“The lessons learned by Basin communities are relevant to any community trying to reduce peak demand driven by irrigation. To measurably reduce irrigation demand through residential water conservation outreach, you need a strong tool kit that includes good data and great personalities who are meeting people right at their homes and places of work,” said Neal Klassen.
How Water is Managed
“Water use reporting is more than simply meeting regulations. The more often we report, the more accurate our data is, and the more responsive we can be to shortages. The vision of the Okanagan Basin Water Board (OBWB) is to have a fully-integrated water system, meeting the needs of residents and agriculture while supporting wildlife and natural areas,” states Anna Warwick Sears
“In just two years of program implementation, 23 Water Smart communities have reduced community water demand by an average of 12 per cent, with some achieving savings of more than 30 per cent. How? By focusing their conservation activities where the potential savings are biggest: reducing leakage in the distribution system,” reports Meredith Hamstead.
POLIS Project on Ecological Governance hosts “Navigating Our Water Future: Lessons Learned from Europe and Australia”
For many years, Australia and Europe have faced serious problems with the management and governance of their water resources. These challenges offer a glimpse into Canada’s water future.
Craig Orr (120p) – Executive Director
Watershed Watch Salmon Society
The needs of salmon for water were given a much higher priority than most other consumptive uses of water, especially diverting of rivers for power.
“Water users are not even coming close to covering the full costs of the water services they enjoy. A solution is to begin charging individuals and businesses what water really is worth, based on the volume they use,” states Kirk Stinchcombe.
The University of Victoria’s POLIS Project Thinks Beyond Pipes and Pumps – and Takes Action Towards a New Water Infrastructure in BC and Beyond
Since 2000 the POLIS Project on Ecological Governance at the University of Victoria has filled a unique niche on campus as a place where academic and policy research meets community action. The Water Sustainability Project began at POLIS in 2003. It focuses on reorienting Canadian water management from a supply development approach toward stewardship and managing demand as priorities for governments and decision makers.
“Towards a Vision and Strategy for Water Management in Canada” is a synthesis of five workshops held across Canada in 2006, which included almost 70 presentations and involved hundreds of participants from a wide cross section of sectors and regions, providing a comprehensive snapshot of the needs and opportunities that exist in terms of water management in Canada.
Education can play an important role in facilitating change. Education increases our capacity to make informed decisions and to act effectively in addressing environmental and development issues. The WaterBucket website is a prime example of using outreach to promote the move from awareness to action.
The phrase ‘water for life and livelihoods' has been introduced to British Columbians in order to focus them on what is at stake over both the short and long terms. The phrase conveys the fundamental principles of sustainability of natural systems in their own right and in relation to the health and well-being of people who benefit from the use of water for basic life needs and economic activity.