Water is a Form-Maker: Three bold ideas for building water-resilient communities explored at FLOWnGROW Workshop

Note to Reader:

On November 29, 2016 the Partnership for Water Sustainability in British Columbia (PWSBC) and the Irrigation Industry Association of British Columbia (IIABC) joined forces to co-host a workshop that built on the precedent established in 2013 with “Get Your Mind Into the Gutter: A Workshop on Rainwater Harvesting in British Columbia”.

This year the workshop addressed both immediate and long term water security issues in the Okanagan Valley. For this reason, the Okanagan Basin Water Board was also a co-host. The Real Estate Foundation of British Columbia was a workshop sponsor and Bob McDonald, host of Quirks & Quarks on CBC Radio was the headline keynote speaker.

PROGRAM OVERVIEW: Download Flow and Grow! – Balancing Economy, Ecology and Settlement in the Okanagan


Science-based Understanding + Inter-generational Commitment = Water-Resilient Communities

“Water is a form-maker. It defines communities. Also, water-centric decisions ripple through time,” states Kim Stephens, Executive Director, Partnership for Water Sustainability in British Columbia.

kim-stephens_dec2015_dsc_0556_120p“Choices made today will determine what the future looks like. Over time, will our decisions result in cumulative benefits or cumulative impacts?”

“To help communities make informed choices that would create a desirable future, the Partnership for Water Sustainability in BC is dedicated to mainstreaming bold ideas in a pragmatic way.”

“Through an approach that is inclusive, we draw attention to leading thinkers and to ideas that would transform how communities tackle critical issues.”


Economy, Ecology and Settlement in Balance

Ted van der Gulik_DSC_0585_Sep2015_120p“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,” continues Ted van der Gulik, Partnership President.

“The reason for this applicability is that the workshop focus was on the impacts of climate change and the need to plan now for a water sustainable future.”

To Learn More:

Visit the homepage for the FLOWnGROW workshop to read a a comprehensive set of articles:



Three Bold Ideas

The FLOWnGROW workshop was the fourth in a series of annual events. The theme for each is a bold idea. For those participating in the series, it has been a building blocks process.

4_Eric Bonham_120p“The program for FLOWnGROW showcased three “bold ideas” – Whole Systems Approach, Blue Ecology and Cathedral Thinking,” says Eric Bonham, team leader for Module A, titled Spirit & Science – An Inclusive Journey.

“With the program structured as four cascading modules, these ideas were the threads that linked the storyline from start to finish.”


“The FLOWnGROW program has the real potential of influencing how we address water sustainability issues in BC going forward.”

“The themes, Whole Systems Approach, reflecting integration through inclusion, Blue Ecology, the interweaving of First Nations and Western Thought and Cathedral Thinking, the foresight and planning for future generations, set the context for the day.”

“The purpose of the workshop was to explore ideas that have universal value and broad application as we travel the road towards genuine long-term water sustainability.”

“I closed the workshop with the quotation (below) from Stephen Hawking, theoretical physicist, cosmologist and author.”

To Learn More:

Visit CALL TO ACTION AT FLOWnGROW WORKSHOP: Science-based Understanding + Inter-generational Commitment = Water-Resilient Communities 

Visit FLOWnGROW WORKSHOP: “The challenge of climate change now demands a level of collaboration and commitment heretofore unseen,” states Eric Bonham in his reflections on the most important take-aways

Watch the 3-minute video of Eric Bonham. It is posted on YouTube: