ACHIEVING WATER BALANCE: “Building Resiliency in British Columbia / Thinking Outside the Pipe to Achieve a Balance between Supply and Demand” – overview of morning program for “Water OUT = Water IN” workshop that launched the Convening for Action in British Columbia initiative (April 2005)
NOTE TO READER:
The “Penticton Workshop” held as an adjunct to the BCWWA Annual Conference in April 2005 was the first regional event organized under the Convening for Action in British Columbia (CFA) umbrella, an element of the Water Sustainability Action Plan for British Columbia, released a year earlier in February 2004.
The workshop was titled “Demand Management Strategies – Achieving Water Balance” – A Workshop on Dealing with Uncertainty and Managing Risk.
This full-day technical transfer session connected the dots between water resource planning, climate variability and risk management; explored the tools and techniques available through demand-side management; and included a case study application to provide participants with ‘hands-on’ planning practice. The program was organized in two parts. Below, the elements of Part 1 are introduced.
PART 1 – Building Resiliency
The four building block presentations and the links to associated PowerPoint presentations are listed below. Also included are the synopses that informed participants ahead of time as to what they could expect in each presentation:
Workshop Overview: Setting the Scene to Achieve Water Balance
The old approach of “super-sizing” has proven expensive and is no longer sustainable. The workshop will connect the dots between water resource planning, climate variability and risk management to provide an understanding of how Demand-Side Management (DSM) tools and techniques achieve a balance between supply and demand. Presentation by Kim Stephens, Program Coordinator, Water Sustainability Action Plan for British Columbia.
To Learn More:
Download Kim’s presentation: Workshop Overview: Setting the Scene to Achieve Water Balance
Building Resiliency through a Water Management Continuum
Having options for managing water supplies and services within realistic financial and resource boundaries forms the water management continuum: from supply-side, through demand-side to the soft path. Moving beyond simply doing the same with less water, the ‘soft path’ seeks to build resiliency. This presentation provided context for being innovative – by learning from the early DSM adopters. Presentation by Oliver Brandes, The POLIS Project at the University of Victoria.
To Learn More:
Download Oliver’s presentation: Building Resiliency through a Water Management Continuum
Dealing with Uncertainty and Managing Risk: It Starts with an Understanding of Variables
Total water resources are physically bounded within variable limits. Understanding how engineering analyses and assumptions deal with uncertainty and risk through their various interpretations of climate, climate variability, demand growth scenarios, and the physical and economic limits to system expansion were explored as part of building resiliency. Presentation by Ron Smith, Water Allocation Specialist, Ministry of Sustainable Resource Management.
To Learn More:
Download Ron’s presentation: Dealing with Uncertainty and Managing Risk: It Starts with an Understanding of Variables
Reconciliation of Long-Term Visions with Short-Term Realities: Planning to Live Within Limits
The solutions to short-term risks are long-term: it is a continuum. This presentation will explain why commitment to the long-term is so important; and will elaborate on the differences in approaches between short-term and long-term visions. Tools and techniques to ‘get from here to there’ were illustrated and explored through engaging the audience. Presentation by Robert Hicks, Senior Engineer, Greater Vancouver Regional District
A key message in this presentation revolved around the importance of language (i.e. “lingo”) in communicating with decision-makers, and how messages can easily be lost in translation when language is not used effectively. A second key message related to a retirement planning way-of-thinking and the conundrom whereby people have no difficulty reconciling personal long-term and short-term decisions, yet are challenged when it comes to reconciling short-term political versus long-term community planning decisions.
To Learn More:
Download Robert’s presentation: Reconciliation of Long-Term Visions with Short-Term Realities: Planning to Live Within Limits
Panel Session on Sharing Demand Management Success Stories
Development of the Water $ave Tool Kit for BC included a survey of 200 regional districts, municipalities and water districts. The survey provided the starting point for identifying success stories and lessons learned. These are now available on the Water Use & Conservation Community-of-Interest on waterbucket.ca website.
Moderated by Wenda Mason of LWBC, the Presentation Panel comprised representatives from four communities. The panelists highlighted what is being accomplished on-the-ground throughout British Columbia.
City of Vernon Reclaimed Water Irrigation Program
In response to environmental issues in the 1970s, the City made the decision to implement land-based disposal of treated effluent. The current focus is on beneficial re-use of reclaimed water. Presentation by Dale Danallanko Manager, Environmental Services Section.
To download Dale’s presentation: click here.
District of West Vancouver Case Study
The objective is to reduce reliance on the regional water supply. The comprehensive strategy includes implementation of a $6.5 million universal metering program in combination with education and related initiatives to reduce water use and hence water supply costs. Presentation by Ray Fung, Manager of Utilities, District of West Vancouver.
To view Ray’s presentation, click here.
Okanagan Valley Issues and Opportunities
The presentation provided a broad-brush picture of the Okanagan water supply situation and highlighted the opportunities for demand-management to achieve a water balance. Presentation by Bob Hrasko, Black Mountain Irrigation District.
To view Bob’s presentation, click here.
Shuswap Case Study
The focus of the presentation was on a bottom-up community initiative to change water use behaviour. Presentation by Eugene Lalonde.
From left to right: Bob Hrasko, Eugene Lalonde, Dale Danallanko and Ray Fung
Click on the image to download a PDF copy of the program details: