Build Water Resilient Communities: Partners release program overview for “Flow and Grow Workshop” (November 29, 2016)

Note to Reader:

On November 29, 2016 in Kelowna, 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 because the impacts are still fresh in minds; and BC continues to experience unseasonal weather and climate conditions.

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 Flow and Grow! – Balancing Economy, Ecology and Settlement in the Okanagan.

Because the workshop is in the Okanagan Valley, the Okanagan Basin Water Board is also a co-host. In addition, the Real Estate Foundation of British Columbia is a primary sponsor.

To Register:

To register for the workshop, go to the IIABC website:

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Program Overview

“The Flow and Grow Workshop is a timely and vital workshop. We will address both immediate and long term water security issues in the Okanagan Valley,” states Ted van der Gulik, President of the Partnership for Water Sustainability in British Columbia.

Ted van der Gulik_DSC_0585_Sep2015_120pTed van der Gulik retired from government in 2014 as Senior Engineer in the Ministry of Agriculture. During his 35-year career, Ted received three Premier’s Awards for Innovation and Excellence. Upon retirement, he was honoured with a Premier’s Legacy Award for lifetime achievement; and he was inducted by the Premier into the British Columbia Public Service Hall of Excellence.

Economy, Ecology and Settlement in Balance

“Whether discussing the economy or ecological challenges, the significance and relevance of the findings from Flow and Grow is that they will be replicable throughout the province and beyond. The reason for this applicability is that the workshop focus is on the impacts of climate change and the need to plan now for a water sustainable future.”

“At the workshop, we will explore the role of water from the global to the local. As has been noted by others, the particular journey facing the Okanagan Basin includes the impact of climate change, water security, population demand and food security issues.”

“We are convening for action. Our team of expert inter-disciplinary presenters will discuss the array of water-centric challenges with the objective of encouraging participants to work towards a balance of the economy, ecology and settlement in the Okanagan,” concludes Ted van der Gulik.

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Approach to Program Design

“The Partnership for Water Sustainability is responsible for delivering the Water Sustainability Action Plan for BC. The Flow and Grow workshop is an initiative under the Action Plan umbrella,’ explains Kim Stephens, Partnership Executive Director. Kim Stephens at Cleveland Dam_Dec2015_trimmed1_120p

Kim Stephens and Ted van der Gulik have been a “water duo” since 1988. Both are engineers. Kim provides the urban perspective and Ted the agricultural. Their collaboration started with the Okanagan Demand-Side Water Management Strategy, released in 1990.

Each Module Has An Educational Educative

“The Partnership mantra is: we develop tools; we develop talent; we focus on outcomes,” continues Kim Stephens. “For these reasons, Partnership events are well-scripted in terms of defining roles and expectations for the presentation team. Our experience is that this helps everyone rise to the occasion. In turn, that generates energy and enthusiasm on the day of the event, and the audience leaves the room inspired.”

“The workshop program is structured as four modules and is cascading – from high-level visioning to ground-level applications. Because we have an educational responsibility pursuant to the Water Sustainability Action Plan each module has an educational objective. For example:

The educational objective for Module A is that participants will understand that managing water is critical to many other sustainable development goals. In fact those other goals cannot be achieved without managing water better in the context of a change in climate.”

“Adaptation to a changing climate is a unifying theme. Both the urban and agricultural perspectives are represented.”

“We will end the day with a town-hall sharing and learning segment. Participants will be encouraged to share what gem they have learned that is of value to them, and what they will do differently as a result of acquiring this knowledge and/or understanding.”

To Learn More:

Download Flow and Grow! – Balancing Economy, Ecology and Settlement in the Okanagan for a Program Overview.

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