PRESIDENT’S PERSPECTIVE (2016): Balancing Economy, Ecology and Settlement in the Okanagan

“Because groundwater licencing is a requirement under the Water Sustainability Act, the Province looked to the Partnership to develop an agriculture water licencing tool,” wrote Ted van der Gulik. “The tool went live on February 29th and is now being used by those applying for a water licence as well as the water licence adjudicators. Additions that have been added to the tool include groundwater and watershed boundaries.”

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2016 Annual Report for the Partnership for Water Sustainability in British Columbia

“The journey to a water-resilient future would be guided by Cathedral Thinking,” states Kim Stephens. “The concept dates back to medieval times. It aptly describes the inter-generational commitment that would be required to achieve a ‘design with nature’ vision – one that integrates water balance solutions into land use decisions, and restores ecosystem values.”

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CHAMPION SUPPORTER: recognition of the Regional District of Nanaimo (May 2016)

The Regional District of Nanaimo (RDN) is recognized for the leadership that its Drinking Water & Watershed Program is providing. Success is helping to foster a new ‘land ethic’ among land and water practitioners in the region. Bill Veenhof (photo), RDN Chair, thanked the Partnership’s Kim Stephens for providing the RDN Board with an appreciation of how the RDN program is helping other regions overcome the disconnect between information and implementation. In 2012, Board support for the Georgia Basin Inter-Regional Education Initiative (IREI) enabled the Partnership to align efforts and implement the “proof of approach”.

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YOUTUBE VIDEO > Reflections on the 2015 Drought: “Southwest British Columbia dodged a bullet,” stated Kim Stephens in an interview published by The Province newspaper

Kim Stephens said the water issue is gaining a prominence in the public’s mind which it has never had. “People in general have not appreciated how vulnerable we’ve always been. They’re beginning to see how essential it is,” he said. Stephens advises the public to stay positive and not succumb to a negative state of mind. “Drought is not the end of the world. Australia survived a seven-year drought. People get through it,” he said. “The clock is ticking. Communities need to leverage this teachable year and seize opportunities to change how the water resource is viewed and managed,”

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REFLECTIONS ON THE 2015 DROUGHT: “The key now is how we take the 2015 teachable year and build on it in terms of where we go with the new Water Sustainability Act,” stated Kim Stephens when interviewed by Kirk LaPointe on Roundhouse Radio

“In British Columbia, we don’t prescribe. We encourage shared responsibility. Prescribing just doesn’t seem to work. We seem to have to get to a critical mass where people realize that we have to do something,” stated Kim Stephens. “The last ‘teachable year’ was 2003. That set in motion a process that culminated with the adoption in 2014 of the Water Sustainability Act.”

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