OP-ED ARTICLE: More irrigation is key to food security in B.C. (published in the Vancouver Sun in November 2017)

Note to Reader:

On November 18, 2017 the Vancouver Sun newspaper published an opinion piece co-authored by Kim Stephens, Ted van der Gulik and Fin Donnelly. The article foreshadowed aspects of what would be addressed at the Blue Ecology Workshop on November 28, 2017.

The article weaved three themes and two perspectives (environmental and agricultural) into a seamless storyline: watershed health, climate change and food security.

Ted van der Gulik is president and Kim Stephens is executive director of Partnership for Water Sustainability in B.C. Fin Donnelly is the member of Parliament representing Port Moody-Coquitlam and is founder of the Rivershed Society of B.C.

The Fraser River, Climate Change and Food Security

“Home to two-thirds of British Columbians, the mighty Fraser River is the lifeblood of a vast watershed that stretches from the Rockies to the Pacific.  The lower Fraser Valley, one of the most productive agricultural regions in Canada, is vital to BC’s long-term food security,” stated the co-authors in their opening paragraph.

“No longer is climate change a future scenario. It is here. At the mouth of the Fraser, the consequences of summer droughts and rising sea levels combine to impact river water quality while at the same time increasing the need for irrigation water.

“The critical issue, or impact, is the salt wedge and the shrinking window of opportunity for pumping fresh water from the Fraser River. This is a double whammy for agriculture.”


To read the entire Op-Ed, click on Opinion: Increase irrigated land area to attain food security in B.C. to download a PDF copy of the online version.

Scenic view of the Heart of the Fraser River. (Photo Credit: Graham Osborne / PNG)