Moving Along the Soft Path to Water-Centric Sustainability


Note to Reader:

Building SustainAble Communities is a hugely popular conference held in Kelowna, British Columbia every 18 months. This highly acclaimed event provides a forum for people wanting to share their successes and passions about community sustainability.
Delegates gather to discuss what’s working, what’s not, and how to expedite the crucial move toward more vibrant, resilient communities. Sixty-five percent of delegates are from local governments (elected officials, administrators, and planning and public works staff), while the remainder represent the private, nonprofit, and academic sectors.
Engagement tools include plenaries, breakouts, panel discussions, debates, workshops, and abundant networking opportunities. Social and cultural activities are also key features.

Water-Centric Sustainability

At the inaugural conference in 2006, the trio of Oliver Brandes (POLIS Project at the University of Victoria), Don Degen (City of Kelowna) and Kim Stephens ((Water Sustainability Action Plan for BC) combined to provide an entertaining breakout session that introduced conference attendees to the world of water-centric planning.

Era of Water-Centric Planning is Upon Us

According to Oliver Brandes, “While climate change will be the challenge of this generation — water will be THE critical resource for the 21st Century.  We must protect, restore and enhance our understanding of this most fundamental resource.  It is increasingly evident that we have the tools and the approaches to begin reducing our water demands and impacts on the landscape — we know enought to begin managing this resource for sustainability”

“The era of water-centric planning is upon us.  Now it is up to all of us, especially our elected and community leaders, to accelerate the adoption and the change in practice to begin balancing our water budget.  The world is changing and to achieve a secure and properious future requires healthy watersheds PERIOD — the place to start is right in your backyard.”

To Learn More:

To download a copy of Oliver’s presentation, please click on this link to Going Beyond Efficiency: The Soft Path to Water Sustainability

For the complete story about the three presentations, click on Moving Along the Soft Path to Water-Centric Sustainability