Stratégie québécoise de l'eau 2018-2030 - L'eau, source de richesse et de fierté pour tous
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Government announcement
June 27, 2018

Water, a source of wealth and pride for all

Stratégie québécoise de l'eau 2018-2030 - L'eau, source de richesse et de fierté pour tous

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Québec Water Strategy 2018-2030

LAVAL, QC, June 27, 2018 – Today Isabelle Melançon, Minister of Sustainable Development, the Environment and the Fight Against Climate Change, proudly unveiled the Québec Water Strategy 2018-2030 and the 2018-2023 action plan.

The Québec government is launching a series of measures with significant investments of over $550 million and is setting up the Québec water council to democratize the management of this valuable resource. The new body will have around 40 members and be chaired by Alain Webster, Professor of Economics at Sherbrooke University’s School of Management. It will be composed of citizens and municipal representatives, water users and other water and ministerial stakeholders.

Following government reflection and extensive consultations, the strategy offers a unifying vision for 2030. Indeed, it aims to ensure that water in Québec is more than ever a source of wealth and pride for us all. By the end of its implementation in 2030, the government, its partners and the population will have managed to protect, use and manage water and aquatic environments in a responsible, sustainable and integrated way.

The Québec Water Strategy 2018-2030 revolves around seven key orientations that will allow the government to take on its role as water guardian and to rally stakeholders:

  • Ensure water quality for the public;
  • Protect and restore aquatic environments;
  • Better prevent and manage the risks associated with water;
  • Focus on the economic potential of water;
  • Promote the sustainable use of water;
  • Acquire and share the best knowledge available about water;
  • Ensure and strengthen integrated management of water resources.

Meanwhile, the 2018-2023 action plan provides 63 measures, which will be directed by 11 government departments and agencies. In addition to the creation of the Québec water council, the main measures it contains are:

  • To better prevent and manage the risks associated with water, including flooding ($53 million);
  • To conserve and restore aquatic environments ($32 million);
  • To ensure access to a sufficient quantity of high-quality water, including through a program for the increased protection of drinking water sources ($34 million);
  • To implement a mobilization program for the reduction of water pollution by single-use plastic (e.g. reduce use of straws) ($3 million).

Implementation

The Québec Water Strategy 2018-2030 will bank on three successive action plans which will define the specific measures to be implemented. The 2018-2023 action plan paves the way for the strategy.

The strategy will be implemented by a coordination office of the Ministère du Développement Durable, de l’Environnement et de la Lutte Contre les Changements Climatiques, with the collaboration of the many partners involved. A status report will be published every year and a mid-term assessment drawn up.

Quotes:

The source of life, water permeates our present, and we have no future without it. In many ways, it is part of us. Flowing abundantly from the top of the mountain to the bottom of our valleys, it resists the pressure of human activity. Québec has 3.6 million freshwater bodies, tens of thousands of rivers and the St. Lawrence River, covering 22% of the province. We have 3% of the planet’s renewable freshwater reserves. That’s why I’m proud to launch the Québec Water Strategy 2018-2030 and the first action plan for the protection and management of this collective heritage. Let’s protect our water in a responsible way, let’s use it sustainably and manage it in an integrated way. It will repay us a hundredfold!

– Isabelle Melançon, Minister of Sustainable Development, the Environment and the Fight Against Climate Change

We are fortunate in Québec: we have high-quality water in abundance! Yet, even in Québec, water is a fragile resource subject to many pressures. This is especially true in southern Québec, especially in Laval, where we must increase our efforts. The Québec Water Strategy will give us the necessary resources to rally all stakeholders in the face of these challenges.

– Francine Charbonneau, Minister responsible for Seniors and Anti-Bullying and Minister responsible for the Laval region

The Québec Water Strategy tackles the challenges facing us in 2018. It deals with sustainable development, combatting climate change and adapting to the impacts of these changes. With this new public policy tool, I am sure that we will succeed in protecting water for ourselves and for future generations.

– Jean d’Amour, Minister for Maritime Affairs and Minister responsible for the Bas-Saint-Laurent region

Water is at the origin of life on Earth and is essential to its maintenance. Every day it provides service to humans and other living species in many different ways. It is also part of our history, our landscape and our economic and social development. We must take care of it. The Water Interpretation Centre in Sainte-Rose is there to remind us of this.

– Jean Habel, Parliamentary Assistant to the Minister of Sustainable Development, the Environment and the Fight Against Climate Change and Member for Sainte-Rose

Without water, there is nothing: no clouds, no life as we know it, no climate either. Although it is abundant and widespread, and sometimes impetuous, water needs us to take care of it. I welcome the arrival of the Québec Water Strategy 2018-2030 and the action plan, which addresses every citizen as much as water stakeholders. More than ever, we must meet this great conservation challenge that concerns us all. We have to make this difference in our daily choices.

– Jean Lemire, Québec government Envoy for Climate Change and Northern and Arctic Affairs

Key points:

  • Québec has 3.6 million freshwater bodies, tens of thousands of rivers and the St. Lawrence River. These cover 22% of the province area.
  • At the local and regional level, Québec has introduced the process of integrated water resource management in the southern watersheds, through the 40 watershed agencies, and through six regional round tables for the St. Lawrence itself. This management, which banks on voluntary participation and consultation with water users, is intended to reconcile the various interests and concerns with respect to water resources and aquatic ecosystems in the relevant regions.
  • The government has also ensured that municipalities have the required legal skills to act in such areas as management of municipal water courses, protection of river banks, floodplains and coastal areas, sanitation of municipal wastewater discharges or the production and distribution of drinking water, while complying with the necessary standards and requirements.

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