Metro Vancouver Agricultural Water Forum: Sharing and learning event is a first step in starting a region-wide conversation about water supply, a changing climate and food security
Strategic Value of Agricultural Land in the Lower Mainland
“Agriculture is a large fresh water user and the demand for water will only increase as summers get longer, hotter and drier,” stated Ted van der Gulik, President of the Partnership for Water Sustainability in BC, at the Metro Vancouver Agriculture Water Forum held in November 2016.
“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 hectares 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.”
“These statistics provided the context for the Metro Vancouver Agriculture Water Forum.”
Agricultural Water Forum Exceeded Expectations
“The Agriculture Water Forum has started 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,” reports continues Theresa Duynstee, Metro Vancouver Regional Planner and Forum organizer.
“Agriculture’s ability to access to water is essential to ensuring the long term food security of this region.”
“The forum was a high energy event and a great opportunity for sharing and learning. The surge in registrations in the final days clearly indicated a high level of interest in the forum themes.”
“I thought this was one of the better events I have attended, it was well run by the moderator and participating speakers and panel members were informative and interesting.”
“The Forum went exceedingly well. Excellent job Theresa and presenters.”
“A very good event, lots of interaction and opportunities for discussion.”
“I am writing to say a brief thank you to the organizers of yesterday’s event which I found to be extremely informative. I would be most interested in attending any similar future events should there be some thoughts about a workshop on a similar or related topic.”