Feast AND Famine Workshop: Flood and Drought! – What Happened to the Balance?

Note to Reader:

On December 1, 2015 the Partnership for Water Sustainability in British Columbia (“the Partnership”) and the Irrigation Industry Association of British Columbia (“IIABC”) are again joining forces to co-host a workshop that is topical. The 2015 Drought is front and centre.

The workshop is structured in four parts. In Module A, Kim Stephens and Bob Sandford will tag-team to provide the BC and global contexts, respectively. They will interact with the audience in a town-hall style ‘sharing & learning’ session that will set the tone for the workshop day.

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What Happens on the Land Matters

IFigure1_provincial game-changersn Module A, Kim Stephens will introduce three provincial ‘game-changers’ that enable ‘restorative development’ in BC. Bob Sandford will then elaborate on the value of studying and understanding the history of water policy and management in California. He will also make the case for early action on restorative development.

In BC, three landmark initiatives came to fruition in 2014 (image opposite). All embody the enabling philosophy. Together they provide a platform for integrated and coordinated actions that would enable local governments to achieve Sustainable Watershed Systems, through Asset Management. Of the three drivers, the BC Framework is the lynch-pin for local governments to protect (restore) hydrologic integrity and watershed health.

To Learn More:

To download and read an article published in the Fall 2015 issue of the Asset Management BC Newsletter, click on Feast AND Famine: Moving Towards “Sustainable Watershed Systems, through Asset Management”

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Genesis of Restorative Development

The term ‘restorative development’ was coined by the writer Storm Cunningham in his first book The Restoration Economy, published in 2002. It was also the first book to document fast-growing industries that are renewing the natural and built environments.

Storm Cunningham_120pAccording to Storm Cunningham, three disruptive-but-positive trends are reshaping the design, planning, and implementation of regenerative projects in the 21st century, whether individual properties or landscape-scale initiatives: 1) asset renewal, 2) asset integration, and 3) stakeholder engagement.

His focus is on how almost any discipline can become a vital contributor to the rapid, resilient renewal of communities and regions.

A Perspective on Inter-Generational Memory & Continuity of Understanding

“In the urban setting, we have spent a generation building up expectations about living water smart and designing with nature so that we can successfully adapt to a changing climate,” states Kim Stephens, Executive Director of the Partnership for Water Sustainability. His four decades of experience as an engineer-planner cover the spectrum of water resources and infrastructure engineering issues.

“Now, we are at a defining moment in time because the accelerating wave of land and water practitioners retiring from the work force is resulting in a loss of institutional memory. Also, there is a loss of firsthand understanding of what works in practice, and what does not.”

“Overnight a generation of cumulative understanding – of what needs to be done to achieve a vision for ‘restorative development’ and how to do it – could be lost. The urgent need to provide ‘continuity of understanding’ is an emerging issue within government where decisions about land and water are made on a daily basis, and reverberate through time.”

“For these reasons, the pressure is increasingly on a small band of experienced volunteers to bridge the mentoring gap over the next decade. This is an inter-generational responsibility that the Partnership for Water Sustainability has embraced.”

To Learn More:

The Partnership and IIABC have released a Program Overview that provides a detailed picture of what to expect in each of the four modules that comprise the workshop day. To download a copy, click on Feast AND Famine! – Solutions and Tools in Response to a Changing Climate.

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