BEYOND THE GUIDEBOOK 2010: Okanagan Rainwater Workshop provides forum for ‘convening for action’ to advance a new culture for watershed protection and restoration
From Rain to Resource
The Okanagan Basin Water Board (OBWB) and the BC Water & Waste Association (BCWWA) are co-hosting “From Rain to Resource: Managing Stormwater in a Changing Climate” on October 28 and 29, 2010 in Kelowna.
Spread, Slow and Sink Rainwater On-Site
“Effective rainwater management is a critical tool for adaptation to climate change – a leading policy concern in British Columbia,” states Anna Warwick Sears, Executive Director of the Okanagan Basin Water Board.
“The workshop will offer ideas on practices that spread, slow and sink rainwater on-site. This natural systems approach contrasts with land use practices that, by design, pipe and convey excess volumes of rainwater and stormwater off-site.”
“The keynote speaker is Brock Dolman, Director of the California-based WATER Institute. Brock will expand on ideas of Conservation Hydrology, which emphasizes the need in many areas for human development designs to move fraom drainage to retainage.”
“The Conservation Hydrology Mantra is: Slow it – Spread it – Sink it! So the land can spring forth with the jubilant abundance of pure water!”
Thinking Like a Watershed
“It is serendipity, or is it, that Brock Dolman’s keynote presentation is titled Basins of Relations: Thinking Like a Watershed. Brock’s theme provides a perfect fit with the ongoing rollout of Beyond the Guidebook 2010,” notes Kim Stephens, Program Coordinator for the Water Sustainability Action Plan for British Columbia.
“There is now clear guidance in BC for aligning local actions with provincial and regional goals to ‘design with nature’ so that we can create greener communities, live water smart and prepare for climate change.”
“BC is now at a tipping point. Implementation of a new culture for urban watershed protection and restoration is within our grasp. Beyond the Guidebook 2010 sets the stage for settlement change that is in balance with ecology.”
Convening for Action in British Columbia
“The Okanagan Rainwater Workshop is a flagship event. It provides the opportunity for practitioners to convene for action,” continues Kim Stephens.
“The majority of the workshop presenters are members of the ‘convening for action team’ whose stories about leading change are told in Beyond the Guidebook 2010. This group of change agents includes Ted van der Guilk, Richard Boase, Rémi Dubé, Kevin Lagan, Jim Dumont and Calvin Sandborn.”
“Their action-oriented focus will provide ‘how to do it’ examples that will help others visualize what policy goals look like on the ground. A unifying theme is that major breakthroughs happen when decision makers in government work with grass-roots visionaries to create desired outcomes.”
A “Made in BC” Process
“When convening for action, we create a picture of the future that we want. When we gather, there must be an action item or an outcome. This is the essence of a ‘made in BC’ process for moving from talk to actually changing the way we build our communities.”
“The South Okanagan Regional Growth Strategy provided the first opportunity to test the ‘convening for action’ approach. That experience has been adapted in Metro Vancouver and on Vancouver Island. Cross-fertilization between and within regions means that local governments can continually build on the experience of others,” concludes Kim Stephens.
Beyond the Guidebook 2010
Beyond the Guidebook 2010 demonstrates that the practitioner culture in BC is changing as an outcome of collaboration, partnerships and alignment; and provides local governments with ‘how to’ guidance for developing outcome-oriented urban watershed plans.