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Second Session, Thirty-Eighth Legislature

This version is based on the printed bill that was distributed in the Legislature after First Reading.
It is not the official version.   If accuracy is critical, you can obtain a copy of the printed bill from Statutory Publications.

Bill 22

THE WATER PROTECTION ACT


Table of Contents Explanatory Note

(Assented to                                             )

WHEREAS an abundant supply of high quality water is essential to sustain all ecological processes, life-support systems and food production, and is paramount to the environmental, economic and social well-being of Manitoba now and in the future;

AND WHEREAS access to sufficient, safe, acceptable, and affordable water for personal and domestic uses is internationally recognized as a fundamental right of citizens;

AND WHEREAS the Government of Manitoba recognizes the importance of the Canada-United States Boundary Waters Treaty and other inter-jurisdictional agreements protecting water, and the shared right and responsibility of all jurisdictions in the Hudson Bay drainage basin to protect water resources within the basin;

AND WHEREAS to most effectively ensure that drinking water is kept clean, safe and reliable, it is necessary to complement the provisions of The Drinking Water Safety Act with additional measures to protect drinking water sources;

AND WHEREAS the Government of Manitoba is committed to watershed planning as an effective means to address risks to water resources and aquatic ecosystems, and believes that residents of watersheds should be consulted when watershed plans are developed;

HER MAJESTY, by and with the advice and consent of the Legislative Assembly of Manitoba, enacts as follows:

PART 1

INTRODUCTORY PROVISIONS

Definitions

1(1)        The following definitions apply in this Act.

"approved watershed management plan" means a watershed management plan approved under Part 3. (« plan de gestion d'un bassin hydrographique approuvé »)

"aquatic ecosystem" means the components of the earth related to, living in or located in or on water or the beds or shores of a water body, including but not limited to

(a) all organic and inorganic matter, and

(b) all living organisms and their habitat,

and their interacting natural systems. (« écosystème aquatique »)

"conservation district" means a district as defined in The Conservation Districts Act. (« district de conservation »)

"development plan" means a development plan as defined in The Planning Act. (« plan directeur »)

"groundwater" means all water under the surface of the ground, whether in solid or liquid form. (« eaux souterraines »)

"invasive species" means an organism designated in the regulations as an invasive species. (« espèce envahissante »)

"minister" means the minister appointed by the Lieutenant Governor in Council to administer this Act. (« ministre »)

"municipality" includes a community as defined in The Northern Affairs Act. (« municipalité »)

"nutrient" means an element with nutritive value, including nitrogen and phosphorus, that if applied to land excessively as a result of human activity interferes, or may interfere, with the normal functioning of an aquatic ecosystem. (« nutriant »)

"person" includes a municipality, partnership, limited partnership, limited liability partnership, syndicate, trustee and joint venture, and an association of persons. (« personne »)

"planning district" means a planning district as defined in The Planning Act. (« district d'aménagement »)

"prescribed" means prescribed by regulation.

"riparian area" means an area of land on the banks or in the vicinity of a water body, which due to the presence of water supports, or in the absence of human intervention would naturally support, an ecosystem that is distinctly different from that of adjacent upland areas. (« zone riveraine »)

"water" means all surface water and groundwater, whether in solid or liquid form. (« eaux »)

"water body" means any body of flowing or standing water, whether naturally or artificially created, and whether the flow or presence of water is continuous, intermittent or occurs only during a flood, including but not limited to a lake, river, creek, stream, slough, marsh, swamp and wetland, including ice on any of them. (« plan d'eau »)

"water council" means the Manitoba Water Council established in section 19. (« Conseil des eaux »)

"water planning authority" means a water planning authority designated for a watershed under section 9. (« organisme de planification des eaux »)

"watershed" means an area designated as a watershed under section 9. (« bassin hydrographique »)

Reference to "Act" includes regulations

1(2)        A reference to "this Act" includes the regulations made under this Act.

Purpose of the Act

2           The purpose of this Act is to provide for the protection and stewardship of Manitoba's water resources and aquatic ecosystems, recognizing

(a) that Manitoba's social and economic well-being is dependent upon the sustained existence of a sufficient supply of high quality water;

(b) the importance of comprehensive planning for watersheds, with respect to water, land and ecosystems, on a basis that acknowledges and considers their interdependence;

(c) that water resources and aquatic ecosystems require protection to ensure the high quality of drinking water sources;

(d) the importance of applying scientific information in decision-making processes about water, including the establishment of standards, objectives and guidelines; and

(e) the need to protect riparian areas.

PART 2

WATER PROTECTION

WATER QUALITY STANDARDS, OBJECTIVES AND GUIDELINES

Water quality standards, objectives and guidelines

3(1)        The Lieutenant Governor in Council may make regulations setting or adopting water quality standards, objectives or guidelines.

Standards, etc. for use in approvals under other Acts

3(2)        A regulation under subsection (1) may provide that a person issuing an approval or making a decision under The Environment Act or any other specified Act or regulation must

(a) consider the standard, objective or guideline; or

(b) in circumstances specified in the regulation, refuse to issue an approval or make a decision unless its effect will ensure compliance or consistency with the standard, objective or guideline.

WATER QUALITY MANAGEMENT ZONES

Water quality management zones

4(1)        On the recommendation of the minister, the Lieutenant Governor in Council may make regulations

(a) designating any area of the province as a water quality management zone for the purpose of protecting water, aquatic ecosystems or drinking water sources;

(b) governing, regulating or prohibiting any use, activity or thing in a water quality management zone or any part of a zone.

Considerations in recommending regulations re zone

4(2)        Before recommending that a regulation be made under subsection (1), the minister may consider scientific and other information relating to

(a) the physical characteristics of land in the area, including its topography and soil types;

(b) the ability of the soil or water in the area, or water downstream of the area, to assimilate nutrients and other pollutants;

(c) water bodies or groundwater in the area, including information relating to

(i) the water quality characteristics of the water,

(ii) the susceptibility of the water to contamination or adverse changes in level or in-stream flow, and

(iii) the extent to which the water is pristine or relatively undisturbed by human activity;

(d) the area's aquatic ecosystems;

(e) whether the area contains a source, or a potential source, of drinking water;

(f) whether the area supports species that are sensitive to alterations in water quality or quantity resulting from human activity;

(g) whether the area provides habitat for endangered species; and

(h) any other matter that the minister considers relevant.

Additional considerations

4(3)        Before recommending that a regulation be made under subsection (1), the minister must also consider

(a) water quality standards, objectives and guidelines that apply to the area;

(b) approved watershed management plans that apply to the area; and

(c) the proximity of the area to a national park, provincial park, ecological reserve or other protected area.

Maps of zones

4(4)        A regulation made under subsection (1) may contain a map showing

(a) the boundaries of a zone; and

(b) areas within a zone where a use, activity or thing is governed, regulated or prohibited.

INVASIVE SPECIES

Invasive species

5           The Lieutenant Governor in Council may make regulations governing, regulating or prohibiting the importation, possession, transfer or release of invasive species.

WATER CONSERVATION

Regulations re water conservation

6           The Lieutenant Governor in Council may make regulations

(a) establishing water conservation programs;

(b) generally respecting the reduction of water usage in Manitoba.

SERIOUS WATER SHORTAGE

Declaration of serious water shortage

7(1)        If the minister considers that extraordinary measures are necessary to ensure a reasonable water supply, the minister may declare a serious water shortage in respect of all or part of Manitoba.

Actions by minister during serious water shortage

7(2)        If a serious water shortage is declared, the minister may take any action, make any regulation or issue any order that in his or her opinion is necessary to prevent, minimize or alleviate the water shortage.

Communication of serious water shortage

7(3)        Immediately after

(a) a serious water shortage is declared under subsection (1); or

(b) a regulation is made or an order is issued under subsection (2);

the minister must ensure that the details of the declaration, regulation or order are communicated by the most appropriate means to persons affected by it.

Declaration that shortage has ended

7(4)        The minister may declare that a serious water shortage has ended.

Regulations Act does not apply

7(5)        The Regulations Act does not apply to

(a) a declaration of a serious water shortage made under subsection (1) or a declaration that a serious water shortage has ended made under subsection (4); or

(b) a regulation made or an order issued under subsection (2).

Order prevails over The Water Rights Act

7(6)        Unless otherwise stated in the regulation or order, a regulation or order under this section prevails over a permit or licence issued under The Water Rights Act.

No injunction

7(7)        No injunction lies against the minister, or any person acting under the authority of a regulation or order, to restrain or prevent a person from taking measures under this section.

Action by minister if order not complied with

8(1)        If a person fails to comply with an order issued by the minister, the minister may

(a) cause anything to be done that is required by the order; and

(b) take any other measures that the minister considers necessary to prevent, minimize or alleviate the water shortage.

Order to pay costs

8(2)        Upon taking any action under clause (1)(a), the minister may order the person to whom the order was directed to pay the costs of taking that action.

Enforcing cost-recovery order

8(3)        An order to pay costs made under subsection (2) may be filed in the Court of Queen's Bench and enforced as if it were an order of the Court.

PART 3

WATERSHED MANAGEMENT

WATERSHED MANAGEMENT PLANS

Designation of watersheds and authorities

9           The Lieutenant Governor in Council may by regulation

(a) designate a watershed for the purposes of this Act, and specify its boundaries;

(b) designate a water planning authority for a watershed, which may be

(i) the board of a conservation district,

(ii) the board of a planning district,

(iii) the council of a municipality,

(iv) any other person or entity, or

(v) a joint authority consisting of two or more entities or persons described in clauses (i) to (iv);

(c) prescribe the date by which the authority must submit a watershed management plan for approval, terms of reference for the preparation of the plan, and any other terms or conditions that the Lieutenant Governor in Council considers necessary.

Considerations in preparing a plan

10          In preparing a watershed management plan, a water planning authority must consider the following:

(a) water quality standards, objectives and guidelines that apply to the watershed;

(b) whether a water quality management zone is included within any part of the watershed, and if so, any regulations made under section 4 respecting the zone;

(c) studies that the authority considers relevant relating to water, land use, demographics, the capacity of the environment to accommodate development, and any other matter related to present or future physical, social or economic factors;

(d) comments received through public consultation or public meetings held under section 12;

(e) prescribed water management principles;

(f) relevant provincial land use policies, development plans, and zoning by-laws;

(g) any other information that the authority considers relevant.

Content of a watershed management plan

11(1)       A watershed management plan must

(a) identify issues relating to the protection, conservation or restoration of water, aquatic ecosystems and drinking water sources in the watershed;

(b) contain objectives, policies and recommendations respecting some or all of the following:

(i) the protection, conservation or restoration of water, aquatic ecosystems and drinking water sources,

(ii) the prevention, control and abatement of water pollution, including wastewater and other point-source discharges, and non-point sources of pollution,

(iii) land drainage and flood control, including the maintenance of land drainage and flood control infrastructure,

(iv) activities in water quality management zones, riparian areas, flood areas, flood plains and reservoir areas,

(v) water demand management, water use practises and priorities, the conservation of water supplies, and the reduction of water use and consumption during droughts and other periods of water shortage,

(vi) the supply, distribution, storage and retention of water,

(vii) emergency preparedness to address spills, accidents and other emergencies that may affect water, an aquatic ecosystem or a drinking water source;

(c) specify linkages between water management and land use planning so as to facilitate the adoption, in a development plan or other planning instrument, of some or all of the provisions of the watershed management plan; and

(d) identify ways in which the plan can be implemented, monitored and evaluated.

Additional content

11(2)       A watershed management plan may also

(a) contain maps to assist in its interpretation; and

(b) specify a date by which the plan must be reviewed.

Consultation

12(1)       In preparing a watershed management plan, the water planning authority must consult with the following:

(a) if land within the watershed is in a conservation district or planning district, the board of that district;

(b) the council of any municipality located wholly or partly within the watershed;

(c) any band, as defined in the Indian Act (Canada), that has reserve land within the watershed; and

(d) any other person or entity specified by the minister.

Public meetings

12(2)       The water planning authority must hold one or more public meetings to consult with residents of the watershed on the preparation of the plan.

Plan to be submitted to minister for approval

13          A water planning authority must submit its watershed management plan to the minister for approval.

Referral of plan to the water council

14(1)       After receiving a proposed plan, the minister may refer it to the Manitoba Water Council for its review and advice.

Approval of the minister

14(2)       If the proposed plan is satisfactory to the minister, the minister may approve it in the form in which the water planning authority submitted it.

Referral of plan back to authority

14(3)       If the proposed plan is not satisfactory to the minister, the minister may refer it back to the water planning authority to be revised in accordance with any directions that the minister makes.

Revision of plan

14(4)       The water planning authority must revise a proposed plan that is referred back to it in accordance with the minister's directions, and re-submit it to the minister for approval within the time required by the minister.

Amending a plan after approval

15(1)       If a water planning authority proposes to make any amendments to an approved plan, it must submit them to the minister for approval.

Minister may require amendments

15(2)       In addition, the minister may require a water planning authority to make amendments to an approved plan about any matter the minister specifies, and the authority must prepare the amendments and submit them to the minister for approval.

Section 14 applies

15(3)       Section 14 applies to amendments under this section.

Notice of an approved plan

16          The minister must provide notice of the approval or amendment of a watershed management plan in accordance with any requirements specified in the regulations.

Periodic review

17          A water planning authority must review its approved watershed management plan, in accordance with the regulations,

(a) when directed to do so by the minister; and

(b) on or before any review date specified in the plan.

Sections 10 to 16 apply to the review of a plan, and its approval, with the necessary changes.

Plan to be considered in decision-making

18          The Lieutenant Governor in Council may, by regulation, require that an approved watershed management plan be considered before a prescribed decision is made or a prescribed approval is issued under this or any other specified Act or regulation.

MANITOBA WATER COUNCIL

Manitoba Water Council

19          The "Manitoba Water Council" is established.

Responsibilities of the water council

20          The water council has, subject to the direction of the minister, the following responsibilities:

(a) to monitor the development and implementation of watershed management plans in the province;

(b) to advise the minister about matters relating to water generally;

(c) to coordinate the activities of advisory boards and similar entities that perform functions relating to water, including advisory boards and other entities specified by regulation;

(d) to assist in reporting sustainability indicators relating to water.

The water council must also perform any other duties assigned to it by an Act or regulation.

Members

21(1)       The water council is to consist of at least five members appointed by the Lieutenant Governor in Council, who in the opinion of the Lieutenant Governor in Council are representative of the regional diversity of Manitoba.

Term of office

21(2)       The term of a member is as specified by the Lieutenant Governor in Council in the appointment, and a member continues to hold office until he or she is reappointed, a successor is appointed or the appointment is revoked.

Chair and vice-chair

21(3)       The Lieutenant Governor in Council must designate one of the members of the water council as chair and may designate another member as vice-chair.

Expenses

22          Each member of the water council may be reimbursed for such reasonable expenses as may be approved by the minister.

Minister may refer matter to water council

23          The minister may refer any matter within the water council's responsibilities to the water council.  The water council must, in accordance with the terms of reference, consider the matter and give the minister a written report of its findings and recommendations.

WATER STEWARDSHIP FUND

Water Stewardship Fund

24(1)       The "Water Stewardship Fund" is established, consisting of

(a) amounts appropriated by an Act of the Legislature for the fund;

(b) contributions received from any source by way of grant, gift, donation or bequest;

(c) interest or other income earned from the investment of money in the fund;

(d) amounts received under a Federal-Provincial agreement or any other agreement; and

(e) any other money received by the fund.

Fund to be held in separate trust account

24(2)       The fund is to be under the control and supervision of the Minister of Finance and must be held in trust for the purposes specified in subsection (3), in a separate account in the Consolidated Fund.

Purposes of the fund

24(3)       The purposes of the fund are

(a) to provide grants in support of research, projects and activities that further the purpose of this Act;

(b) to provide grants to assist in the implementation of watershed management plans or water conservation programs; and

(c) to support any other water management or water quality purpose that the Lieutenant Governor in Council considers advisable.

Payments out of fund

24(4)       Subject to the regulations, payments may be made out of the fund for

(a) the amount of any grant made by the minister that is consistent with the purpose of the fund, on any terms and conditions he or she considers appropriate;

(b) the cost of marketing and promoting the fund or a funded project; and

(c) administrative and reporting costs associated with the fund, including salaries and contract expenses.

Fund not public money

24(5)       The money contained within the fund, other than amounts credited to the fund under clause (1)(a), is not public money within the meaning of The Financial Administration Act.

Regulations respecting the fund

24(6)       The Lieutenant Governor in Council may make regulations

(a) respecting grants, including the terms and conditions on which grants may be made by the minister; and

(b) respecting the fund and any payments authorized by subsection (4) to be made from the fund.

PART 4

COMPLIANCE AND GENERAL PROVISIONS

Designation of officers

25          The minister may designate any persons, or the members of any class of persons, as officers for the purposes of this Act.

Inspection authority of officers

26(1)        When reasonably required to administer or determine compliance with this Act, an officer may enter and inspect any place or premises, other than a dwelling, at any reasonable time.

Entry into dwelling with consent

26(2)       Despite subsection (1), an officer may enter and inspect a dwelling with the consent of the owner or occupant.

Warrant for entry into dwelling

26(3)        On application by an officer, a justice may at any time issue a warrant authorizing the officer and any other person named in the warrant to enter and inspect a dwelling, if the justice is satisfied there are reasonable grounds to believe that

(a) entry to the dwelling is necessary for the purpose of administering or determining compliance with this Act; and

(b) in respect of the dwelling,

(i) entry has been refused or there are reasonable grounds to believe that entry will be refused,

(ii) the occupant is temporarily absent, or

(iii) the dwelling is unoccupied.

Conditions

26(4)       A warrant may be made subject to any conditions specified in it.

Assistance to officials

26(5)        In exercising a power under this section, an officer may use such force or obtain such assistance from a peace officer or other person as he or she considers necessary.

Additional inspection powers

27(1)       In addition to the powers referred to in section 26, when reasonably required to administer or determine compliance with this Act, an officer may

(a) make any inspection, investigation, examination, test, analysis or inquiry that he or she considers necessary;

(b) require any substance, thing, solid, liquid, gas, plant, animal or other organism to be produced for inspection, examination, testing or analysis;

(c) take samples of or seize any substance, thing, solid, liquid, gas, plant, animal or other organism; and

(d) take photographs or other images of a place or premises, or any condition, process, substance, thing, solid, liquid, gas, plant, animal or other organism located at or in it.

Use of data processing system and copying equipment

27(2)       In carrying out an inspection under this Act, an officer may

(a) use a data processing system at the place where the records, documents or things are kept to examine any data contained in or available to the system;

(b) reproduce, in the form of a printout or other intelligible output, any record from the data contained in or available to a data processing system at the place; and

(c) use any copying equipment at the place to make copies of any record or document.

Assistance to officials

27(3)       A person who has custody or control of a record, document or thing referred to in subsection (1) or (2) must give the officer

(a) all reasonable assistance to enable the officer to carry out his or her duties; and

(b) any information that the officer may reasonably require.

OFFENCES AND PENALTIES

Offences

28(1)       A person is guilty of an offence who

(a) contravenes a provision of this Act, or fails to comply with a provision of an order issued under this Act;

(b) makes a false statement to an officer or any other person acting under the authority of this Act;

(c) provides a false statement in an application, record or other document given or required under this Act; or

(d) hinders, obstructs or interferes with or attempts to hinder, obstruct or interfere with an officer or any other person acting under the authority of this Act.

Continuing offence

28(2)       When a contravention of this Act or a failure to comply with an order issued under this Act continues for more than one day, the person is guilty of a separate offence for each day the contravention or non-compliance continues.

Directors and officers of corporations

28(3)       If a corporation commits an offence under this Act, a director or officer of the corporation who authorized, permitted or acquiesced in the commission of the offence is also guilty of the offence.

Penalties for individuals

28(4)       Except as provided in subsection (5), a person who is guilty of an offence under this Act is liable on summary conviction,

(a) for a first offence, to a fine of not more than $50,000. or imprisonment for a term of not more than six months, or both; and

(b) for each subsequent offence, to a fine of not more than $100,000. or imprisonment for a term of not more than one year, or both.

Penalties for corporations

28(5)       A corporation that is guilty of an offence under this Act is liable on summary conviction,

(a) for a first offence, to a fine of not more than $500,000.; and

(b) for each subsequent offence, to a fine of not more than $1,000,000.

Limitation period

28(6)       A prosecution for an offence under this Act may not be commenced later than one year after the day on which evidence sufficient to justify a prosecution for the offence came to the knowledge of an officer; and the certificate of an officer as to the day on which the evidence came to his or her knowledge is evidence of that date.

Certificate of analyst admissible

29(1)       A certificate appearing to be signed by an analyst—or a copy or extract of the certificate certified by the analyst as a true copy or extract—stating that the analyst has analyzed a sample of water or other substance, and giving the results, is admissible in evidence in any proceeding as proof of the facts stated, unless the contrary is shown.  Proof of the analysts's appointment or signature is not required.

Serving certificate on other parties

29(2)       A party intending to produce a certificate in a proceeding must give notice of that intention and a copy of the certificate to each other party at least seven days before the date fixed for the hearing.

REPORTING VIOLATIONS

Persons may report suspected violation

30(1)       Any person who reasonably believes that a violation of this Act has occurred, or may occur, may report the circumstances leading to that belief to an officer.

Protection from liability

30(2)       No action or other proceeding may be brought against a person for providing information in good faith under this section.

Adverse employment action prohibited

30(3)       No employer shall take adverse employment action against an employee because that person provided information in good faith under this section.

No interference or harassment

30(4)       No person shall interfere with or harass a person who provides information under this section.

GENERAL PROVISIONS

Protection from liability

31          No action or proceeding may be brought against the minister, an officer or any other person acting under the authority of this Act for anything done or not done, or for any neglect

(a) in the performance or intended performance of a duty under this Act; or

(b) in the exercise or intended exercise of a power under this Act;

unless the person was acting in bad faith.

Act binds the Crown

32          This Act binds the Crown.

REGULATIONS

Regulations

33(1)       The Lieutenant Governor in Council may make regulations

(a) designating as an invasive species any non-indigenous organism that places or may place an aquatic ecosystem at risk of harm if it is introduced into or otherwise enters that ecosystem;

(b) governing, regulating or prohibiting the discharge or other release of a pollutant into water;

(c) respecting the siting, construction or operation of onsite wastewater management systems;

(d) governing, regulating or prohibiting the access of livestock to water bodies or areas adjacent to water bodies;

(e) respecting the providing of notice of an approval of, or amendment to, a watershed management plan under section 16;

(f) respecting the review of an approved watershed management plan under section 17;

(g) specifying advisory boards and other entities that perform functions relating to water for the purpose of the water council's coordinating role under clause 20(c);

(h) prescribing water management principles that are consistent with the purposes of this Act;

(i) defining any word or phrase used but not defined in this Act;

(j) respecting any other matter that the Lieutenant Governor in Council considers necessary or advisable to carry out the purposes of this Act.

Regulation may apply to all or any part of province

33(2)       A regulation made under this Act may apply to the whole province or part of it, and may apply to one or more water bodies.

Public consultation in regulation development

33(3)       Except in circumstances that the minister considers to be of an emergency nature, in the formation or substantive review of regulations made under Part 2 other than section 7, or under any of clauses 33(1)(a) to (d), the minister must provide an opportunity for public consultation regarding the proposed regulation or amendment.

PART 5

AMENDMENTS TO OTHER ACTS

C.C.S.M. c. G110 amended

34(1)       The Ground Water and Water Well Act is amended by this section.

34(2)       Subsection 2(2) is amended by striking out "except sections 9 and 10" and substituting the following:

"except

(a) sections 7 to 11; and

(b) regulations made under section 12, other than regulations respecting certification or licensing;"

34(3)       Subsection 10(2) and section 13 are amended by striking out "The Clean Environment Act" and substituting "The Environment Act".

34(4)       The following is added after subsection 10(2):

Order re well abandonment or improper seal or cap

10(3)       If the director is satisfied that, due to a well having been abandoned or not properly sealed or capped,

(a) water in the well; or

(b) ground water in the area of the well;

is or may become polluted, contaminated or diminished in purity, the director may order the owner of the well to rehabilitate, seal or cap the well in a manner satisfactory to the director.

34(5)       Section 11 is amended by striking out everything after "summary conviction," and substituting the following:

(a) in the case of an individual, to a fine of not more than $10,000. or imprisonment for a term of not more than three months, or both; and

(b) in the case of a corporation, to a fine of not more than $25,000.

34(6)       The following is added after clause 12(d):

(d.1) respecting the certification of well drillers and of installers of equipment related to wells, including prohibitions against uncertified persons drilling a well or installing equipment;

C.C.S.M. c. W80 amended

35(1)       The Water Rights Act is amended by this section.

35(2)       Section 1 is amended by adding the following definition:

"aquatic ecosystem" means the components of the earth related to, living in or located in or on water or the beds or shores of a water body, including but not limited to

(i) all organic and inorganic matter, and

(ii) all living organisms and their habitat,

and their interacting natural systems; (« écosystème aquatique »)

35(3)       Subsection 4(6) is repealed.

35(4)       Subsection 4(7) is amended by striking out "subsection (6)", and substituting "subsection 24(2)";

35(5)       The following is added after section 9:

Protecting and maintaining aquatic ecosystems

9.1(1)      In considering an application for a licence

(a) to use or divert water; or

(b) to construct, establish, operate or maintain works, other than works relating to the drainage of water;

the minister shall consider scientific and other information relating to the groundwater and water body levels, and the in-stream flows, that are necessary to ensure that aquatic ecosystems are protected and maintained.

Licence may be denied

9.1(2)      The minister may refuse to issue a licence if, in the opinion of the minister, the action authorized by the licence would negatively affect an aquatic ecosystem.

Suspending licence for aquatic ecosystem purposes

9.2         The minister may suspend or restrict the rights under a licence for a specified period if, in his or her opinion,

(a) a groundwater level;

(b) a water body level; or

(c) an in-stream flow;

is insufficient to ensure that aquatic ecosystems are protected and maintained.

35(6)       Subsection 14(1) is amended by adding "or in the opinion of the minister further allocation would negatively affect an aquatic ecosystem" after "allocated to other licensees".

35(7)       The following is added after section 14:

Investigations re levels and in-stream flows

14.1        The minister may undertake investigations into groundwater or water body levels, or in-stream flows, anywhere in Manitoba, to determine whether aquatic ecosystems are being negatively affected by insufficient levels or flows.

35(8)       Section 24 is re-numbered as subsection 24(1), and the following is added as subsection 24(2):

Appeal does not act as a stay

24(2)       An appeal of an order or decision does not stay the order or decision, or affect the power of the minister to take authorized steps pending the appeal.  But if the appeal is successful the minister may enter into an agreement with the appellant to compensate him or her for any loss or damage that the appellant incurred as a result of the order or decision.

35(9)       Section 25.1 is amended

(a) in the section heading, by striking out "and Protection"; and

(b) in the section, by striking out "and Protection".

PART 6

CONSEQUENTIAL AMENDMENTS, REPEAL AND COMING INTO FORCE

Consequential amendments, C.C.S.M. c. E125

36(1)       The Environment Act is amended by this section.

36(2)       The following is added after section 12:

Water quality standards, objectives and guidelines

12.1        A licence, or an alteration to a licence, issued under section 10, 11 or 12 after the date that this section comes into force, in respect of a development that affects or may affect water, must, in circumstances specified in The Water Protection Act or regulations made under it, include specifications, terms, limits or conditions as necessary to ensure compliance or consistency with a water quality standard, objective or guideline set or adopted under that Act.

36(3)       Section 54.1 is amended

(a) in the section heading, by striking out "and Protection"; and

(b) in the section, by striking out "and Protection".

Consequential amendments, C.C.S.M. c. P80

37(1)       The Planning Act is amended by this section.

37(2)       Section 1 is amended by adding the following definitions:

"approved watershed management plan" means a watershed management plan approved under The Water Protection Act; (« plan de gestion d'un bassin hydrographique approuvé »)

"water quality management zone" means an area designated as a water quality management zone under The Water Protection Act; (« zone de gestion de la qualité de l'eau »)

37(3)       The following is added after clause 25(1)(c):

(c.1) to serve as a framework for the implementation of an approved watershed management plan that relates to land within the district or municipality;

37(4)       The following is added after subsection 25(3):

Water quality zones and watershed plans

25(3.1)     In the preparation or amendment of a development plan, the board or council must also consider any of the following that relate to land within the district or municipality:

(a) any regulations made under section 4 of The Water Protection Act governing, regulating or prohibiting any use, activity or thing in a water quality management zone or any part of a zone; and

(b) any approved watershed management plans.

37(5)       The following is added after subclause 25(4)(a)(iii):

(iii.1) the implementation of any approved watershed management plans described in subsection 25(3.1);

Consequential amendments, C.C.S.M. c. W72

38(1)       The Water Resources Conservation and Protection Act is amended by this section.

38(2)       The title is replaced with "THE WATER RESOURCES CONSERVATION ACT".

38(3)       Section 9 is amended by striking out "and Protection".

Repeal

39          The Water Commission Act, R.S.M. 1987, c. W50, is repealed.

C.C.S.M. reference

40          This Act may be referred to as Chapter W65 of the Continuing Consolidation of the Statutes of Manitoba.

Coming into force

41          This Act comes into force on a day to be fixed by proclamation.

Explanatory Note

This Bill sets out a legislative scheme to provide improved protection for Manitoba's water resources and aquatic ecosystems.

It includes provisions

  • to allow water quality standards, objectives and guidelines to be established and implemented;
  • to establish water quality management zones and to regulate activities within those zones;
  • to prohibit and otherwise regulate harmful non-native species;
  • to allow water conservation programs to be established;
  • to require the preparation of watershed management plans, and for their adoption in local development plans;
  • to allow for the declaration of a serious water shortage, and for the taking of action to address such shortages.

This Bill establishes a new advisory body, the Manitoba Water Council, and dissolves the Manitoba Water Commission by repealing The Water Commission Act.

A new Water Stewardship Fund is also established by this Bill, to support projects relating to water management and water quality.

This Bill contains amendments to The Ground Water and Water Well Act and to The Water Rights Act, and consequential amendments to The Environment Act, The Planning Act and The Water Resources Conservation and Protection Act.