On October 28 and 29, our regional meeting was held at the Sandman Signature hotel in Prince George, together with Information Sessions on the Water Sustainability Regulation (Groundwater Licencing) and the Groundwater Protection Regulation under the new WSA. Discussions were held on the impact of the WSA on the people of the Province.
There were about 40 people in attendance for the Friday session, consisting of local ranchers (land owners), drilling contractors and consultants. The main discussion revolved around the impact of groundwater licensing on small ranch/farms within the local area. Most concerns stemmed from lack of knowledge of this legislation.
Saturday’s session had about 30 people in attendance. Discussions were held on groundwater protection and why it is required today. Following the session, a Regional Meeting was held for the Cariboo area. Discussions were on the wording of the legislation concerning flowing artesian wells and potential impact on registered drillers and drilling companies across the province. One of the main concerns was that an employee of a drilling company could be held personally responsible (liable) for the costs of controlling a flowing artesian well, rather than the company. We need further discussion and clarification on this issue.
Other drilling topics were discussed at the meeting. Local contractors were maintaining ‘business as usual’ but there is rising concern about drilling contractors entering and working within the region at a reduced drilling rate compared to local drillers. As a result, a few land owners who were offered a ‘good deal’ ended up with a well full of sand and no water (i.e. no screens), and no willingness on the part of the contractor to repair of the situation.
There have been other accounts of drillers encountering problems during drilling, walking away from the job, but still submitting a bill. This leaves the customer with no well and no funds left to get the job done by someone who is qualified to do so. This scenario can unfold in all industries and professions. Ultimately it is the customer who decides, and some choose the lower cost product which fails or is not as described. Remember the old saying: “I bought a dead horse but it was cheap.”
We all need to do our part to look after all the people who rely on our groundwater services.