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Water-Centric Planning Community-of-Interest


"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.

“Definition of Water in the U.S.”, known as WOTUS, increases reach of American federal regulations

"The definition of 'water' is not typically a controversial subject. But..... The final rule for WOTUS takes into account the 'interconnectedness' of tributaries, wetlands and other waters to downstream waters. This means the federal government would substantially increase federal control of Minnesota's lakes, streams, wetlands and drainage ditches," wrote Rich Sve, local government politician.

Adequate funding required for sustainable management of BC’s Water Resources, write Oliver Brandes and Deborah Curran

"Sufficient resourcing through water rents is a big part of sustainable water management and we must not be distracted by unfounded fears of turning B.C. water into a commodity or triggering NAFTA claims. Someone — whether it be B.C. taxpayers or water users — must pay for our water management system. This is not commodification. It is implementing a robust user-pay regime," concluded Deborah Curran.

Population Growth & Urbanization: “Socioeconomic factors have in part contributed to increased incidence of natural catastrophes over past three decades,” states report by TD Economics on financial impact

"Regardless of the cause, it’s clear that natural catastrophes are a major issue for Canada. With no sign that things are going to be getting any better, it’s prudent for businesses and policy-makers to start thinking of the long term-implications, and place a larger emphasis on catastrophes when making investment decisions," wrote Craig Alexander, TD Economics.

Metro Vancouver Water Shortage Response Plan – Daily Consumption and Reservoir Levels During 2015 Drought

In July 2015 Metro Vancouver moved to Stage 3 water restrictions – banning all lawn sprinkling with treated drinking water and bringing in a number of other water conservation measures. “We need to reduce our discretionary use of water including lawn sprinkling and washing cars,” said Board Chair Greg Moore. “Our reservoir levels need to be maintained for priority needs in our homes and businesses, and for community needs like fire protection.”

“A Water Conservation Strategy for British Columbia” was launched at the 1998 Annual Convention of the Union of BC Municipalities

"A Water Conservation Strategy for British Columbia" was developed by a working group chaired by Prad Khare. The Strategy will contribute to a sustained and healthy resource and provide a common framework for water management activities throughout the province by advancing water as a valuable resource which must be utilized efficiently, wisely and cost-effectively to sustain a high quality of social, environmental and economic well-being, for now and in the future.

“It is imperative that we act on the underlying causes of excess stormwater events, namely climate change,” stated Gustavo Alanís-Ortega, JPAC Chair, North American Commission for Environmental Cooperation

North American communities that are on the front lines of managing excess stormwater flows need strong engagement from governments and civil society to develop and implement sustainable solutions to this widespread problem. “The steps we take now will help future generations. One of the first steps policy makers should take is to properly assess how vulnerable our communities are to the damaging effects of excess stormwater," stated Gustavo Alanís-Ortega.

Longer, Drier, Hotter Summers: “2015 will be THE teachable year,” stated Kim Stephens in media interviews about the long-term impact of drought conditions in Southwest British Columbia

“The ‘new normal’ in British Columbia is drought and flooding. The summer dry season has extended on both ends and communities can no longer count on a predictable snowpack and reliable rain to maintain a healthy water balance in their watersheds. This is putting water supply systems and ecosystems under extreme stress. If we seize the moment, we will change how we do business and the cumulative benefits will ripple through time,” stated Kim Stephens.

FLASHBACK TO 1992: Article on “Water, Water Everywhere….Does British Columbia Really Need a Water Conservation Strategy?”

In 1992, co-authored papers by Tom Heath and Kim Stephens and by Ted van der Gulik and Kim Stephens were adapted and published as an integrated magazine article. "Although there is a perception that BC is water-rich, the reality is that we are often seasonally water-short (mainly because of storage limitations) during the period when water demand is heaviest due to lawn and garden irrigation," wrote the authors in their opening paragraph.

2015 DROUGHT: Longer, Drier, Hotter Summer Triggers Stage 2 Water Restrictions in Metro Vancouver

In order to conserve water during the unseasonably dry and hot weather, Metro Vancouver introduced new water restrictions that include regulations around lawn watering. Declaring that the Metro Vancouver region is in the second stage of a four-stage plan, the Commissioner of the Water District (Carol Mason) said "we are asking residents and businesses to further conserve water at this time.”