AT THE PENTICTON DROUGHT FORUM: “The severe drought of 2003 in British Columbia is evidence that the historical approach of supply management for water resources is not sufficient,” stated Jim Mattison, Executive Director, Land and Water British Columbia (July 2004)
Note to Reader:
In 2003, British Columbia experienced one “teachable moment” after another, highlighted by the Okanagan forest fires that resulted in mass evacuations and widespread destruction in the City of Kelowna and surrounding areas. The impact of this “teachable year” was to set in motion a series of outcomes that have rippled through time.
First came the Water Sustainability Action Plan, released in February 2004. Then came release of British Columbia’s Drought Response Plan in June 2004. This was followed by the Provincial Drought Forum held in July 2004 in Penticton. Land and Water British Columbia Inc. (LWBC), a Crown Corporation formed in 2002, was the lead provincial agency for the latter two.
2004 Penticton Drought Forum
Organized by LWBC, the Penticton Drought Forum was co-hosted by two cabinet ministers – George Abbott, Minister of Sustainable Resource Management (MSRM); and Bill Barisoff, Ministry of Water, Land and Air Protection (WALP). A third cabinet minister, John van Dongen (Agriculture, Food and Fisheries) also participated. The involvement of three cabinet ministers underscored the provincial profile of this event. George Abbot was the minister responsible for LWBC.
“The severe drought of 2003 in British Columbia is evidence that the historical approach of supply management for water resources is not sufficient. To address this issue the Deputy Ministers’ Committee on Drought was formed in August 2003, followed by the creation of a Drought Management Action Plan. One important component of the Action Plan is the development of the document, Dealing with Drought: A Handbook for Water Suppliers in British Columbia,” stated Jim Mattison, LWBC Executive Director, at the Penticton Drought Forum in 2004.
In September 2004, LWBC rolled out a series of six workshops at locations across BC to provide an overview of drought science, planning, and management, and how to develop an overall drought management plan and other specific plans to prepare communities for dealing with drought.
To Learn More:
Download a copy of the agenda for the Water Use & Conservation Forum.
Download a copy of the Drought Management Update – Open Meeting of the BC Cabinet, May 2004
Download a copy of the news release, agenda and timeline for the 2004 Dealing with Drought Workshops.
Download a copy of Water Sustainability Action Plan – An Overview (2005)
Source: Open Meeting of the BC Provincial Cabinet on May 31, 2004
Data Source: Water Save Toolkit