The Story of the Feast AND Famine Workshop, as told in Watermark Magazine (April 2016)
Note to Reader:
The Spring 2016 issue of Watermark Magazine (published by the BC Water & Waste Association) includes an article that describes the Feast AND Famine Workshop held in December 2015, and co-hosted by the Partnership for Water Sustainability in BC and the Irrigation Industry Association of BC.
Wetter, Warmer Winters;
Longer, Drier Summers
The weather in 2015 has impacted on how the public views the BC climate and their understanding of how it is changing. There is now growing awareness that the summer dry season has extended on both ends. BC communities can no longer count on a predictable snowpack and reliable precipitation to maintain a healthy water balance in their watersheds. 2015 is a teachable year, the first since 2003.
Held in Richmond, ‘Feast AND Famine’ showcased solutions and tools to address risk and build resiliency. A decade earlier, the 2003 “teachable year” had set in motion water sustainability processes in BC, guided by a vision to develop solutions and tools that would help communities manage risk and build resiliency in response to a changing climate.
The 2015 teachable year creates a window of opportunity to implement solutions and tools developed in BC.
A Solution: Design with Nature
Adaptation to a changing climate was a unifying theme. Designed to spark a conversation that would reverberate after the workshop, Feast AND Famine shared a vision for ‘designing with nature’ to restore hydrologic integrity and maintain the seasonal ‘water balance’. Attendees were introduced to solutions and tools that can help communities achieve water resiliency. Both the urban and agricultural perspectives were represented.
The workshop program comprised four cascading modules – from high-level visioning to ground-level applications. Each module was delivered by a team of two presenters.
Each module had an identified learning objective – for example, the objective for Module A was that participants would understand that accepting risk opens the door to creativity and results in innovation.
A Teachable Moment
“The program was high-energy. Presentations were dynamic. Everyone is passionate about what they do. The collective enthusiasm of the presentation team energized those who attended. It was a memorable day,” reports Mike Tanner, Workshop Chair.
The event attracted an audience totaling 115. It also attracted media attention, resulting in front-page headline stories in both of BC’s major daily newspapers. This led to further radio and TV coverage when the 2015 drought was voted BC’s top news story of the year in an online poll.
To Learn More:
Download Feast AND Famine, Flood AND Drought: Solutions and tools for building water-resilient communities as published in Watermark Magazine.