CHAMPION SUPPORTER: Living Rivers Partnership (December 2012)



About the Living Rivers Trust

Established by the Provincial Government in 2006, the vision of the Living Rivers Trust Fund (LRTF) is to create a legacy for British Columbia based on healthy watersheds, sustainable ecosystems and thriving communities. Funding from the Living Rivers Trust Fund is administered by the Living Rivers Advisory Group. The latter is chaired by John Woodward.

“Since 2006, the LRTF has granted our program $7.7 Million for watershed planning, water supply augmentation and fish habitat restoration work. We have leveraged this to secure over $17 Million in additional investments from a wide range of partner organizations. We are hopeful that the legacy fund will be extended so that this important work can be continued in 2012 and beyond, including our new initiatives in collaboration with the Partnership for Water Sustainability,” stated Alan Lill (Program Manager, Living Rivers – Georgia Basin / Vancouver Island) in October 2011 when it was announced that Living Rivers and the Partnership will align efforts.

“Initially, Living Rivers and the Partnership will collaborate with local governments and others within the boundaries of the Nanaimo Regional District and Cowichan Valley Regional District to advance Convening for Action in the Mid-Island Region. Collaboration will enable us to advance a shared vision for settlement change in balance with natural ecosystems.”

Champion Supporter of the Partnership

“The Champion Supporter designation allows the Partnership to formally recognize agencies and organizations that provide substantial financial and/or in-kind support that in turn enables the Partnership to develop tools and deliver programs under the umbrella of Convening for Action in British Columbia. The Living Rivers organization has demonstrated its commitment through financal support of our efforts on Vancouver Island. Therefore, the Partnership is pleased to announce that Living Rivers is a Champion Supporter of the Partnership for Water Sustainability ,” continues Tim Pringle, Partnership President.

“Commencing with a June 2011 meeting in Nanaimo, our two groups have aligned efforts to broaden awareness of our shared vision for settlement change in balance with natural ecosystems. Forums have included the 2011 Salish Seas Conference and 2011 Vancouver Island Economic Summit. The umbrella for our collaboration is provided by the CAVI-Convening for Action on Vancouver Island initiative. In 2012, grant funding via Living Rivers enabled the Partnership to produce a guidance document of provincial significance.”

“The Primer on Integrated Rainwater and Groundwater Management for Lands on Vancouver Island and Beyond has informed the educational process that is part of the City of Parksville’s Official Community Plan Review. Next, the Primer will be incorporated in the curriculum for the Inter-Regional Education Initiative on Rainwater Management in a Watershed Sustainability Context (IREI).


To Learn More:

To read the complete story about the October 2011 announcement as posted on the website, click on  ‘Living Rivers’ and ‘Partnership for Water Sustainability’ align efforts on Vancouver Island.

Integrated Rainwater and Groundwater Management in the Englishman River Watershed

“A defining moment in our relationship with Living Rivers occurred in June 2011 when we met with the Steering Committee for the Georgia Basin / Vancouver Island Program. That is when the picture started to take shape as to HOW we could collaborate effectively to broaden the convening for action network and truly make a difference in the mid-Island region,” recalls Kim Stephens, Partnership Executive Director.

“It was funding from the federal-provincial Regional Adaptation Collaboratives (RAC) Program that actually created the opportunity to move from talk to action. The purpose of the RAC Program is to support coordinated action towards advancing regional climate change adaptation decision-making. Living Rivers had a number of initiatives underway within the Englishman River watershed which outlets to the Georgia Basin through the City of Parksville. This became the focus of our collaboration.”

“The Official Community Plan Review by the City of Parskville in 2012 opened the door to develop a guidance document that would advance water-centric thinking in the mid-Island region,” continues Craig Wightman, Senior Fisheries Biologist with the BC Conservation Foundation. “The City agreed to be a demonstration application for the Primer on Integrated Rainwater and Groundwater Management for Lands on Vancouver Island and Beyond.”

“Our collaboration  provides us with an holistic view of watersheds. On the one hand, the Partnership for Water Sustainability has an appreciation of how local government functions in the lower portions of watersheds where municipalities regulate land use. Living Rivers, on the other hand, is primarily involved with on-the-ground stream enhancement work in rural areas upstream from municipal boundaries. An outcome of ollaboration is integration of these perspectives.”

About the Primer

“Released in April 2012, the Primer introduces building blocks that can inform ‘water-centric’ policy development by BC municipalities,” continues Peter Law, a founding Director of the Partnership. He was formerly with the Ministry of Environment. “Embedding a science-based understanding in an Official Community Plan (OCP), for example, can make a difference on the ground. The learning captured in this Primer is being shared with other local governments on Vancouver Island. Knowledge-sharing is being facilitated through the Inter-Regional Education Initiative that the Partnership for Water Sustainability is implementing in collaboration with four regional districts.”

“The Primer synthesizes the pioneering work of three BC engineers, namely: Kim Stephens, Jim Dumont and Dr. Gilles Wendling. Because they looked at rainfall and groundwater differently, they were able to connect the dots and develop practical applications of water balance thinking.”

“The Primer introduces the issue of the ‘unfunded infrastructure liability’. Viewing the watershed through an asset management lens provides local governments with a driver to require that development practices mimic the Water Balance.”

To Learn More:

This Primer is the third in a series of guidance documents released by the Partnership for Water Sustainability since November 2011. Core concepts presented in these companion documents provide an educational foundation for rainwater management in a watershed context.

To download a copy, click on Primer on Integrated Raiinwater & Groundwater Management for Lands on Vancouver Island and Beyond  For a section-by-section synopsis of the Primer storyline, click on Table 1.

To download a copy of the presentation slides that provided the backdrop for the June 2011 meeting when the decision to collaborate with the Partnership for Water Sustainability was formalized by the Living Rivers Steering Committee, click on Mission Possible – A 50-Year Vision for Vancouver Island