The Gaining Ground conference program was designed to foster a convergence of ideas and people, approaches and professions, to ensure the conference ‘conversation’ is rich and charged with potential for new thought and collaboration. World class speakers included Paul Hawken.
Water Sustainability Action Plan for British Columbia
The Convening for Action initiative is informing change in British Columbia through implementation of an outreach and continuing education program. “This program has a number of elements. While the main focus is on events organized under the Convening for Action umbrella, the program also includes making presentations at events organized by others,” stated Kim Stephens.
Rainwater harvesting workshops held in Vancouver and Victoria in mid-2005 were part of a national series. Peter Coombes (from Australia) was the featured speaker at the Vancouver event.
Water OUT = Water IN: Penticton Workshop Launches Convening for Action initiative for ‘Achieving Water Balance’
“A core message is that the OUT = IN equation is variable on both sides. Something to think about is that in mathematics one cannot solve for two variables with a single equation. In other words, it is time for practitioners to go back to the basics and re-think how we approach water supply analysis and planning,” noted Robert Hicks.
“The 3-day Okanagan Conference organized by the Canadian Water Resources Association in February 2005 was the kick-off event for a sustained education process that is designed to broaden the province-wide base for this shared vision: In a fully integrated landscape, water is the unifying element,” stated Ron Smith.
“The Water Sustainability Committee believes it is simply not good enough to focus only on defining the problems or debating the perspectives (the ‘so what’). Rather, the objective of the Action Plan is to challenge individuals and organizations to demonstrate how we can move from talk to action (the ‘now what’),” stated Erik Karlsen
Thinking Outside the Pipe: 2005 Rainwater Harvesting Workshop Series resonates with British Columbians
“Drawing on the experience of two international experts, workshops held in Vancouver and Victoria connected the dots between WHY harvest rainwater and HOW to cost-effectively implement rainwater collection, storage, treatment and delivery systems,” wrote Colwyn Sunderland.
“The mission of the Real Estate Foundation is to support sustainable real estate and land use practices for the benefit of British Columbians,” explained Tim Pringle. “The BCWWA Water Sustainability Committee is a member of an Advisory Committee that has been established by the Foundtion for its Communities in Transition (CIT) initiative.”
“The POLIS Project on Ecological Governance is an ecology-based public policy think tank situated at the University of Victoria. The mission of POLIS is to help reorient Canadian water management from supply to demand-side approaches,” explained Oliver Brandes. “A ‘soft path’ for water takes the management approach beyond traditional concerns to consider how we might redesign the underlying human systems that determine demand and our approach to supply.”
Nature’s Revenue Streams Links Rainwater Infrastructure to Restoration of Stream and Watershed Function
“Nature’s Revenue Streams is a 3-year public-private project on Vancouver Island that will show how urban development can be used as an opportunity to improve watershed and stream health,” stated Patrick Lucey. “NRS has considerable synergy and commonality with elements of the Water Sustainability Action Plan, both in terms of approach and green infrastructure deliverables.”