"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.
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.
"The core strength of the Partnership for Water Sustainability, as the name suggests, has been the development of creative partnerships throughout BC and beyond that has included local and provincial government, the academic sector as well as the business sector, seeking through collaboration, common ground on water sustainability goals and practices," states Eric Bonham.
“The reason I joined the Partnership for Water Sustainability in the early days of ‘incorporation’ was to be an advocate for educating local communities, land decision makers and the stewardship communities about the need to move from awareness to action. We need to both reduce the demand for water and protect stream health from the adverse consequences of land development practices,” recalls Peter Law.
Western North America may be crossing an invisible threshold into a different hydro-meteorological regime. Kim Stephens will introduce three provincial ‘game-changers’ that enable restorative development in British Columbia. “Now, however, we are at a defining moment in time because the accelerating wave of land and water practitioners retiring from the work force is resulting in a loss of institutional memory," states Kim Stephens.
"The Eco-Asset Strategy pioneered by the Town of Gibsons focuses on identifying existing natural assets (green space, forests, topsoil, aquifers and creeks) that provide municipal services for water balance management; measuring the value of the municipal services provided by these assets; and operationalizing this information by integrating it into municipal asset management," states Emanuel Machado.
“We now realize that our current risk assessments with respect to climate disruption are built on confidence in relative hydrologic stability that no longer exists. This changes everything. We had no idea until recently of how much influence the hydrological cycle has on our day to day lives or on the broader conditions that define the distribution and diversity of life on this planet," states Bob Sandford.
"There is a logical link between changes in hydrology and impacts on watershed health, whether those impacts are in the form of flooding or aquatic habitat degradation. The link is the volume of surface runoff that is created by human activities as the result of alteration of the natural landscape. The key to protecting urban watershed health is to maintain the water balance as close to the natural condition as is achievable and feasible," stated Ed von Euw.
"The 'salt wedge' is a phenomenon that occurs in all tidal estuaries of the world. Salty and dense ocean water entering the river mouth forms an underlying wedge beneath the lighter fresh water that is exiting. Water that is high in salinity can reduce or destroy crop yields, affect aquatic ecosystems and damage infrastructure. The distance that the salt wedge extends up the river changes with the tides and the seasons," wrote John Ter Borg.
"British Columbia local governments are sharing and learning from each other. The province is at a tipping point. Water balance tools and case study experience are in place. It is within the grasp of local governments to move beyond traditional infrastructure asset management. They can account for nature’s services by implementing Sustainable Watershed Systems, through Asset Management," concluded Kim Stephens.
The ‘new normal’ in British Columbia is floods and droughts. What is changing is how and when water arrives. “After a period of relative hydro-climatic stability, changes in the composition of the Earth’s atmosphere have resulted in the acceleration of the global hydrologic cycle with huge implications for every region of the world and every sector of the global economy,” states Bob Sandford.