The suit, filed Wednesday in B.C. Supreme Court, claims the commission has granted repeated short-term water licences, in
violation of the provincial Water Act.
The environmental groups say as Encana proceeded with the fracking process to extract natural gas from underground reserves, it drew 880 Olympic swimming pools worth of water over three years from the Kiskatinaw River, which supplies drinking water to the city of Dawson Creek.
Ecojustice filed the lawsuit on behalf of the Sierra Club and the Wilderness Committee, arguing the company should have to apply for water licences.
B.C.’s Liberal government has hopes of developing a liquefied natural gas industry which Premier Christy Clark says could be worth one trillion dollars by 2047.
Clark says fracking has been done safely in the province for decades.