"The Irrigation Industry Association of BC and the Partnership for Water Sustainability are again partnering to co-host and jointly organize a workshop about water management. This is the fourth consecutive year that our organizations have collaborated,” states Kim Kim Schaefer. This year the workshop moves to the Okanagan after being held in the Lower Mainland (2013, 2015) and on Vancouver Island (2014). The workshop will address both immediate and long term water security issues.
In his 1969 book, Design With Nature, Ian McHarg pioneered the concept of environmental planning. "So, I commend Design with Nature to your sympathetic consideration. The title contains a gradient of meaning. It can be interpreted as simply descriptive of a planning method, deferential to places and peoples, it can invoke the Grand Design, it can emphasize the conjunction with and, finally it can be read as an imperative. DESIGN WITH NATURE!," wrote Ian McHarg.
Five Regional Districts representing 75% of BC’s population are partners in the Georgia Basin Inter-Regional Educational Initiative (IREI). A program deliverable is the Beyond the Guidebook 2015. It is a progress report on how local governments are ‘learning by doing’ to implement affordable and effective science-based practices. It is the third in a series that builds on Stormwater Planning: A Guidebook for British Columbia.
"Convening for Action is a provincial initiative that supports innovation on-the-ground. From the perspective of those leading and/or participating in regional programs, having this community-of-interest provides the opportunity to 'tell our story' and 'record our history' as a work-in-progress," states Ray Fung.
The workshop explored the role of water from the global to the local. The particular journey facing the Okanagan Basin includes the impact of climate change, water security, population demand and food security issues. "The Okanagan is a desert. As soon as people living there realize that, and stop living a California lifestyle, they will treat water as the truly rare commodity it actually is," stated Bob McDonald when he provided his closing reflections.
"Kim Stephens was able to communicate concepts in a way that made sense to the class. They understood him perfectly," observed Todd Pugh, sessional instructor for Capilano’s Local Government Administration Certificate program. "It is such a mix of people – there were some who would have liked to hear more about the science behind what he presented, and for others it was more science than they’ve experienced since elementary school. So on the whole, I think he hit the right mix."
“On our greenhouse farms we use the roof rain water. The greenhouse sector acknowledges the cost of producing potable water and also acknowledges that we do not necessarily need potable water for irrigation," stated Linda Delli Santi. “We would like to see a source of river water, non-potable water piped directly to our farms. This is not a new idea, many cities in the world have two water supplies, potable and non-potable readily available to residents."
“What we have not been good at is understanding the ecological effects of changes to the composition of the Earth’s atmosphere with induced warming,” states Bob Sandford. He insists that there needs to be agricultural revolution to retain far more carbon in soil. And he wants Canada to lead that revolution to 'protect crucial Earth system functions'. “I think we need agriculture that’s not just restorative but regenerative,” declares Bob Sandford.
North Vancouver City is a case study for a UBC design course on integration of landscape architecture into urban rainwater management strategies. "The lecture by Kim Stephens was excellent and well-paced," stated Daniel Roehr, Associate Professor. "He provided clarity regarding a course objective, which is to design at different scales, using the reverse design strategy, site and details first before urban and regional scale."
The forum was a high energy event and a great opportunity for sharing and learning. Agriculture’s ability to access to water is essential to ensuring the long term food security of this region. The surge in registrations in the final days clearly indicated a high level of interest in the forum themes. The Forum has started a dialogue. "Thank you to the organizers of the forum which I found to be extremely informative," wrote Councillor Petrina Arnason, Township of Langley.
"The Metro Vancouver Agricultural Advisory Committee raised the idea of a water forum last year to help ensure an adequate and affordable water supply that is essential for long term food security in this region," stated Director Harold Steves. "The forum exceeded my expectations, in particular because it attracted significant representation from the agricultural community. Having them in the room made such a difference. The forum was truly a success."
"We designed the Agriculture Water Forum to bring together agriculture producers, government representatives and water professionals to explore opportunities to improve water management for agriculture in British Columbia’s rapidly growing metropolitan region," stated Theresa Duynstee. "Attendees learned about government roles and the water regulatory framework for agriculture in the Lower Mainland region."
"Between agricultural crop selection, flood protection, fire suppression, aquatic and terrestrial habitat, invasive species management, recreational uses and water licences, there are widespread competing interests with different requirements of the drainage / irrigation system. Accordingly, the City is working towards the implementation of a Integrated Water Management Master Plan," stated Forrest Smith.
“Water is a precious, limited resource. Metro Vancouver is committed to ensuring water is conserved and used efficiently. The Drinking Water Management Plan is the overarching plan for Metro Vancouver and its member local governments," stated Stan Woods. “Although per-capita water use has been decreasing,total water use in the region is forecast to grow. Options to increase water supply include increasing the volume of water from the Coquitlam source."
A scenario comparison tool to assess green infrastructure effectiveness, achieve a lighter 'water footprint' and protect stream health. Learn More
The Water Conservation Calculator illustrates how specific water conservation measures can yield both fiscal and physical water savings for communities. Learn More
This Landscape Irrigation Scheduling Calculator uses real-time daily evapotranspiration (ET) rates determined from climate stations located within British Columbia. Learn More
This Agricultural Irrigation Scheduling Calculator uses real-time daily evapotranspiration (ET) rates determined from climate stations located within British Columbia. Learn More
The BC Agriculture Water Calculator enables water licensing for all irrigation purposes, whether agricultural or landscape. All non-domestic users of groundwater in BC are required to obtain a licence. Learn More