Changing the Way We Develop Land and Use Water

The challenge for high growth communities is to make informed choices that will produce cumulative benefits over time, and thereby ensure long-term community vitality and liveability. Building on the momentum generated by a presentation to the Sustainable Region Initiative Task Force, the Green Infrastructure Partnership brought its ‘design with nature' message to a receptive audience at a Sustainability Community Breakfast hosted by the Greater Vancouver Regional District.

Peace River region introduced to 'Water-Centric Planning'

The City of Dawson Creek hosted a workshop titled "Sustainable Planning and Development for Small Communities", a program developed by Canada Mortgage & Housing Corporation to help small communities. Held in December 2006, the workshop was attended by municipalities from throughout the Peace River region. The workshop provided a timely opportunity to introduce the concept of 'water-centric planning' to the City of Dawson Creek and others in the region.

Moving Along the Soft Path to Water-Centric Sustainability

Sustainability is a buzzword. We hear it daily…but what does it mean in the community context? The Building SustainAble Communities conference, held in Kelowna, provided a timely opportunity for three leading British Columnbian proponents of water-centric sustainability to collaborate in explaining what it means to move along the "soft path" of water use in neighbourhoods and communities.

Full-cost accounting for water supply and sewage treatment

It has been suggested recently that water and sewage utilities move to “full-cost” accounting as a means of addressing some of the challenges facing them. However, there are disagreements regarding how to implement this concept, and few estimates exist that show the impact of such a change.

Beyond greater efficiency: The concept of water soft paths

Even in “water-rich” Canada, many jurisdictions are having trouble providing adequate, clean fresh water as their populations not only grow, but also exhibit higher expectations for water availability and water safety. The conventional approach to such problems accepted the history of constantly growing demand for water and responded by extending pipelines, constructing more dams and drilling deeper.

Williams Lake conserves wisely

In 2004, the City of Williams Lake undertook a major review of its water utility and associated management practices. The resulting documents—the "Williams Lake Water Conservation Plan" and the "Waterworks Bylaw"—identify water management and water conservation strategies that will protect and preserve our valuable water resource well into the future.

Salmon Arm

The City of Salmon Arm’s WaterWise program manager, Eugene Lalonde, can now say with certainty that “residents favour wise water use.” Findings from in-home water audits conducted during the summer of 2005 show conclusively that residents are becoming more aware of the need for water-use efficiency, and are more prepared to take the necessary steps to achieve it.

Lumby water-use efficiency project

On July 20, 2005, the Village of Lumby launched its Water-use Efficiency Program. In keeping with the newly adopted Water Conservation and Drought Contingency Plan, a Stage-1 water conservation threshold was declared that introduced water sprinkling regulations, a public education program, and a more stringent water level monitoring program for village wells. This was well received by residents, and resulted in excellent voluntary compliance.