Note to Reader:
At the FLOWnGROW workshop held in Kelowna in November 2016, Steve Conrad of Simon Fraser University was part of the presentation team for Module B titled Is Irrigation the Elephant in the Room?
Steve Conrad is the former Associate Director of the Pacific Water Research Centre at Simon Fraser University.
He has consulted widely concerning decision-making theory, municipal energy use, water demand management, greenhouse gas emissions, and resource efficiency.
His research interests include human behavior response to resource management policy, and the integration of social science theories with technical models to improve decision-making. This research was the focus of his presentation.
Social Considerations about
How we use our water is set by individual choices. Faced with various scenarios, residents will make decisions based on environmental and economic choices.
The learning outcome for Module B, and the presentation by Steve Conrad in particular, was that the audience would understand how social choices are made and the considerations that go into making these choices.
Decisions about our food supply and landscapes will determine how the Okanagan Valley will look over time.
“Steve Conrad led us through an academic research paper on water conservation practices and attitudes in the Okanagan,” stated Eric Bonham when he summarized what was accomplished at the FLOWnGROW workshop. He is a founding member of the Partnership for Water Sustainability.
“It was a very thorough presentation which laid bare the desire for luscious green lawns in the desert belt.”
“An interesting comparison was made by Steve between the Okanagan and the Coast and Vancouver Island where most folk are quite content to have a brown lawn in the summer.”
Putting Puzzles Together
When asked to provide his reflections on a defining takeaway message from the workshop, Steve Conrad wrote:
“With so much great content presented at the FLOWnGROW event, it is clear that we have many of the puzzle pieces needed to ensure a sustainable water future already on the table.”
“Moving forward, what we need to do is remember that putting puzzles together works best when you have many people looking at it from all angles.”
To Learn More:
Download Social Considerations of Water Conservation to view a PDF copy (17 MB) of the images in the presentation by Steve Conrad.