"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.
“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.
"The ‘new normal’ in British Columbia is drought and flooding. The summer dry season has extended on both ends and we can no longer count on a predictable snowpack and reliable rain to maintain a healthy water balance in our watersheds. Hence, this workshop on responding to a changing climate is about solutions and tools that are being developed in BC through collaboration to support practitioners and decision makers to take action at a local level," states Mike Tanner.
The workshop will showcase solutions and demonstrate tools that can help communities achieve a vision for water resiliency. "The Irrigation Industry Association and the Partnership for Water Sustainability are again partnering to co-host and jointly organize a workshop. This is the third consecutive year that our organizations have collaborated. The relationship has worked well. The IIABC and Partnership perspectives complement each other nicely,” states Karen van der Gulik.
“We are the only panel that will be talking about watersheds. We will be as frank and forthcoming as possible about the challenges and opportunities. Each member of the panel will speak to Water/Land Use interactions in BC, and along the Fraser River in particular. Each will elaborate on the biggest concerns for the future, anticipated positive changes, what civil society can do to ensure a better future, and where we are going from here," stated Anna Warwick Sears.
The workshop was designed to engage the Metro Vancouver Regional Engineers Advisory Committee (REAC). “The 2005 workshop truly was a dynamic and transformational event. We witnessed the motivational power of celebrating successes. We also recognized the need to get the story out about the leadership being shown by local government. This influenced everything that followed, including the work on Vancouver Island," stated Ray Fung.
“The easy going ‘she’ll be right mate’ culture of Australians masks strong aversion to change ‘we’ve always done it this way’. Our water management is, mostly, a centralised top down (driven by institutions) process. In contrast, Canadians have a bottom up (driven by people) discussion ‘let’s talk about this’ about ideas – consensus via non-government organisations and community governance," wrote Peter Coombes.
“Change involves a paradigm shift from an old way of thinking-and-doing to a new way, typically to replace unacceptable outcomes with acceptable ones,” stated Erik Karlsen.
“When this occurs some might ask why the old way wasn’t designed to anticipate and prepare for its impacts from the outset? And, more to the point, how do we design and implement new paradigms to achieve more sustainable and resilient outcomes.”
“In 2005, we started a conversation about a water balance way-of-thinking and acting which continues to this day,” stated Robert Hicks. “We built the workshop program around the Water OUT=Water IN paradigm. The equation is deceptively simple, yet it embodies the basic principles and concepts for dealing with uncertainty and managing risk. It allows us to draw attention to the elements of the water cycle."
“It is hard to imagine this work happened only 10 years ago. We know, however, both the waterbucket.ca website and the Convening for Action programs are successes – since the themes around water-centric planning and ‘design with nature’ have become part of the fabric of common understanding and basic foundation of how things need to get done in a region when talking about water,” stated Oliver Brandes.
“I really believe that the key to the success of the Ministry’s relationship with the Partnership and its evolution over the years has been our shared vision for water stewardship. Also, I have a really strong belief that senior governments can’t do it alone…can’t do it nor should senior governments do it alone…when there is such a wealth of knowledge and innovation and ideas at the local level," stated Lynn Kriwoken.