SUSTAINABLE WATERSHED SYSTEMS: “The Partnership understanding of hydrology and watershed management issues in the Pacific Northwest provides some intriguing insights,” stated Dr. Charles Rowney, Scientific Authority, Partnership for Water Sustainability in British Columbia (September 2017)

In September 2017, the Partnership for Water Sustainability in British Columbia announced the re-build of the waterbalance.ca website. It now provides easy access to an array of 11 online decision support tools and calculators. “The leadership shown by the Partnership for Water Sustainability in decisively moving in this direction well over a decade ago has led to a body of knowledge from which others can learn,” stated Dr. Rowney.

Climate Change, Nature’s Services & Thinking Like a Watershed on Vancouver Island: Comox Valley Eco-Asset Symposium started a regional conversation about “Sustainable Watershed Systems, through Asset Management” (March 2017)

The Comox Valley faces a long list of challenges as more frequent and intense winter storms and summer droughts overwhelm engineered infrastructure and natural systems.The Symposium introduced participants to a whole-system, water balance approach for restoration of watershed health. “The symposium spotlight was on the potentially powerful and cost-effective role that ecosystem services can play in an infrastructure strategy," stated Tim Ennis.

KEYNOTE ADDRESS: “The BC Process for moving from Awareness to Action, and achieving the vision for Sustainable Watershed Systems, is founded on alignment, collaboration and partnerships,” stated Kim Stephens at the Comox Valley Eco-Asset Symposium (March 2017)

"In British Columbia, we have this unique model called top-down, bottom-up. It is the synthesis that results when you have an over-arching provincial policy framework and then all the players embrace shared responsibility," stated Kim Stephens. "If we can change the ethic, so that the land ethic becomes the water ethic, then the key is establishing precedents for doing things differently. Once you establish the precedents for designing with nature, then they can be replicated in other communities."

Towards Water Sustainability on Vancouver Island: “SO WHAT are the ways we inform, inspire and enable people to work together through partnerships to ACT NOW?”

In September 2006, CAVI-Convening for Action was launched in conjunction with the Water in the City Conference. At the consultation workshop, and to prime breakout groups for their brainstorming, Erik Karlsen led them through a series of questions: What are the conditions that create the need for change? So what are the options and the best choice? Now what are the strategies and commitments? Then what will be done to monitor performance and respond to future changes?

FLASHBACK TO 2006: A message from Barry Penner, former Minister of the Environment, lauded the success of the Water Sustainability Action Plan for British Columbia

“I am pleased with the continuing success of the partnership in providing program delivery for the Water Sustainability Action Plan for British Columbia,” stated Barry Penner. “This initiative is all about sharing information and promoting water stewardship at the community level. I value the important role this partnership is playing in promoting water awareness and supporting communities to integrate water management practices with local land use planning and development programs."

“Meeting of the Minds” in Parksville (Sept 2005): Build a communications network to address the issues facing the water and wastewater industry within the Vancouver Island region

"The group was asked to identify what issues, problems or concerns exist currently within the Vancouver Island region," wrote Kerry Elfstrom. "It was agreed that Vancouver Island could be the focus since it has clearly defined geographical boundaries, every element of the industry represented (suppliers, operators, consultants, educators, interested Associations etc.) and advantageous proximity to the provincial Government."

FLASHBACK TO 2011: Framework for a “Regional Team Approach to Water Sustainability in the Thompson Rivers Region” explored at a concept development session organized by the Partnership for Water Sustainability, and held in Kamloops

"The Concept Development Session in September 2011 served as an inaugural meeting of individuals with a role in water and land management. The session purpose was to determine the viability of a regional team approach to water sustainability within the region ," explained Ron Smith. "The apparent disconnect between water and land management was noted by many participants."

FLASHBACK TO 2011: Okanagan Basin Water Board released ‘Managing Stormwater in a Changing Climate’ – a report on the From Rain to Resource 2010 workshop


"We spent the last half a century trying to control runoff with dikes, storm sewers, curbs and gutters. Now, increased development and increased storm intensity from climate change are increasing peak flows and altering the rules of the game," stated Anna Warwick Sears. “The Okanagan is particularly vulnerable to the impacts of unmanaged stormwater and rainwater."

TURNING IDEAS INTO ACTION: Sustainable Watershed Systems – a decade long journey has its genesis in the seminar that launched the Beyond the Guidebook Initiative (November 2007)

“The Stormwater Guidebook set in motion a chain of outcomes that has resulted in BC being recognized internationally as a leader in implementing a natural systems approach to rainwater management in the urban environment,” stated Minister of Environment Barry Penner in 2007. “The Convening for Action initiative creates an opportunity to move beyond rainwater management to embrace all components of the water cycle through integrated water management.”

WHAT HAPPENS ON THE LAND DOES MATTER! – “Stormwater Impacts Communities and Creeks – What Can Streamkeepers Do?” – theme for regional workshop hosted by North Shore Streamkeepers (March 2017)

“My motivation is simple – I live right by a stream. I hear it roar when the rain is heavy, I hear it trickle in the summer. It provides comfort on dreary days. To me it is nature’s music. It is always there, that is how it should be. A threat to that undermines all those emotions that I and many streamkeepers feel," stated Jane Dysart. “Cause and effect. We hope to learn where we can help local government, and possibly participate by bringing ideas based on knowledge from this workshop.”