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.
Four Cascading Modules
Feast AND Famine Workshop: “If a vision for food security is to be entrenched as the new business as usual by 2030…….we have a 5-year window to get the initial elements of restorative development right,” forecasts Bob Sandford
“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.
“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.
Feast AND Famine Workshop: Will there be sufficient fresh water in the Lower Fraser River for agriculture in the future?
“Climate models predict warmer, longer, and drier summers. This means that farms within the Lower Fraser River will require more irrigation water in the future. Local sea level is predicted to rise and may contribute to an increasing quantity of salt water pushing up the river. In addition, changes to river hydrology may occur due to the removal of the George Massey Tunnel, possibly further increasing salinity levels,” states John ter Borg.
“Recurring region-wide consequences of water-related challenges have also prompted regional action to develop governance structures and processes to make the connections between high-level decision making and actions on the ground. The Regional Surface and Ground Water Management and Governance Study identified co-governance with First Nations as a primary condition for success in managing regional water resources,” stated Keith Lawrence.
Feast AND Famine Workshop: Partnership for Water Sustainability and IIABC announce that author Bob Sandford will speak to “Hydro-Climatic Change & Its Consequences”
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.