ACHIEVING WATER BALANCE: Program Structure & Key Messages for a Convening for Action Workshop on Dealing with Uncertainty and Managing Risk in Water Supply Management – “The old approach of ‘super-sizing’ has proven expensive and is no longer sustainable,” stated Ray Fung, Chair of the BC Water Sustainability Committee (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 to demonstrate how to achieve a water balance without relying on new sources and infrastructure.
Convening for Action – Context
“The old approach of ‘super-sizing’ has proven expensive and is no longer sustainable. The workshop connected the dots between water resource planning, climate variability and risk management to provide an understanding of how Demand Management tools and techniques can achieve a balance between supply and demand,” stated Ray Fung, Chair of the BC Water Sustainability Committee (the forerunner of the Partnership for Water Sustainability not-for-profit legal entity incorporated in 2010).
“Traditionally water supply and demand has been balanced by diverting and developing new sources and consequent expansion of water supply, treatment and distribution infrastructure. Supply-side management has proven expensive and unsustainable both for our economy and this environment.”
“This technical transfer session explored the tools and techniques available through demand-side management to achieve a water balance without relying on new sources and infrastructure. It included a case study application to provide participants with hands-on planning practice.”
How the Penticton Workshop was Structured
The workshop was organized in two parts and the presentations were cascading in order to elaborate on the OUT = IN theme.
In the morning session the focus was on concepts and success stories related to Building Resiliency. This provided participants with a mind-map for the afternoon session when they were asked to apply what they had learned in Creating Your Future. Through the course of the day, the program built to the District of Highlands Case Study.
A working lunch provided the transition from the morning to the afternoon sessions. A lunchtime presentation by the Province’s Ted van der Gulik on emerging tools for making more effective use of water included an online demonstration of the Landscape Irrigation Scheduling The calculator was developed by the Irrigation Industry Association of BC.
To Learn More:
Download a copy of the workshop program: “Demand Management Strategies – Achieving Water Balance” – A Workshop on Dealing with Uncertainty and Managing Risk. Comprehensive in scope, the program identified what participants would learn from each program segment.
Then read a report about the event: Report on Water OUT = Water IN Workshop.
Part 1 – Building Resiliency
The objective in the morning session was to set an upbeat tone and create a learning environment. The key message that linked four building block presentations was this:
When both sides of the OUT = IN equation are variable, think outside the pipe to achieve a balance between supply and demand.
The morning session concluded with a Panel Session that featured four success stories. This provided the audience with a sense of what is being accomplished on-the-ground in different parts of the province.
Part 2 – Creating Your Future
In the afternoon session, the objective was to provide a reality check while at the same time inspiring participants to make a difference in their day jobs. The key message that defined the audience participation portion of the program was this:
When planning for the future, the challenge lies in reconciling long-term visions with short-term realities.
The takeaway part of the program was the District Highlands Case Study. This represented the merging of theory and practice. There was no right or wrong solution. Rather, the Highlands circumstances could apply anywhere.