“The program began in 1983 as an engineering response to high levels of fecal coliform on local beaches," reports Dale Green. "CRD has since undergone a transition, from ‘stormwater-based thinking’ that is narrowly focussed, to ‘watershed-based thinking’ that is holistic in approach. The broadening of scope is reflected in the re-naming of the Stormwater, Harbours and Watersheds Program (SHWP). In 2012, the program became the Integrated Watershed Management Program (IWMP)."
"The multi-jurisdictional nature of our watersheds requires the collective commitment of local and senior government agencies, First Nations, and communities to improve the health of our watersheds. Utilizing a ‘Design with Nature’ approach, we are changing the way we develop our land by attempting to re-engineer the hydrological function back into our urban landscape. We are, in some ways, cultivating a new land ethic," wrote Jody Watson.
“The CRD is composed of 13 municipalities and 3 electoral areas. Watershed boundaries are not political boundaries or even neighbourhood boundaries. When local government champions come to the table to work with regional staff and each other, great things happen,” wrote Dale Green. “We continue to look forward and enhance cooperative efforts to make us all stronger and better able to protect and enhance our watersheds.”
“Moving to a watershed-focused program allows the Capital Regional District to support the core area municipalities with new strategies for environmental protection, including an increased focus on dealing with watershed stressors near the source rather than at the municipal infrastructure or receiving environment level. Additionally, the strategy supports municipal efforts in watersheds that cross municipal boundaries,” wrote Glenn Harris.
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