Living With Water: Information Links to Policy, Regulations and Best Practices for Water Resource Stewardship on Salt Spring Island

This index lists resource links under alphabetically-ordered categories. Links included here were developed by SSIWPA and it’s working groups to address aspects of island living that are impacted by, and have impacts on freshwater resources. The document is updated approximately twice per calendar year by SSIWPA Coordinator. Please communicate any broken links or additional information to the SSIWPA Coordinator (ssiwpa at islandstrust dot bc dot ca). Thank you!


Provincial (and Federal) Government:

Agricultural Land Use Inventory for Salt Spring Island: 



Salt Spring Island Agricultural Water Demand Model 2017


Agricultural Water Calculator:

British Columbia’s Irrigation Scheduling Calculator – similar to above but different schedules for  sprinkler, drip, pivot travelling gun, stationary gun systems:

Environmental Farm Plan:

Bylaws in Farming Areas – BC Ministry of Agriculture Guide for Bylaw Development

Irrigation Management Guide:

Nutrient Management Reference Guide:

Department of Fisheries and Oceans Canada: Watershed Stewardship Guide for Agriculture Brochure:

Water Quality for agriculture and food safety:

Advocacy, Education, Associations and Other:

Agricultural Alliance on Salt Spring Island

Salt Spring Island Area Farm Plan 2008:

Keyline Water Management:

Water and Livestock:

Construction, Building and Real Estate

Canadian Mortgage and Housing Corporation – information for property buyers, sellers and realtors, including inspection checklists:

Local Government:

Islands Trust – Guide to Environmentally-Friendly Building and Renovating in the Gulf Islands –

Islands Trust  – Newcomer’s Guide to the Islands:

Capital Regional District Potable Rainwater Systems for Domestic and Non-Domestic Use:

The Salt Spring Island “Sustainability Checklist” :

Provincial Government:

BC Municipal Water Survey (2016). UBC Water Planning Lab.

Develop with Care – Guidebook for Urban and Rural Land Development:

Climate Action


Local Government:

Leaking faucet? How much water is wasted? Use this calculator:

Water conservation tips for homeowners

Regional drinking water services:

CRD Best Management Practices Guide to Water Conservation in the Public Sector – 2001:

Business water efficiency opportunity in Capital Regional District (not yet the islands)

BC Municipal Water Survey (2016). UBC Water Planning Lab.

Conservation Planning for Communities in B.C.: a How To Guide:

Provincial Government:

Conservation in BC Municipalities – a catalogue of what has been done; Drought Information Portal:

[Note: Hard and Soft measures identified in categories. Catalogue on Implemented Water Efficiency Measures by Region appears dated – 1999]

Living Water Smart

Conservation Calculator Tool for Improvement Districts or Managers of Water Resources and Systems (several connections to supply source(s)):

Water Planning and Strategies:

Advocacy, Education, Associations and Other:

Partnership for Water Sustainability in BC:

– click on the “Water Balance Model” for a hydrologic simulation of your property. Supported by Natural Resources Canada.


Provincial Government

Health Regulations and System Design Specifications:

Very Light Greywater from showers, baths and hand basins (not kitchen or laundry) is approved for toilet flushing grey water use, in the home, as a separate collection system, treatment and reuse when designed by an accredited plumbing engineer.

Sewerage System Standards of Practice:



University of Saskatchewan. 2019. A Global Groundwater Statement – A call to action.


Local Government:

Land Use bylaws and Official Community Plans regulate land use with consideration of groundwater use, in some cases requiring permits. See Land Use and Community Planning below.

Toolkit Islands Trust:

Provincial Government

Water programs (quality, quantity, licensing, surface, groundwater, conservation):

Resources for Water System Operators:

Groundwater Resource Materials Links Page:

Provincial BC Well Index:

For assistance with well searches contact Front Counter BC Toll Free: 1-877-855-3222

Provincial Observation Well Network:

Ministry of Environment Groundwater Reference Library – reports, studies, tools :

Ministry of Environment Ecological Reports Catalogue – archive of completed environment (e.g. water, wildlife) related studies for B.C.:

Model Well Regulation Bylaw – A guide for local governments:

Well Protection Tool Kit for preparation of well protection plans:

Groundwater Regulations and Legislation

Water Sustainability Act Part 3 – Wells and Groundwater Protection:

Groundwater Protection regulation:

Groundwater Licensing Regulations:

B.C. Ministry of Health Drinking Water Programs – information on water supply system permitting and operation:

Safe Water Supply: Groundwater in BC.

Groundwater Treatment Objectives:

Provincial Mapping Resources:

B.C. Water Resources Atlas and iMap BC (GIS):

Guide to using intrinsic aquifer vulnerability mapping (vulnerability to contaminants):

Advocacy, Education, Associations and Other:   (resource links at bottom of page)

Toolkit by Okanagan Water Board:

B.C. Groundwater Assn. – information for industry and public:

Qualified Professionals

MoE Registry of Qualified Well Drillers:

MoE Registry of Qualified Well Pump Installers:

Groundwater Consultants in B.C. (Qualified Professionals):

Land Use and Community Planning

Local Government

Bylaw 434. Salt Spring Island Official Community Plan (2008). Objectives that relate to watershed management and land use planning:

• Watershed and Islet Residential Designation Section B.8.1. (e.g. B. To avoid an increase in development or activity within watershed catchments.)

• Objective C. “…to ensure that zoning changes do not result in such a level of development in North Salt Spring Waterworks District, such that water would not be available for firefighting, hospital and school expansion, and affordable housing.”

• Objective c. applies to regulation of the demand of “island water sources” (not only St Mary Lake) to ensure that agricultural activities can still obtain water.

Bylaw 434. Salt Spring Island Official Community Plan (2008). Volume 2. Part E.5. Page 34. Development Permit Area 5: Community Well Capture Zones, requiring a permit be issued prior to development in this water sensitive area. (Reference: Potter, R. P.Eng. 1996. “Gulf Islands Groundwater” for the Islands Trust.):


Land Use Bylaw no. 355 Sections 4.4 – 4.6 inclusive on General Regulations for Setbacks from water bodies and wells.

Land Use Bylaw no. 355 Subdivision Servicing Regulations require adequate amounts of potable water be proven at time of subdivision:

Riparian Areas Regulation. Bylaw 480. Amendment no. 2 adopted May 14, 2015 in the Salt Spring Island Official Community Plan Volume 2.

Madrone Environmental Services Ltd. (2012) The Salt Spring Island Riparian Areas Regulations Peer Review – St Mary Lake and Cusheon Lake Watersheds (Prepared for Stefan Cermak, Islands Trust by Madrone Environmental Services Ltd.):

Land Use Planning Tools:

The Salt Spring Island “Sustainability Checklist” :

Local Government Maps and Development Permit Areas:

Map 1 in OCP Schedule A “Land and Shoreline Use Designations”, available at:

Map 21, Bylaw 434. Development Permit Area 4 Lakes, Streams and Wetlands:

Map 28. Bylaw 434. DPA7 Riparian Areas:

Provincial Government

Water Planning:

Advocacy, Education, Associations and Other:


Rain Harvesting and Water-Wise Landscaping

Local Government

Capital Regional District. Benefits of rainwater harvesting:

Islands Trust – Guide to Environmentally-Friendly Building and Renovating in the Gulf Islands –

Drainscapes video Cowichan Valley Regional District –

Rainwater Harvesting Best Practices Guidebook (Regional District of Nanaimo Green Building resources):

Provincial Government

Rainwater – Greywater Health Regulations and System Design Specifications:

Advocacy, Education, Associations and Other:

Regional District of Nanaimo (Bob Burgess) Rainwater Harvesting Best Practices Guide:



Local consultants / Suppliers Salt Spring Island:

List of rain barrel suppliers in Greater Victoria.

Storm Water and Runoff

Bylaw 2454 Salt Spring Island Stormwater Quality Management Extended Service Establishment No. 1, 1996:—salt-spring-island-stormwater-quality-management-extended-service-establishment-no-1-1996B.pdf?sfvrsn=0


Local Government 

Homeowner’s Septic Information Webpage:

Resource page:

Land Use FAQs (Island Health):

CRD septic system owner information

CRD septic information line at 250-360-3187

CRD septic email inquiries


Dos and Don’ts:

Drainfield Info Sheet:

Garburators and In-Sink Garbage Disposals (organics):

Maintenance Record Sheets –

Septic and water conservation –

Sewerage and subdivision –

Workshops –

FAQs about Septic:

How to find your septic tank:

Caring for your Onsite Septic System:

What Health Regulations apply to Septic Systems?:

Who can service Septic Systems?:

CRD Septic Videos:

How Septic Systems Work:

What can go wrong with your septic system?:

Operating and Maintaining a Septic System:


Management of Onsite Sewage Systems in the CRD. Bylaw 3478. 2007:

Septic Bylaw 3479:

Septic Bylaw Information Page with FAQ:

Provincial Government

Onsite Sewage System Management:

Environmental Management Act. Municipal Wastewater Regulations.:

Greywater and Composting Toilet Health Regulations and System Design Specifications:

Advocacy, Education, Associations and Other:

Ecological Science and Stewardship

Lakes, Streams and Water Quality

Local Government

Please see Land Use Planning Section of this resource.

Educational Resources and Stewardship Activities (K-7 curriculum):

Provincial Government

Licenses and Water Quantity

Surface Water Licensing and Rights:

Rules for water licensing and approvals:

Potential diversion from a sensitive stream:


Water Quality Guidelines

Province of British Columbia Approved Water Quality Guidelines:

Water Supply System Permitting and Regulation:

BC Surface Water Treatment Objectives:

Water Treatment Regulations:

B.C. Ministry of Health Publications – fact sheets on well testing and water quality concerns:

Safe Water Supply: Groundwater in BC.

Health Canada water quality resources:

Salt Spring Island Watershed Science

Salt Spring Island Watershed Protection Authority Reports (Technical Working Group) – studies on stormwater, phosphorus lake inputs and budgets, phosphorus impacts on algal communities, drought analysis, water conservation and efficiency, safe yield modelling, and more….please click here.

Squires. M. “A Guide – Recommendations for Lake Research”. February 2016:

Habitat and Species Conservation

Local Government

Green Shores for Homes:

Shoreline Stewardship Principles:

Provincial Government

BC Riparian Areas Regulation:

Riparian Areas Revegetation Guidebook:

Fish Protection Act:

Species At Risk and Biodiversity


Species at Risk Protection Strategies:

Advocacy, Education, Associations and Other:

Fish and Invasive Species  (Learn about native/non-native fish species. Avoid illegal fish introductions.)  (Manage wetlands and waterways. Avoid illegal plant, animal introductions.)

Educational Tools:

Local Organizations:

Island Stream and Salmon Enhancement Society:

Salt Spring Island Conservancy:

General Wildlife and Ecological Conservation Links for Salt Spring Island:

SSI Water Preservation Society:

Cusheon Lake Stewardship Committee:

Gulf Islands Centre for Ecological Learning:

Big Trees on Salt Spring Island:

Provincial, National, Others:

Land Trust Alliance of BC:

British Columbia Lake Stewardship Society:

Nature Conservancy of Canada:

Living Lakes Canada:

Canadian Wildlife Service:

University of Utah Extension Service Best Practices for Stream Monitoring:

United States National Forest System: