AGRICULTURE WATER FORUM: Learn why an adequate and affordable water supply is essential for long term food security in the Metro Vancouver region (Nov 3, 2016)



Why the Forum is important

Agriculture is a large fresh water user and the demand for water will only increase as summers get longer, hotter and drier. BC needs 215,000 hectares of irrigated agriculture to feed the current population.

In the Lower Mainland, there are approximately 28,000 irrigated hectares – comprising 13,000 in Metro Vancouver plus 15,000 in the eastern Fraser Valley. This compares with about 20,000 in the Okanagan Valley.

With careful planning, the irrigated area in the Lower Mainland could be increased to 69,000 hectares at buildout. From both the food security and resiliency perspectives, this underscores the strategic value of agricultural land in the Fraser Valley.

The Agriculture Water Forum is designed to bring together agriculture producers, government representatives and water professionals to explore opportunities to improve water management for agriculture in British Columbia’s rapidly growing metropolitan region.

Sharing & Learning

“We are convening for action,” states Ted van der Gulik, President of the Partnership for Water Sustainability. “First, the Forum is a first step towards enhancing region-wide understanding of government roles and the water regulatory framework for agriculture in this region. Secondly, the Forum will share information on how to reduce water demand Ted van der Gulik_2016_120pusing cost efficient on-farm irrigation tools.”

“Thirdly, and most importantly, the Forum represents an opportunity to start a conversation that will identify avenues to secure a water supply for agriculture that reduces reliance on high cost potable water from the Greater Vancouver Water District.”

Moving Towards Food Security

theresa-duynstee_metrovan_trimmed_120p“The Agriculture Water Forum starts a dialogue about the uncertainty of where agriculture will obtain water at a reasonable cost in the future, an important step if the amount of irrigated land needs to be expanded as a result of climate change. Agriculture’s ability to access to water is essential to ensuring the long term food security of this region,” continues Theresa Duynstee, Metro Vancouver Regional Planner and Forum organizer.

Ensuring Security of Water Supply

daryl-arnold_metro-van-aac-chair_2016_trimmed2_120p“The farming community needs a secure supply of water at a sustainable level of cost, quality and quantity to maintain the viability of actively farmed agriculture land in the Metro Vancouver region,” emphasizes Daryl Arnold, Chair, Metro Vancouver Agricultural Advisory Committee.

To Learn More:

Learn about government roles and the water regulatory framework for agriculture in the Lower Mainland region. Identify avenues to secure a water supply for agriculture.


DOWNLOAD: Agenda for the Agriculture Water Forum