law and Planning (The Guide). Long name, but hopefully a useful resource.

Watershed: The area that drains into a river or other body of water. Actions in one part of a watershed will often have an impact throughout the watershed.

People everywhere are more and more concerned about protecting habitat for non-human users, ensuring good water quality and making sure that development of resources leaves something for our children and grandchildren. The Guide focuses on the local level, the watershed, giving residents of British Columbia, Canada an overview all of the laws and planning processes that govern watershed management in B.C.

Rather than just dumping a heap of information on you, we’ve tried to organize the Guide so you can quickly find the information you are looking for, whether you want a general understanding of how the law works, or whether you are responding to an immediate threat to your watershed.

The Guide is organized into four main parts, which can be accessed with the navigation bar above:

  • Accessing Government – A crash course to understanding government, law-making, planning and how to get involved in all of it as a watershed advocate. Good background for anyone who wants to influence government, whether on watershed issues or not.
  • Issues and Topics – Identify watershed issues and problems and learn about what laws and planning processes apply to them. This is a great starting point if you’re concerned about a particular watershed issue, but don’t know much about the legal or planning requirements.
  • Laws and Plans – A description of every piece of legislation and planning processes that the Guide’s authors thought might be useful to those engaged in watershed protection. This section is useful if you know what law or planning process you want information about.
  • Case Studies – Learn by reading stories. The case studies set out common watershed protection issues and then tell a story about how local citizens used advocacy, legal and planning tools to work for watershed protection. You can then move from the case study stories to more detailed information about the tools used.

In addition to these four main sections, there are a number of tools that can help you get the most out of this site:

  • Glossary to help you understand the information on the site;
  • You can search the site using the search function on the right sidebar to find specific content
  • Links to help you move beyond this site (although there are also links on most topic-specific pages within the Guide).

The information on this website is designed to assist the public in understanding laws and planning processes that may have a bearing on watershed management. It is not legal advice and if you have a legal problem you are advised to consult a lawyer. For more information see our Disclaimer.