"At the dawn of 2017, the purpose of this article is two-fold: take stock of our progress in 2016 to inform and educate; and foreshadow where we may be at year-end," stated Kim Stephens. "Early uptake of the vision for Sustainable Watershed Systems has exceeded our expectations. There is clearly interest and an appetite to learn more. It is an idea whose time has come."
“As we learn more about what influences early salmon life history, stewardship groups are asking questions of their local governments about the linkages between small stream habitat destruction and land developments. Now, the scope of their involvement and influence is expanding beyond the creek channel," stated Peter Law. “Looking ahead, an informed stewardship sector may prove to be the difference-maker that accelerates implementation of the whole-system approach."
"The laws of physics provide a reality-check: the warmer the global temperature becomes, the more water the atmosphere can carry," wrote Bob Sandford. "The risk is that, until we stabilize the composition of the Earth’s atmosphere, phenomena such as atmospheric rivers are likely to cause greater flooding and related economic damage widely - forever making sustainability and adaptive resilience a moving target. So what will we do?"
The keynote address was a co-presentation by Kim Stephens and Ted van der Gulik of the Partnership for Water Sustainability in BC. “Licensing 20,000 wells initially seemed daunting when a provincial group met in mid-2015 to brainstorm an approach to this immense task. The team had to solve the challenge of HOW to help groundwater users reliably quantify their annual water licence volumes. Suffice to say, the brainstorming resulted in an Aha Moment and a solution took shape," stated Ted van der Gulik.
The 2010 Land Awards Gala provided a platform for announcing formation of the Partnership as a not-for-profit society. "The Partnership will continue to evolve and deliver program elements developed under the umbrella of the Water Sustainability Action Plan for British Columbia," stated Tim Pringle.
The pioneer work of Richard Horner and Chris May in the 1990s provided a reason and a starting point for revisiting urban hydrology in BC. “So many studies manipulate a single variable out of context with the whole and its many additional variables,” states Horner. “We, on the other hand, investigated whole systems in place, tying together measures of the landscape, stream habitat and aquatic life.”
"Everyone learns from stories and the most compelling ones are based on the experience of the champions who are leading implementation of watershed-based solutions," wrote Richard Boase. "The rate of progress in implementing new ideas or standards of practice generally depends on the willingness of individual champions in local government to push the envelope in applying new approaches."
How we use our water is set by individual choices. Faced with various scenarios, residents will make decisions based on environmental and economic choices. “Moving forward, what we need to do is remember that putting puzzles together works best when you have many people looking at it from all angles.” His research interests include human behavior response to resource management policy.
The two-part UBCM Urban Forum session explored new tools and innovative approaches that local governments can use to make communities more liveable and sustainable. “In part one, the citiesPLUS team showed delegates the winning plan and also looked at lessons learned and insights gained that communities across the province can learn from,” stated Ken Cameron.
“The Rising to the Challenge conference was a milestone event. Because Australian practitioners are at a fork in their journey, they are looking to learn from BC experience. They are curious about our 'whole systems' approach to water balance management," stated Kim Stephens. "I introduced Australians to three 'big ideas' that underpin where we are heading in BC, namely: Primacy of Hydrology, Shifting Baseline Syndrome, and Cathedral Thinking."
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