2005 Penticton Water OUT = Water IN Workshop

ACHIEVING WATER BALANCE: “Creating Our Future in British Columbia / Applying What You Have Learned to the Highlands Case Study” – overview of afternoon program for “Water OUT = Water IN” workshop that launched the Convening for Action in British Columbia initiative (April 2005)

“Our original concept was to create a hypothetical case study for the purposes of the Breakout Session. Then we realized that a real-life example would be more beneficial because it would considerably help participants to wrap their minds around the issues and potential solutions. The information could be exactly the same, but there is something visual about talking about a real community. Timing is everything, and the Highlands Case Study came to our attention at the right moment. As it turned out, the scale of the Highlands Case Study provided a perfect fit with the backgrounds of our audience,” stated Wenda Mason.

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ACHIEVING WATER BALANCE: “The District of Highlands is at a critical stage in its development and must clearly identify its future plan regarding density limits and land use planning goals,” stated Eric Bonham, Chair of the Highlands Stewardship Foundation, when he delivered a context presentation for a breakout session at the “Water OUT = Water IN” workshop that launched the Convening for Action in British Columbia initiative (April 2005)

“The District of Highlands, located on the edge of the Western Communities in the Capital Regional District (CRD), is subject to continuing development pressures northward from Langford. However, the community has its own vision, united as it is by landscape – rocky uplands and dense coastal forests. This shared terrain has shaped a building and road pattern with a small ‘footprint” on the land, along with a unique rural lifestyle. These values are clearly identified in the Official Community Plan,” explained Eric Bonham.

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ACHIEVING WATER BALANCE: “The key concerns between the water and energy industries are the same; and the issues are similar. One difference is that the energy industry tackled demand management much sooner than the water industry,” stated Dr. Bob Wilkinson, University of California, when he introduced the Water / Energy Nexus concept at the workshop that launched the Convening for Action in British Columbia initiative (April 2005)

“We get energy from water, and we use energy to supply, treat and use water. Water use involves significant energy inputs which must be considered,” stated Dr. Bob Wilkinson. In 2002, the BC Water Sustainability Committee foreshadowed rainwater harvesting in British Columbia. Within three years later, “rainwater harvesting” had become part of the language. Similarly, in 2005 the Water Sustainability Action Plan introduced the “water/energy nexus” at the “Water OUT = Water IN” workshop in anticipation that it too would be part of the language of practitioners within a couple of years.

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FLASHBACK TO 2005: “Water OUT = Water IN”: New Paradigms to Achieve More Sustainable and Resilient Outcomes

“It is hard to imagine this work happened only 10 years ago. We know, however, both the website and the Convening for Action programs are successes – since the themes around water-centric planning and ‘design with nature’ have become part of the fabric of common understanding and basic foundation of how things need to get done in a region when talking about water,” stated Oliver Brandes. “These initiatives have been crucial to the infiltration of this new paradigm of practice and understanding. Well done and congratulations to all the hard working souls that have helped this become so.”

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2005 Penticton Workshop introduces “Water OUT = Water IN”

“In British Columbia, school children learn about the hydrologic cycle in Grade Five. By high school they have forgotten about it. There is a parallel pattern in engineering education. The concept is re-taught in first year hydrology and then forgotten after graduation. These observations have provided an impetus for the BC Water Sustainability Committee to champion OUT = IN as the way to re-focus water supply planners,” stated Kim Stephens.

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