FLASHBACK TO 1997: “Looking back, British Columbia’s Fish Protection Act was both a defining moment and a call to action. The consultation process led directly to the SmartStorm Forum Series. Guided by a vision for an ecosystem-based approach to land and water development, the series set in motion a chain of events. Their outcomes reverberated and have rippled through time,” stated Kim Stephens, Partnership for Water Sustainability (1st in a series / January 2021)

“I recall quite clearly that Erik Karlsen and Peter Law were sitting to our right as Bill Derry and I spoke impromptu to the ‘fish pictures’. It caught my attention how animated they were as they kept turning to each other during Bill and my presentation. When we finished, Erik was the first to speak. ‘At last,’ he said, ‘we have the science that explains the relationship between changes in land use and the consequences for stream health’. Little did I realize in the moment that my life was about to change. Nor did I realize how profoundly Erik Karlsen would influence my career direction,” recalled Kim Stephens.

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FLASHBACK TO 2010: “Increased development and increased storm intensity from climate change are increasing peak flows and altering the rules of the game,” stated Anna Warwick Sears, Executive Director of the Okanagan Basin Water Board, when she described why the FROM RAIN TO RESOURCE WORKSHOP was a call to action (Kelowna, November 2010)

“We spent the last half a century trying to control runoff with dikes, storm sewers, curbs and gutters. We can’t engineer away our problems fast enough, and have to look at other, lower impact solutions. The Okanagan is particularly vulnerable to the impacts of unmanaged stormwater and rainwater because all surface water flows into the lake system that runs along the bottom of the valley. This workshop highlighted the importance of rainwater management to climate change adaptation and showcased examples from other areas that could be applied to the Okanagan,” stated Anna Warwick Sears.

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