The goal of surface water management in Nova Scotia is to protect surface water and ensure that it is allocated and used in a sustainable manner. Sustainable surface water use helps promote economic development and environmental protection by ensuring that residents and business relying on surface water will have access to safe, adequate, and reliable water supplies and by protecting the health of aquatic ecosystems which are vital to the quality of life for Nova Scotians.
In order to properly manage surface water, it is necessary to;
- establish water resource inventories for both surface water quality and quantity,
- allocate available water resources amongst various users (through an approvals process),
- protect surface waters from human impacts through regulatory measures (e.g. approvals, regulations, guidelines, standards, policies), and non-regulatory or voluntary measures (e.g. promotion of watershed planning & best management practices (BMPs)),
- monitor surface waters to track trends in water quality and quantity,
- evaluate effectiveness of management programs.