UNDERSTANDING CLIMATE CHANGE: “If mitigation is about CARBON, then adaptation is about WATER”, stated the late John Slater, (former) Parliamentary Secretary for Water Supply and Allocation, when he spoke at the Okanagan Workshop on Managing Stormwater in a Changing Climate (October 2010)
Convening for Action in the Okanagan
Held in Kelowna in October 2010, the ‘From Rain to Resource: Managing Stormwater in a Changing Climate Workshop’ was co-hosted by the Okanagan Basin Water Board (OBWB) and the BC Water and Waste Association. Click on Final Program for topic and speaker details.
MLA John Slater, Parliamentary Secretary for Water Supply and Allocation in the provincial government, spoke to this theme: Integrating Rainwater Management: Tools and Policies.
A former Chair of the Okanagan Basin Water Board, John Slater’s responsibilities include Living Water Smart, British Columbia’s Water Plan and Water Act Modernization.
“Mitigation and adaptation are both necessary and complementary strategies to cope with the climate change challenge. If mitigation is about CARBON, then adaptation is about WATER,” stated John Slater.
“Designing with nature captures the essence of climate change adaptation. Adaptation is about responding to the changes that will inevitably occur. Adaptation is at the community level and is therefore about collaboration. Rainwater management is at the heart of designing with nature.”
In his remarks, John Slater told the story of how the Tim Horton’s restaurant in Osoyoos made ‘design with nature’ real when it showed what one can do on the ground, at the site level, to make a difference in achieving a bigger picture objective – protect Osoyoos Lake!
Designing with Nature at Tim Horton’s in Osoyoos
“In a few minutes from now, Ted van der Gulik will be talking about Beyond the Guidebook 2010; and later this morning you will be hearing from Kim Stephens. My story is about the Mayors & Chairs Focus Group that in 2006 provided the early inspiration that ultimately made Beyond the Guidebook 2010 possible and successful. At the time, I was Mayor of Osoyoos and Chair of the Okanagan Basin Water Board.
“On page 40 in Beyond the Guidebook 2010, you will find a Conversational Template. Kim Stephens used this as the basis for the interviews with the focus group. One of the questions was: ‘what does design with nature’ mean to you?’ Another question was what does a lighter hydrologic footprint mean to me. Look out the window, I replied. Then I pointed across the street to the new Tim Horton’s.
“No water that falls on the building or on the parking lot leaves the site, I said. Not only that, we have been systemically eliminating our storm sewer outfalls to Osoyoos Lake. By reducing our hydrologic footprint we are achieving higher levels of protection for the lake.
“And that is what Beyond the Guidebook 2010 is all about. It is the stories of the champions in local governments who are making a difference to prepare communities for climate change, chose to live water smart, and strive to build greener communities.”
To Learn More:
Watch the YouTube video of John Slater delivering his remark on the context for ‘designing with nature’ .