FLASHBACK TO RELEASE OF “BEYOND THE GUIDEBOOK 2015” – Watershed Health: game-changers enable local government action in BC
In British Columbia, three landmark provincial initiatives came to fruition in 2014. All embody the enabling philosophy. “Looking into the future, collaboratively developed Water Sustainability Plans can integrate water and land use planning and can be combined with other local, regional or provincial planning processes to address water-related issues. “The scale and scope of each plan – and the process used to develop it – would be unique, and would reflect the needs and interests of the watersheds affected,” states Jennifer Vigano.
ATTEND & BE INSPIRED: Nanaimo Water Symposium – Collaboration Success Stories on Vancouver Island (April 11-12)
“Changes in the global climate are accelerating and disrupting the water cycle. Local consequences, ofttimes negative, are magnified. To make the right decisions, we need to understand how and where the water rhythms are changing. We must adjust our land use and infrastructure practices before its too late,” states John Finnie, Chair of the Nanaimo Symposium Organizing Committee. “Attend the symposium on April 11-12, 2018. Listen. Hear. Be heard. And make a difference.”
In September 2015, the General Assembly of the United Nations passed Transforming Our World: The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. Goal 6 pertains specifically to water: “Ensure availability and sustainable management of water and sanitation for all”. Goal 6 encompasses water-related ecosystems. “The vital importance of water and water-related trade-offs with climate policy has largely been ignored to date. At first glance, water plays no role in the Paris agreement. Upon closer examination, however, we see that climate policy will have far-reaching implications for the availability of water and vice versa,” wrote Ines Dombrowsky.
“A watershed is an integrated system – with three types of flows, each with a different time scale. Yet long-standing drainage engineering practices for servicing of land ignore, overlook or eliminate two of the three. Such practices are the root cause of stream and aquatic habitat degradation,” wrote Kim Stephens. “BC is at a tipping point. A provincial policy, program and regulatory framework is in place to help local governments bridge the gap between policy and a new standard of practice.”
SAVE THE DATE (April 11-12) TO BE INSPIRED – The Hard Work of Hope – Collaboration Success Stories on Vancouver Island
Adapting to climate change requires transformation in how we value nature and service land. An informed stewardship sector can be a catalyst for action. “What we are essentially talking 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 – this time together – with a full understanding of the importance of embracing a water-first approach to planning human interventions in the environment,” states Bob Sandford.
WHAT DO YOU WONDER: the opportunity cost of balancing ecological services with drainage infrastructure
“Initially, we saw EAP as a tool (i.e. ‘the protocol’) that would help practitioners calculate the opportunity cost of balancing ecological services with drainage infrastructure. However, our thinking has evolved over the past year. Testing the approach through two demonstration applications has resulted in this defining conclusion: EAP is a process, not a protocol. Thus, we are rebranding EAP as the Ecological Accounting Process,” stated Tim Pringle.
DID YOU KNOW THAT: waterbucket.ca is home for the Water Sustainability Action Plan for British Columbia
“Knowing the Waterbucket user-base was wanting to find information easily, we redesigned the home page with not only a more contemporary look and feel but also to facilitate it being a portal to all of the different content-rich sections of the site,” stated Susan Friesen. “”Now site users can enjoy a faster, easier and mobile-friendly experience to conduct their research and become more informed with the valuable resources the Partnership for Water Sustainability in BC provides.”
“Collaborative consent is about a different way of being together and building a future for Canada in which Indigenous nations assume their rightful governance role as founding nations in this country,” says co-author Merrell-Ann Phare. “There are no barriers standing in the way of BC moving in this direction. Territorial and Indigenous governments in the Northwest Territories have been leaders in a collaborative consent approach for years.”
ANDY REESE WEBINAR >>> Voodoo Hydrology: The Pitfalls of Urban Hydrology Methods (on December 7, 2017)
Andy Reese coined the term Voodoo Hydrology in 2006. “As a stormwater community, we have for years relied upon common urban stormwater hydrologic design methodologies and trusted their results. But, should we? We must understand that urban hydrology, including newer Green Infrastructure sizing approaches, as commonly practiced, is an inexact science where we are simply trying to get close to the right answer,” states Andy Reese.
“The critical issue is the salt wedge and window of opportunity for pumping water from the Fraser River,” stated Ted van der Gulik. “An increase in sea levels combined with a drought flow on the Fraser River would allow salt water to move further up the river in the future. This would shut down water supply intakes for a longer period of time, and could make it challenging to extract good quality irrigation water for use in Richmond and Delta.”