Waterscape Poster tells the story of the Okanagan Basin land and water resources
Water – the myth of abundance
A “waterscape” poster for the Okanagan Basin has been developed by the Vancouver office of Natural Resources Canada in collaboration with federal, provincial, municipal and non-government partners. The poster is large in format and rich in content, consisting of individual panels that describe the water cycle and physical processes at various scales, sources of water contamination, the effects of climate change, best practices for water source protection, water conservation methods, and other related topics.
Poster development was initiated in October 2005 with a kickoff workshop that was hosted by the Pacific Agricultural Research Centre in Summerland. The content was finalized at a workshop hosted by UBC-Okanagan University in May 2006. The final version of the poster will be released in Fall 2006. The project has been co-led by Bob Turner (Natural Resources Canada) and Bill Taylor (Environment Canada).
Overview of the Poster Process:
According to Bob Turner, “Poster content is developed by water experts for specific communities in close collaboration with community representatives and educators through an iterative process of face-to-face discussion and focus groups. As a result, Waterscape posters reflect water issues that are most relevant to the local community, and have a sound scientific and technical underpinning. Prior to release of the poster, a communication strategy is developed with the community to ensure broad use of the poster content. Companion websites and teacher resource kits for schools are elements of this strategy.”
Previous posters in the “waterscape series” include ones for Bowen Island and the Gulf Islands in British Columbia, and the Bow River Basin (Calgary region) in Alberta.
Vision for an Interactive Web Resource
“Our vision is to make the Okanagan poster interactive so that users can click on individual panels and access additional resources and information via web links,” added Bill Taylor, “For this reason we are excited that at our May workshop our Okanagan focus group endorsed collaboration with the WaterBucket Website Partnership. This means that in addition to the Natural Resources Canada website, the Okanagan poster will be accessible on the WaterBucket. The leverage in partnering is that it wll enable creation of a community-of-interest that will be built around the poster.”
“We too are excited”, echoed Ted van der Gulik (BC Ministry of Agriculture and Lands), speaking on behalf of the WaterBucket Partnership, “It is such a natural and logical next step to make the Waterscape Poster the feature attraction of an Okanagan Basin community-of-interest. Because the Partnership has already made a substantial investment in website development for the benefit of all British Columbians, it is extremely cost-effective to add new communities-of-interest. Our vision is to facilitate the coming together of an Okanagan-based partnership that will then be the driving force behind an Okanagan Basin Community-of-Interest.”
“It will be a great arrangement for everyone involved”, concluded Mike Tanner, WaterBucket Chair, “The waterscape poster will be available to a much, much larger audience; the WaterBucket will have an interactive attraction that should bring users back again and again; and having a stand-alone community-of-interest for the Okanagan will go a long way towards achieving the goals of a communications plan for regional water stewadship. It’s win, win, win.”
Posted May 19, 2006