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FLASHBACK TO 2009: “Living Water Smart is about motivating and inspiring everyone to embrace shared responsibility,” stated the Ministry of Environment’s Lynn Kriwoken at the 2009 Comox Valley Learning Lunch Seminar Series (Sept-Oct-Nov) on Getting Ahead of the Wave

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Provincial programs provide direction as to where the Province wants to go with Living Water Smart and the Green Communities Initiative. “While legislative reform is a foundation piece, collaboration takes place outside the legislative framework. At the end of the day, planners and engineers and other disciplines must come together to determine the issues and solutions. No statute will help them do that. Influencing behaviour and attitudes is at the heart of moving from awareness to action," stated Lynn Kriwoken.

“CAVI” is moving forward under a new name – The Partnership on Vancouver Island: Leadership in Water Sustainability

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"The VI2065 initiative envisions a Vancouver Island based on long-term sustainability and water resiliency models that involve innovative partnerships. The results guide us towards effective land and water management practices. Water is an entrance point for the discussion on climate change, for the connection on this complex issue is clearly understood in light of the increase in floods and droughts," states Eric Bonham.

Moving Towards Healthy Watersheds: Environment Deputy Minister lauds work of the Partnership for Water Sustainability in BC

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"Moving beyond traditional engineered infrastructure asset management to also account for nature’s services will help influence ‘standards of practice’ and represent a leading-edge evolution in how infrastructure is planned, financed, implemented and maintained in BC. The long-term success of the IREI program will be measurable when community development activities and alterations of the built environment result in cumulative benefits, not impacts," wrote Wes Shoemaker.

2017 COMOX VALLEY ECO-ASSET SYMPOSIUM: Keynote Address by Bob Sandford on “The Hard Work of Hope: Sustaining Cooperation on Water Security & Climate Stability in a Post-Truth Trumpocene”

“We should also remember that – though it may not seem like it at the moment – great opportunity still very much exists not just to change the world, but to make it a better place," stated Bob Sandford. "If we just stay the course – and by our example help others to do the same – there is no question that – if we want it to be – this could be Canada’s moment; its chance to shine."

Comox Valley Eco-Asset Symposium: “Restorative development is within your grasp. You know what to do. Go do it,” urged Bob Sandford, EPCOR Chair for Water and Climate Security, United Nations University Institute

“I travel widely, but I have never heard a conversation like what I have heard at the Symposium. And while I am often part of very positive conversations, what was unique (about the Symposium) was the atmosphere of possibilities and hope that I have witnessed here," stated Bob Sandford. "Investment must now be shifted towards restoration that uses the forces of nature itself to help build more efficiently integrated infrastructure."

Drainage Planning & Engineering: “We have a standard-of-practice that is generally accepted as not achieving what is best for the environment,” stated Jim Dumont at the 2017 Comox Valley Eco-Asset Symposium

“So what is the nub of the issue? In standard practice, only surface runoff is considered, and this has led to degraded streams. The other pathways by which rainfall reaches streams are ignored,” explained Jim Dumont. “If communities are to truly benefit from use of nature’s assets to provide vital community infrastructure services, then we must change the engineering standard-of practice to one that is state-of-the-art and reflects real-world hydrology.”

Governments of Canada and British Columbia fund Georgia Basin Inter-Regional Education Initiative

"The BC Framework encourages local governments to manage their natural assets in the same way they manage their hard engineered assets. The program goals for the Georgia Basin Inter-Regional Education Initiative are aligned with this strategic direction. Successful implementation provincewide of 'Sustainable Watershed Systems, through Asset Management', would represent an evolution in how infrastructure is planned, financed, implemented and maintained in British Columbia,” stated Minister Fassbender.

GEORGIA BASIN INTER-REGIONAL EDUCATION INITIATIVE: “Collaboration is leading to precedents for integrating watershed systems with land use and infrastructure decisions,” stated Jon Lefebure, Chair of the Cowichan Valley Regional District

“The CVRD has been an active partner for over ten years and has benefited from the tools, professional development and working relationships made possible through our membership in the Partnership for Water Sustainability in BC," stated Jon Lefebure. "The IREI enables local governments to leverage resources for common activities such as education, research and policy development.”

GEORGIA BASIN INTER-REGIONAL EDUCATION INITIATIVE: “Understanding leads to action. Getting there is a step-by-step process,” stated Ted van der Gulik, President, Partnership for Water Sustainability in BC

“The IREI was launched in 2012. A year ago regional district partners recommitted through 2021. The current IREI program focus and goal is: Sustainable Watershed Systems, through Asset Management," stated Ted van der Gulik. "Presently, we are creating awareness. 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."

Vancouver Island loses an environmental sustainability champion: Vic Derman (1944-2017)

Vic Derman engaged with people in a way that made them feel important and heard. He was a passionate steward and advocate for the environment, and always worked towards making the world a better place. In that regard, Vic led by example – something for everyone to aspire to. He was ahead of his time on so many fronts, understood the pending impacts of climate change and the need for sustainability solutions long before these issues were on the public’s radar.

“Water to Earth Month 2017″ in the Regional District of Nanaimo

Between March and April 2017, the RDN's Team WaterSmart is hosting several events to promote awareness about our water and our earth. The series kicked off with Parksville Water Day on March 12th. And the Partnership for Water Sustainability was there! "We engaged attendees in promoting the message of and strategies for water sustainability," reports John Finnie.

Bob Sandford, Chair for Water & Climate Security at the United Nations University Institute, is keynote speaker at Comox Valley Eco-Asset Management Symposium (March 14-15, 2017)

“To make the right choices moving forward, we must understand how and where the rhythms of water are changing. Then we can apply ecosystem-based understanding to adapt our practices to suit a changing climate,” wrote Bob Sandford. “Time is of the essence. Recently identified and potentially dangerous phenomena, such as atmospheric rivers, demand our full attention."

DOWNLOAD: Discovering Nature’s Infrastructure Potential in the Comox Valley – Moment of Truth for a Changing Climate

Local government collaboration through the Georgia Basin Inter-Regional Educational Initiative is producing tools and resources that will help communities integrate water balance solutions into land use decisions. “Broadening collaboration to include the stewardship, conservation and industry sectors would build understanding and improve practises in the field,” states David Stapley. “The Symposium is an opportunity for land use professionals, stewards, local governments, First Nations and Industry to come together."