“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."
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.
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.
“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."
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."
“In community drinking watersheds, logging is accelerated as harvest rotations shorten. The reduced ability of forests to capture winter rain and slow snowmelt leads to increased spring runoff, resulting in more flooding and source drinking water quality issues,” states Tim Ennis. “If the long-term value of forest ecosystem services was taken into account when community development is planned, more forested areas would be retained to capture rainwater."
“In December 2010, the CAVI-Comox Valley Regional Team hosted a 'Developers Dialogue'. This initiated a conversation with the Comox Valley development community about local government policies and strategies to achieve ‘design with nature’ outcomes. The requirements of the Green Communities Act provided the backdrop for the dialogue,” reported Derek Richmond.
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.
“The Water Balance Forum was the kick-off for an 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,” stated Kate Miller. “Our emphasis will be on “targets and criteria”, lessons learned, and practices necessary to protect stream health.”
"The twin pillars of the IREI are the Water Balance Methodology and Ecological Accounting Protocol," stated Kim Stephens. "The Methodology links actions at the site scale with desired outcomes at a watershed scale. The new paradigm is that watersheds are infrastructure assets. Local governments would use the Ecological Accounting Protocol to develop a more complete financial picture. It is a method of ascertaining economic value of services drawn from natural assets."
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