The mission of the Water Sustainability Action Plan is to facilitate the move toward a more sustainable approach to water resource management. "In 2006, a notable highlight was conducting a consultation workshop to launch 'Convening for Action on Vancouver Island'," wrote Ray Fung, Chair.
“In moving towards water sustainability, we envision that developers that balance settlement and ecology will be rewarded. Because time is money, we believe that environmental environments can be paid for through money saved as a result of faster approval times”, stated Graeme Bethell. “Because we believe that Vancouver Island has all the ingredients in place for success, we believe that it will emerge as a water sustainability pilot for North America."
“The CAVI role is to provide venues which create opportunities to start conversations that will ultimately lead to action. CAVI is facilitating the move from awareness (interest) to action(practice) in changing where and how land is developed, how water is used, and how water runs off the land," stated John Finnie.
The workshop addressed this question: how does a community weigh the benefits and liabilities of changes driven by demand for land use? "What will determine the long-term wellbeing for a community or region? In a nutshell, 'wellbeing' is about sustainability of what communities allow or prevent happening on the land. Wellbeing is about balancing settlement activity...or change...and ecology," stated Tim Pringle.
Events were hosted by Delta, Langley Township and UniverCity. "If we can do this, then we can do more. when you have examples of what can be done, and projects are being built, you can then wrap your mind around the green infrastructure vision and say to yourself: what’s the big deal….this is really common sense….if we can do this, then we can do more," stated Mayor Lois Jackson.
“Like most other areas on Vancouver Island, the Comox Valley is at a major cross-roads as to how we will develop and still maintain the natural beauty of our community. This is a real challenge.We are experiencing phenomenal growth. So we are really depending on the practitioners to keep us grounded and realistic so that growth will be sustainable," stated Starr Winchester, Chair of the Comox-Strathcona Regional District.
"The conference provided an opportunity to broaden awareness within BCWWA of how the committee is implementing its work plan through partnerships with the Province and other organizations," stated Kim Stephens. "Desired outcomes for water sustainability and green infrastructure are common to both, and can be achieved through infrastructure standards that reflect a full and proper understanding of the relationship between land and water."
"The objective when ‘convening for action' is to influence practitioners to learn about and use practices that better balance the necessary relationships of settlement activity and ecological assets in local and regional landscapes," stated Tim Pringle. “A critical issue is where to put the settlement so there will be the least damage to ecological assets."
"The British Columbia landscape is being transformed by settlement and economic growth. While the province has been experiencing enhanced social and economic well-being, the need to mitigate pressures on land and water resources has provided a driver for a ‘green infrastructure’ movement that is water-centric," stated Paul Ham.
“I place a high priority on fostering water stewardship and individual responsibility. Under the umbrella of the Water Sustainability Action Plan, Convening for Action pilot programs in the South Okanagan, Vancouver Island and Greater Vancouver are promoting water-centric approaches to community planning and land development," stated Barry Penner, BC Minister of the Environment.
A scenario comparison tool to assess green infrastructure effectiveness, achieve a lighter 'water footprint' and protect stream health. Learn More
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