Independent media needs you. Join the Tyee.

The Hook: Political news, freshly caught

Province tests the waters of social media

The provincial government is testing the waters of social media with a new blog. It was launched last week, marking the official beginning of the process to revamp B.C.'s century-old Water Act.

"Water defines British Columbia, and over the next 25 years we expect B.C.'s population to grow by another 1.4 million people," stated Environment Minister Barry Penner in a news release. "Our water will have to go a lot further without compromising nature’s needs. The Living Water Smart blog is an interactive way to encourage open dialogue on this important topic. Together, we can determine the steps we must take to protect our water both for today and the future."

The blog includes one post so far (from Penner) and has already attracted a handful of comments, including this one: "you could make a start by protecting the Kettle River, one of the most endangered in BC, by not drawing water away from it to Big White."

David Eaves, a public policy entrepreneur and advisor on open government, called the blog a promising start.

"Now, what would I like to see happen around the government's blog?" he wrote in a recent post on his own blog. "Well, if you want to engage the public why not give them data that you are using internally? It would be great to get recent and historic flow rate data from major rivers in BC. And what about water consumption rates by industry/sector but also perhaps by region and by city and dare we ask. . . by neighborhood? It would also be interesting to share the assumptions about future growth so that professors, thinktanks and those who care deeply about water issues could challenge and test them."

Colleen Kimmett reports for The Tyee.

Find more in: