"Water is the piece that integrates everything that we care about. We are using the phrase water stewardship, not water management. Stewardship is about replacing self interest, dependency and control with service, responsibility and partnership," stated Lynn Kriwoken. The Water Sustainability Action Plan comprises inter-connected program elements that give local governments and practitioners the tools and experience to do things differently.
The report is a practical guide that urges community leaders and water managers across Canada to look to water conservation and efficiency as the basis for a new urban water infrastructure. Too often, communities respond to 21st century water problems with 20th century solutions— bigger pipes and bigger pumps leading to bigger tax bills” says Michael M’Gonigle. “Communities are missing out the full potential of water conservation and efficiency.”
The Kelowna conference was designed to be a transformational event that would be a catalyst for change. "It was an important first step in focusing stakeholder attention on the decisions that need to be made now if we are to move towards sustainable water management in BC. Collaboration is an essential ingredient if collectively we are to create the province-wide momentum that will result in substantive change related to water management and use," stated Don Degen.
"The action plan’s goal is to encourage implementation of integrated water sustainability
policies, plans and programs across the province. The action plan builds on the foundation provided by
'A Water Conservation Strategy for British Columbia', a previous partnership development. The
‘WaterBucket’ website is the key communication strategy for the action plan," stated the Hon. Bill Barisoff, former Minister of Water, Land & Air Protection.
The Partnership for Water Sustainability provides a type of engagement and outreach with local government that provincial staff no longer provide. Collaboration with participating local governments creates sharing and cross-pollinating opportunities that help eliminate the ‘disconnect between information and implementation’," wrote Kim Stephens. "A desired outcome is that land use and infrastructure practitioners would understand how natural systems support municipal services."
Fin Donnelly’s love affair with the Fraser River began more than two decades ago. As a young man, he was a marathon swimmer, crossing the Strait of Georgia several times. But it was his journey down the length of the Fraser River in 1995 that changed his life. It was a 1,400-kilometre swim, which he completed over 21 days. Following his epic swim, Donnelly and others formed the nonprofit Rivershed Society to promote public education about the Fraser River Basins.
“Agriculture's need for water will only increase as summers get longer, hotter and drier. The Ministry of Agriculture has developed a Water Demand Model that can determine agriculture’s water requirements today and in the future,” states Ted van der Gulik. “Climate change will raise sea levels and bring sea water farther up the Fraser River. This will limit the number of hours per year that fresh water is accessible for irrigation water supply in the Delta.”
Bob McDonald translates complex scientific information in a way that is both fascinating and easily understood by his audiences. "Water is THE issue of the 21st century, both around the world and even here in Canada where we have more water than anyone. As glaciers disappear and droughts become more frequent, it is vital, in every sense of the word to manage our most precious resource wisely," states Bob McDonald.
The journey to a water-resilient future starts with Western science acknowledging water for its central functional and spiritual roles in our world. "Attitude influences behavior," states Michael Blackstock. "Blue Ecology is a new cross cultural approach which inspires a new attitude towards water. There is good reason to have a strong belief in hope, instead of fear, while facing climate change. The good news...it costs nothing to switch our corporate or personal attitude."
“The program is visionary yet pragmatic. Bob McDonald, Fin Donnelly and Michael Blackstock are a powerful trio. The Blue Ecology theme, blending First Nations cultural knowledge and Western Science challenges us to be more inclusive when addressing watershed systems,” observes Eric Bonham. "If we can create a documentary out of the workshop that blends Michael’s central message with commentary from Bob and Fin we will have a powerful message indeed."
A scenario comparison tool to assess green infrastructure effectiveness, achieve a lighter 'water footprint' and protect stream health. Learn More
The Water Conservation Calculator illustrates how specific water conservation measures can yield both fiscal and physical water savings for communities. Learn More
This Landscape Irrigation Scheduling Calculator uses real-time daily evapotranspiration (ET) rates determined from climate stations located within British Columbia. Learn More
This Agricultural Irrigation Scheduling Calculator uses real-time daily evapotranspiration (ET) rates determined from climate stations located within British Columbia. Learn More
The BC Agriculture Water Calculator enables water licensing for all irrigation purposes, whether agricultural or landscape. All non-domestic users of groundwater in BC are required to obtain a licence. Learn More