An Act to affirm the collective nature of water resources and provide for increased water resource protection
Adopted June 11, 2009
The Act to affirm the collective nature of water resources and provide for increased water resource protection was adopted by unanimous consent of the National Assembly on June 11, 2009. In confirming the legal status of water resources as part of our collective patrimony, the Act defines the responsibilities of the government as protector of the resource on behalf of its citizens, as well as the rights and responsibilities of the community.
In addition, the Act establishes a new water withdrawal authorization
regime that strengthens the protection of water resources. This new regime
recognizes that it is essential to give priority to meeting the population’s
needs before reconciling the needs of ecosystems and economic activities.
The Act limits the validity period for water withdrawals to 10 years, with
some exceptions. It grants the Minister and government the power to limit or
halt any water withdrawal that presents a serious risk to public health or
aquatic ecosystems, without compensation from the government.