"Water-centric planning means planning with a view to water – whether for a single site or the entire province. At the core of the approach is a water balance way-of-thinking and acting. The underpinning premise is that resource, land use and community design decisions will be made with an eye towards their potential impact on the watershed," explains Kim Stephens.
Published in March 2002 by the Greater Vancouver Regional District, the "Watershed / Landscape-Based Approach to Community Planning" was developed by an interdisciplinary working group and is the genesis of "water-centric planning".
“We have known for more than a century that for every degree Celsius of warming we can expect the atmosphere to carry 7% more water vapour,” stated Bob Sandford. “Storms are now occurring that feature higher relative humidity than ever experienced before. This in combination with rising sea surface temperatures allows for extreme cloud bursts and storms with greater power that last longer and carry more punch.”
“Hydrologists are encouraged to embrace the companion Blue Ecology water cycle that is meant to enhance Western science’s hydrological cycle by providing a holistic cultural context," stated Michael Blackstock. “Hydrologists and water managers could also communicate complex climate change impacts to the public, using common sense terms. Hydrologists and water managers can use the hydrological and Blue Ecology cycles to help explain how and why the climate is changing.”
"From communities and local government, all the way to provincial and federal government, we must accelerate efforts to build resilience to the changing climate and increasingly unpredictable hydrological cycle," wrote Natasha Overduin. "The new provincial Water Sustainability Act provides much-improved tools to meet today’s pressing water challenges. The legislation, however, remains only a framework of promise and potential."
"Other languages like French and German often use more exact terms than English for 'stormwater' and 'wastewater', and this changes how relationships and worth are perceived," states Robert Hicks. “The reason why other languages use more exact terms relates to the structural nature of those languages.
Bob Sandford has a natural ability to ‘cut to the essence’ of issues. "This conference underscored the great benefit of focusing on the interweaving of western science and traditional teaching and local knowledge," wrote Bob Sandford. “What we essentially talked about is reconciliation: going back to the headwaters of where we got our relationships with water and with one another wrong so that we can start back down the river of time."
Robert Hicks has thought hard about how to connect the dots between water resource planning, climate variability and risk management. “Retirement planning is something that most people understand and do intuitively,” asked Robert Hicks rhetorically. “So why is it that when it comes to community and/or resource planning, we are seemingly incapable of overcoming the gap between long-term and short-term thinking?”
"Bob McDonald's opening keynote reminded us all, in no uncertain terms, that we all live on one fragile planet that demands our collective respect. When Bob shared the first photograph of earth taken in 1972, it put things in perspective.Bob Sandford – the other keynote - also gave a very powerful presentation. He reminded us of the cause and effect of changing climate conditions that is, in his opinion, taking on the semblance of a ‘run-away train’.”
“Local governments are rising to the challenges posed by a changing climate and urban growth. 2003, 2009 and 2015 were teachable years. Droughts, forest fires, wind storms and floods became catalysts for action,” wrote Kim Stephens. "No longer is asset management only about hard engineered assets – watermains, sewers, roads. The new paradigm is that watersheds are infrastructure assets, and therefore they should be protected and managed as such."
Maude Barlow has chosen to focus on Canada’s looming water crisis in her latest book, Boiling Point. While her main focus is on national problems, there is, much that specifically concerns British Columbia. The belief that Canada has an abundance of water is dangerously misleading, she writes. “We face serious issues of water contamination … overextraction, glacial melt, and climate change."
“Planning for capacity is proving especially important as the Roundtable looks forward to implementation of its Lower Coquitlam River Watershed plan over the coming years. The logistics of actually implementing watershed-wide initiatives spanning multiple jurisdictions make for uncharted territory in this watershed, however the Roundtable looks forward to taking on this new challenge and building the capacity needed to effectively do so," states Marni Turek.
A scenario comparison tool to assess green infrastructure effectiveness, achieve a lighter 'water footprint' and protect stream health. Learn More
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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