Rainwater Management in a Watershed Sustainability Context
Vancouver Island is a hot-bed of progressive ideas and provincially significant initiatives. Regional districts and their partner municipalities are advancing watershed-based strategies and programs that integrate the site with the watershed and stream. These initiatives all recognize the importance of fostering a land ethic that respects water.
The Comox Valley Regional District board, representing four local governments, was the first region to formally endorse participation in an Inter-Regional Education Initiative. Organized under the umbrella of CAVI-Convening for Action on Vancouver Island, this inter-regional program is aligned with regional priorities and workloads. It is linking activities so that everyone can share experiences and benefit from lessons learned.
“The Comox Valley is a provincial demonstration region for a ‘regional team approach’. Everyone needs to agree on expectations and how all the players will work together. After that, each community can reach its goals in its own way,” states Tim Pringle, President of the Partnership for Water Sustainability in BC. The Partnership is leading the Inter-Regional Education Initiative.
“BC’s enabling philosophy has become a driver for a regional team approach to implementing a new culture for urban watershed protection and restoration in BC. We are seeing that the term ‘regional team approach’ is resonating. Insertion of the word team in ‘regional approach’ has had a profound impact on how practitioners view their world.”
Convening for Action on Vancouver Island
In August 2011, the Comox Valley Regional Board passed a series of resolutions pertaining to an integrated watershed approach to rainwater management. These resolutions highlighted the need for province-wide action related to how drainage is regulated by the Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure. These common interests provided the Partnership with the opportunity to bring together four Vancouver Island regions.
“Inter-regional sharing, collaboration, alignment and consistency will accelerate effective implementation of watershed protection objectives within each regional district. The regions are linked by common interests, but are not dependent on each other,” states Comox Valley Board Chair Edwin Grieve.
“This important initiative will help assist the regional district as we move forward and address rainwater management issues in the Comox Valley. It also aligns with our Board strategic priority to develop a rainwater strategy.”
On March 28, the Cowichan Valley Regional District will host a forum on Sustainable Rainwater Management on Vancouver Island: What Does It Look Like?
“The Forum is the kick-off for the Inter-Regional Education Initiative to be implemented in four regions over several years. Sharing of experiences, collaboration, alignment and a consistent approach on Vancouver Island will allow everyone to go farther, more efficiently and effectively,” states Kate Miller, Chair of the Cowichan Valley Regional Team. Kate is Manager of the Regional Environmental Policy Division in the Regional District.
“Five local governments comprising the Cowichan Valley Regional Team will report out on how each has progressed since 2008. Our emphasis will be on “targets and criteria”, lessons learned, and practices necessary to protect stream health. Regulatory agencies and other local governments will also be sharing their insights at the WBM Forum.”
To Learn More
To download an AGENDA PREVIEW, click here; and to read a story previously posted on the Water Bucket website, click on Sustainable Rainwater Management on Vancouver Island: What Does It Look Like?