Champion Supporter: Cowichan Valley Regional District

Background on the Cowichan Valley Regional District

Situated on the southern part of Vancouver Island, the Cowichan Valley Regional District is bordered by the Nanaimo and Alberni-Clayoquot Regional Districts to the north and northwest, and by the Capital Regional District to the south and east.

The Cowichan Valley is a region around the Cowichan River and Cowichan Lake. Communities include Duncan, Lake Cowichan, Cobble Hill, Shawnigan Lake, Mill Bay, Ladysmith, Crofton, Chemainus, and Maple Bay. Of these, only Duncan, Lake Cowichan, and Maple Bay fall within the Cowichan River/Cowichan Bay watershed. The others are affiliated with the Cowichan Valley mainly through the Cowichan Valley Regional District.

The Regional District is a growth region and has a population of over 80,000. This compares with a population total of 52,000 in 1986.

Cowichan Valley Regional Board

Convening for Action on Vancouver Island

The Cowichan Valley Regional District (CVRD) was an early supporter of the CAVI-Convening for Action on Vancouver Island initiative, launched in September 2006 at the Water in the City Conference in Victoria. CVRD support was a lynch-pin in bringing together three regional districts and their member municipalities to jointly host the 2007 Showcasing Green Infrastructure Innovation on Vancouver Island Series.

“Through its leadership role in CAVI, the CVRD has also contributed to the provincial success of the Water Balance Model initiative. In 2008, for example, CVRD hosted both the pilot Vancouver Island Learning Lunch Seminar Series and first Vancouver Island Water Balance Forum,” reports Kim Stephens, Executive Director of the Partnership for Water Sustainability in BC.

“The synergies resulting from these Vancouver Island successes then informed the 2009 Metro Vancouver Water Balance Forum; and ultimately had an influence on the rainwater management component of Metro Vancouver’s Integrated Liquid Waste and Resource Management Plan, completed in 2010 and approved by Minister of Environment Terry Lake in 2011.”

Cowichan Valley Regional District is a Champion Supporter of the Partnership for Water Sustainability

The Champion Supporter designation recognizes government and non-government organizations that are playing a leadership role in the implementing the Water Sustainability Action Plan for British Columbia through partnerships.

Recognition of the Regional District

“In recognition of the CVRD’s numerous contributions since 2007 to the success of the CAVI initiative, the Partnership for Water Sustainability in BC is pleased to recognize the Cowichan Valley Regional District as a Champion Supporter,” stated Kim Stephens, Partnership Executive Director, when he presented Chair Rob Hutchins (Mayor, Town of Ladysmith) and the Board with a framed letter of recognition in June 2013.

“The Cowichan Valley Regional District’s long-term commitment is helping the Partnership advance the vision for achieving watershed sustainability through implementation of green infrastructure policies and practices.”

Chair Rob Hutchins (Mayor, Town of Ladysmith) – Kate Miller (Manager, Environmental Policy Division) – Kim Stephens (Partnership for Water Sustainability)

Benefits of Collaboration

“In 2012, Board support enabled the Partnership to implement the ‘proof of approach’ for inter-regional collaboration with the Capital, Nanaimo and Comox Valley regional districts, as well as Metro Vancouver region. The benefits of collaboration flow in both directions,” stated Kim Stephens.

“Watershed health is a priority for local governments throughout the Georgia Basin. Collaboration and consistent application of outcome-oriented actions will accelerate restoration and protection of stream and watershed health.”

“The Partnership applauds the leadership of the CVRD Board and staff, and appreciates CVRD contributions to a watershed-based approach which bridges planning, engineering and environmental considerations.”

Recognition of Kate Miller

Presentation of the “letter of recognition” to the Cowichan Valley Regional Board provided the opportunity to celebrate the accomplishments of CVRD staff, in particular Kate Miller who has been a champion for innovation and environmental leadership. She is the CVRD’s Manager of Environmental Policy, and represents CVRD on the Partnership.

When he accepted the “letter of recognition”, Mayor Rob Hutchins singled out Kate Miller for praise: “The Regional Board is committed to achieving the vision that we share for watershed sustainability in our region. We also appreciate the leadership shown by Kate Miller in guiding the CVRD to the destination. Kate truly is a champion. She is demonstrating how benefits flow to this region because we collaborate with other regions.”

To Learn More:

To download a PDF copy of the PowerPoint presentation by Kim Stephens, click on Rainwater Management in a Watershed Sustainability Context: Cowichan Valley Regional District is a leader by example.

To view  the video of the presentation that is posted on the CVRD website, click here. Go to Regional Services Committee meeting on June 26, 2013.