“Blue Ecology is an ecological philosophy, which emerged from interweaving First Nations and Western thought. It is just a starting point in this new era of interweaving,” states Michael Blackstock. “Our children’s children will be faced with daunting, complex, and urgent environmental problems. The impending crisis requires us to begin to lay a foundation for our children’s children to have a starting point, and some options to grasp in the urgent moment. We owe them hope.”
"The journey to a water-resilient future starts with Western science acknowledging water for its central functional and spiritual roles in our world," states Michael Blackstock. "Blue Ecology has five guiding principles and aligns with the whole-system, water balance approach. Adoption of the principles – Spirit, Harmony, Respect, Unity and Balance - would move Blue Ecology from theory to practice, as an aid for water managers."
The Okanagan Region is heavily dependent on irrigation to nourish crops and maintain greenspace throughout a parched region. Ken Salvail’s experience is that people in the Okanagan use more water than is needed. This results from a lack of understanding of how much water is enough. "The irrigation systems that I design and install tend to teach plants how to live with constant water rather than little water," wrote Ken Salvail.
“We need to get a better handle on how even non-tipping points in climate and other parts of the Earth system might cause truly abrupt tipping points in our social and political systems. We need to better understand the 'critical thresholds' that exist within our water and water-related climate systems and better connect them to associated tipping points ," stated Bob Sandford. “You have room to move. Move now while that room still exists."
“What we have not been good at is understanding the ecological effects of changes to the composition of the Earth’s atmosphere with induced warming,” states Bob Sandford. He insists that there needs to be agricultural revolution to retain far more carbon in soil. And he wants Canada to lead that revolution to 'protect crucial Earth system functions'. “I think we need agriculture that’s not just restorative but regenerative,” declares Bob Sandford.
CBC's Bob McDonald, host of Quirks & Quarks, will provide the big picture from a global perspective and beyond, once again reminding us of the limited amount of fresh water we have on earth, speaking to the need for a global water ethic and awareness as we collectively navigate an uncertain future. This will provide a rousing opening to the workshop. Bob McDonald, Chief Aaron Sam and Michael Blackstock will be the 'book ends' for the workshop.
“The FLOWnGROW program has the real potential of influencing how we address water sustainability issues in BC going forward,” states Eric Bonham. "The themes, Whole Systems Approach, reflecting integration through inclusion, Blue Ecology, the interweaving of First Nations and Western Thought and Cathedral Thinking, the foresight and planning for future generations, will set the context for the day."
“In reflecting on our 2001 three day capacity building course in Newcastle, it did more than just build my capacity as a strategic natural resource planner. It fuelled my enthusiasm as an agent of change in our own 15 year journey in urban water cycle management," stated Karenne Jurd. “The window into BC water management he opened showed us ‘what was possible’. It was a seminal moment in time."
“Stream health and what happens on the land are connected. In the early 1990’s, the ‘Coho Salmon crisis’ raised the alarm that changes in hydrology caused by land development were resulting in small stream salmon demise. The stewardship sector was the catalyst for restorative action in BC," stated Peter Law. "Today, community organizations partner with local governments to monitor and restore local watershed health."
In his 1969 book, Design With Nature, Ian McHarg pioneered the concept of environmental planning. "So, I commend Design with Nature to your sympathetic consideration. The title contains a gradient of meaning. It can be interpreted as simply descriptive of a planning method, deferential to places and peoples, it can invoke the Grand Design, it can emphasize the conjunction with and, finally it can be read as an imperative. DESIGN WITH NATURE!," wrote Ian McHarg.
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