"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.
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.
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.
"It has become a mentality to over-water in the Okanagan, yet in nature plants dry out between waterings," states Ken Salvail. "We are training plants to live with a steady supply of water rather than training for long periods without water. We can take almost any plant and wean it over time to live without water by stretching the time between waterings, weaning it gradually."
“On the North Shore, people are passionate about their creeks. Protection of salmon habitat and stream health is important to us. We all can make a difference by designing with nature. The change starts with rain gardens. A single rain garden will not make a material difference to stream health. But 1000 rain gardens would be a different story. Restoring stream health requires a long-term commitment," states Mayor Darrell Mussatto.
The REFBC has been making grants in support of the health and resilience of natural freshwater systems for many years. “Freshwater sustainability is making choices that protect freshwater resources now and in the future," states Jack Wong. “In a 2014 public opinion poll we commissioned, we found that 93% of British Columbians view water as our most precious natural resource. Water connects us to prosperity, quality of life and a sense of ‘home’.”
"Hydrologists are encouraged to embrace the companion Blue Ecology water cycle that is meant to enhance Western science’s hydrological cycle by providing a holistic cultural context. Hydrologists and water managers could also communicate complex climate change impacts to the public, using common sense terms. Hydrologists and water managers can use the hydrological and Blue Ecology cycles to help explain how and why the climate is changing," wrote Michael D. Blackstock.
Loved by audiences across Canada for making complex scientific issues understandable, meaningful, and fun, Bob McDonald has been a fixture in radio and television broadcasting for more than 30 years. “A global perspective reminds us of the limited availability of fresh water on the planet, a vital life sustaining resource that demands a raised level of consciousness and commitment,” says Bob McDonald.
“FLOW AND GROW is structured as four modules and is cascading – from high-level visioning to ground-level applications. Each module has a learning objective. Adaptation to a changing climate is a thread that runs through all the modules,” states Kim Stephens. “Climate change, water security, population demand and food security issues will be discussed in grounded terms by a team of 11 expert inter-disciplinary presenters. Their objective is to seed a conversation that will ripple through time."
“This workshop series has proven to be an innovative initiative; it brings together the individuals involved in the conservation and long term management of water with those that rely on having water readily available to produce food and maintain green-spaces,” notes Kirby Ell. “Having all the stakeholders in the same room allows each the opportunity to understand the others’ perspectives. It also creates a collaborative environment.”
Restoring watershed function will require a long-term commitment by the community at large, successive Municipal Councils and Regional Boards, and generations of land AND water professionals. "The challenge is ‘integration’ and getting every discipline to recognize each others’ contribution plus get the organization working together on a common path. The other challenge is communicating and understanding the message," wrote Wally Wells.
"All non-domestic users of groundwater must now obtain a licence to extract and use water from wells. This requirement applies to wells constructed both before and after the Water Sustainability Act came into effect. This means that 20,000 existing non-domestic wells must now apply for a licence. While the new legislation affects everyone, most of the 20,000 wells are in the agriculture sector," wrote Ted van der Gulik.
“Nature shapes landscapes, and harbours ecological assets that support human settlements. Our communities and enterprises have an uneasy relationship with this master form-maker. Why this tension when it is in human nature to respond to the run of the land, the palette of flora, and sensations stirred by wind, water, wildlife and other whims of nature?" wrote Tim Pringle.