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 reflects real-world hydrology.”
“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.”
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.
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.”
LOOK AT DEVELOPMENT DIFFERENTLY: Comox Valley Eco-Asset Management Symposium – Discovering Nature’s Infrastructure Potential (on March 14-15, 2017)
“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.”
Climate Change: British Columbia’s Green Communities Amendment Act is a driver for doing business differently
“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.