British Columbia’s Minister of Environment and Climate Change Strategy George Heyman announced on August 2, 2017, a new review of the Hullcar Aquifer, with the end goal of ensuring agricultural practices are consistent with the provision and protection of clean, safe drinking water.
Due to high levels of nitrates, the Interior Health Authority issued a water quality advisory for residents in Hullcar Aquifers 102 and 103 on July 14, 2014.
The Ministry of the Environment said the most common sources of nitrate substances are human activities, including agricultural activities, wastewater treatment, and discharges from industrial processes and motor vehicles. Most nitrate reduction in the soil occurs through plant uptake and utilization, whereas surplus nitrates readily leach into groundwater.
In the announcement, the Minister said an independent, respected expert is being commissioned to lead the review, which will be due to government by the end of September 2017. The review will look at decisions and actions taken to-date with respect to pollution in the Hullcar Aquifer. It is expected to provide forward-looking recommendations to help inform best practices for the agricultural sector and improvements to regulations that can be applied province-wide.
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For more information on the Hullcar Aquifer, visit: www2.gov.bc.ca