“We can start back down the river of time – this time together – with a full understanding of the importance of embracing a water-first approach,” stated Bob Sandford, water champion & author, at FLOWnGROW workshop (November 2016)
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.”
Dealing with Climate Uncertainty and Managing Risk: “The disconnect in thought between retirement planning and water management is a conundrum,” observed Metro Vancouver’s Robert Hicks in 2005
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?”
“The challenge of climate change now demands a level of collaboration and commitment heretofore unseen,” stated Eric Bonham at the conclusion of the FLOWnGROW workshop on water sustainability in BC (Nov 2016)
“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’.”
Living Water Smart: Op-Ed by Kim Stephens urges communities to integrate “water balance solutions” into land use decisions (published by the Vancouver Sun, Oct 2016)
“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.”
Coquitlam River Watershed Roundtable: Building Resilience and Capacity for Inter-Jurisdictional, Watershed-Based Approaches
“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.
Moving Towards Watershed & Water Sustainability in British Columbia: “Linking rainfall, the landscape, streamflow, groundwater and Sustainable Service Delivery has been a building blocks process,” stated Kim Stephens in his presentation to municipal engineers at the Annual APEGBC Conference (Oct 2016)
“The excellent presentation by Kim Stephens has provided me with inspiration,” commented Dr. Tom Gleeson. He teaches a course on Sustainable Water Resources for engineers at the University of Victoria. “I was really impacted by how clearly Kim has thought through organizing principles for implementing a water balance approach. I have borrowed from his slides and his thinking to develop lecture material for my course.”
THE WELL-TEMPERED CITY: What Modern Science, Ancient Civilizations and Human Behavior Teach Us About the Future of Urban Life –written by Jonathan Rose, a leading thinker
“Jonathan Rose’s non-stop tour of the city—an in depth account of its history, theory, and practice—is exhilarating and complete, wherein compassion, Bach’s The Well-Tempered Clavier, and contemporary scientific thinking finally come to rest together. This is a hugely satisfying poem—rich in history, thought and deeply felt throughout,” wrote Philip Glass in a book review.
“We need both immediate-term pragmatism and visionary dedication to sustainability if we are to preserve our capacity for positive and permanent regional vitality,” observes author and visionary Eva Kras. “Vancouver Island has a huge possibility, and responsibility, to form a type of model that communities in Canada can look to for ideas, related especially to the concept of collaboration.”
“Because we simply will have less water. There will be larger storm events in the winter, and dealing with flooding and infrastructure, and then there will be much less water in the summertime in most communities. So climate will accelerate the sense of water shortage. I think local governments are going to start assessing the water impacts of any land-use decision that they make,” stated Deborah Curran.