BLUE ECOLOGY WORKSHOP: “The ‘new normal’ is a recurring pattern of floods, droughts and especially wildfires. Impacts of wildfires on watershed hydrology in the Fraser Basin will be far-reaching,” wrote Kim Stephens in a co-authored opinion piece published by the Vancouver Sun


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.

Fraser River needs help

“The Fraser drains one of the most diverse watersheds in North America – for example, its vast lands contain ten of BC’s fourteen biogeoclimatic zones.  Yet many of the Fraser’s 34 tributaries, or riversheds, have been damaged by human activity.

“That’s why a comprehensive approach to heal and protect this great river, that runs through half our province, is needed.”

“We need to apply Watershed CPR to begin the process of moving the land and water back to health.  A large-scale program to conserve, protect and restore the Fraser’s tributary riversheds would start with a change in attitude.

The Fraser River, Climate Change and Food Security

“An increase in sea levels combined with a drought flow on the Fraser River would allow ocean salt water to move farther up river in the future.

“What does this mean? Simply put, the water supply window for Richmond and Delta could be reduced from between 15 and 24 hours per day for normal river flows in 2017, to less than 3 hours per day in the foreseeable future – due to the combination of sea level rise and drought flows.”


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.