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.

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."

The Journey to Balance Economy, Ecology and Settlement on Vancouver Island

"Water sustainability became a common thread in discussions and decisions about land development, water use and water conservation. Participants from governments, the development community, academia, consulting organizations, and others, understand the importance of water sustainability and incorporate water sustainability practices into their activities. Water-centric thinking, planning and doing have become more than a vision. They are a reality on Vancouver Island," wrote John FInnie.

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


"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.

FLASHBACK TO 2011: Vision for implementing Sustainable Service Delivery in the Comox Valley introduced at “CAVI Forum within Vancouver Island Summit”

“So, to promote a holistic approach to infrastructure asset management, we have crystallized three key objectives for Sustainable Service Delivery: 1) pay down the legacy cost of existing hard infrastructure; 2) reduce the life-cycle cost of new hard infrastructure; and, 3) shift from gray to green to protect downstream values (i.e. environmental and/or agriculture)," stated Kevin Lagan, former Director of Operational Services with the City of Courtenay, in 2011.

Moving Towards Healthy Watersheds: Local government champions on Vancouver Island share the proverbial wheel, rather than reinventing it

"We each consider it a success when we can achieve more outputs with fewer inputs, and have committed to continue to adopt a sharing approach to their work," states Nancy Gothard. "Each community has different goals and capacities and each jurisdiction’s educational materials reflect this, while also providing similar messaging and layout elements for consistent branding."

“In the 1990s, Puget Sound research by Horner and May made it clear that stormwater management was as much or more about land use decisions as engineering solutions,” recalls Bill Derry, watershed champion

“In 1996, Richard Horner and Chris May published a seminal paper that synthesized a decade of Puget Sound research to identify and rank the four factors that degrade urban streams and negatively influence aquatic productivity and fish survival. This science-based ranking provides a framework for Integrated Watershed Management,” reports Bill Derry. In the 1980s, he was one of the first stormwater utility managers in Washington State.

Connecting Dots: “2005 Metro Vancouver Consultation Workshop” led to “Showcasing Green Infrastructure Innovation Series” and then to IREI

The Georgia Basin Inter-Regional Education Initiative (IREI) provides local governments on the east coast of Vancouver Island and in Metro Vancouver with a mechanism to share outcomes and cross-pollinate experience. “Sharing of knowledge and experience through ‘organic collaboration’ is vital because peer-to-peer learning is what practitioners respect most,” observes Thomas White.