“The vision of the Partnership is that water sustainability will be achieved through implementation of green infrastructure policies and practices,” states Tim Pringle, Past-President. “Because the Partnership is the hub for a ‘convening for action’ network, we are positioned to facilitate alignment of regional and local actions with provincial goals. By providing education, research, technical training and tools, we can help communities move from awareness to action.”
What Do You Wonder?
Reflections on the 2015 Drought: “The key now is how we take the 2015 teachable year and build on it in terms of where we go with the new Water Sustainability Act,” stated Kim Stephens when interviewed by Kirk LaPointe on Roundhouse Radio
“In British Columbia, we don’t prescribe. We encourage shared responsibility. Prescribing just doesn’t seem to work. We seem to have to get to a critical mass where people realize that we have to do something,” stated Kim Stephens. “The last ‘teachable year’ was 2003. That set in motion a process that culminated with the adoption in 2014 of the Water Sustainability Act.”
“The ‘new normal’ in British Columbia is drought and flooding. The summer dry season has extended on both ends and communities can no longer count on a predictable snowpack and reliable rain to maintain a healthy water balance in their watersheds. This is putting water supply systems and ecosystems under extreme stress,” says Kim Stephens. “What you do on the land or how you treat the land has direct implications and consequences for water use.”
“In other regions, notably California, they think of droughts in terms of number of years. In the Georgia Basin (Southwest BC), we measure droughts in terms of number of months. As we have increasingly experienced in recent decades, three months versus either four or five months of essentially rain-free weather makes a material difference from a water supply perspective,” stated Kim Stephens.
Reflections on the 2015 Drought: “Southwest British Columbia dodged a bullet,” stated Kim Stephens in an interview published by The Province newspaper
On a positive note, Kim Stephens said the water issue is gaining a prominence in the public’s mind which it has never had. “People in general have not appreciated how vulnerable we’ve always been. They’re beginning to see how essential it is,” he said. Stephens advises the public to stay positive and not succumb to a negative state of mind. “Drought is not the end of the world. Australia survived a seven-year drought. People get through it,” he said.
Impact of a Changing Climate: “2015 is a teachable year,” stated Kim Stephens in media interviews about curtailing of regional water use after storage in water reservoir dwindles
“The ‘new normal’ in British Columbia is drought and flooding. The summer dry season has extended on both ends and communities can no longer count on a predictable snowpack and reliable rain to maintain a healthy water balance in their watersheds. This is putting water supply systems and ecosystems under extreme stress. 2015 will change how we do business over the next few years,” stated Kim Stephens.
“We believe that by providing education, research, technical services and tools, we can help communities both reduce the increased demand for water and protect stream health from the adverse consequences of land development practices. In other words, we are ‘developing talent’,” states Mike Tanner.
“Founded upon the principle of collaboration, the Partnership is an autonomous society. The Partnership provides a legal entity for further evolution and delivery of program elements developed under the umbrella of the Water Sustainability Action Plan for British Columbia, released in February 2004,” states Richard Boase.
“CAVI organizes convening for action forums, challenges Vancouver Island communities to visualize what they want to look like in 50 years, and is building leadership capacity to ‘design with nature’ to manage settlement change and adapt to climate change,” states John Finnie.
“Convening for action as a provincial initiative has evolved over the last five years. We started in the South Okanagan because there was a regional growth strategy and Smart Growth on the Ground in the town of Oliver. By 2006, we were ready to go a bigger scale. We said let’s take on a whole region. That became CAVI,” recalls Kim Stephens.