Water Sustainability Act is already influencing water management in British Columbia

In the June 2016 issue of Sitelines magazine, nine articles showcase the breadth of program elements delivered by the Partnership under the umbrella of the Water Sustainability Action Plan for BC. In 2016, the Partnership delivered the keynote address at the BCSLA Annual Conference and gave examples of How the Water Sustainability Act is Already Influencing Water Management in British Columbia. “The set of articles introduces readers to concepts such as ‘water as a form-maker’. This means watersheds are defining landscapes,” stated Tim Pringle. "In many ways, the built environment has to adapt to watershed features and water movements to maintain viable settlements.”

“Sustainable Watershed Systems” resonates with audiences in BC and beyond

The Partnership for Water Sustainability is a champion for “Sustainable Watershed Systems, through Asset Management”. This is a whole-system, water balance approach for restoration of watershed health within the built environment. It is based on this premise: natural watershed systems are infrastructure assets – we must manage and protect them as such. "Understanding leads to action. Getting to action is a step-by-step process to give practitioners the tools and experience to get the job done," stated Kim Stephens. "In addition, moving from understanding to implementation requires a sustaining commitment by local governments to implement ‘standards of practice’ that restore the desired watershed condition over time."

“I created Blue Ecology, by interweaving the best threads of Indigenous and Western Science, to lay a new foundation, to make water-first decisions,” stated Michael Blackstock at the FLOWnGROW workshop (Nov 2016)

The International Association of Hydrological Sciences introduced Blue Ecology into mainstream science in 2008. Their peer review gave Blue Ecology credibility and profile, but there has been little awareness in British Columbia of what Michael Blackstock has accomplished. The essence of Michael’s vision is ‘embrace a water first approach’ because water is a living entity. It is the sacred centre from which all other activities radiate. “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 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.”