“In 2004, in the second year of implementation of the Water Sustainability Action Plan, significant progress was made on each of the six key elements,” reported Ray Fung. “The Action Plan is comprehensive in scope and provides an umbrella for grassroots initiatives that are informing Provincial policy through shared responsibility.”
Water Sustainability Action Plan for British Columbia
Inter-Association Collaboration: Convening for Action Launched at ‘Okanagan Conference’ Organized By CWRA in 2005
“The Kelowna conference was an important first step in focusing stakeholder attention on the decisions that need to be made now if we are to move towards sustainable water management in BC. Inter-association collaboration is an essential ingredient if collectively we are to create the province-wide momentum that will result in substantive change related to water management and use,” stated Don Degen.
“Our focus is on education as the means for shifting practice in BC to address water use as an integral part of land use. We place emphasis on practitioner education. An integral part of the process is to create a picture of what the future landscape can look like. If we agree on where we wish to be in one or two generations, then we can map out the route to get there.” states Kim Stephens.
“The Water Sustainability Committee believes it is simply not good enough to focus only on defining the problems or debating the perspectives (the ‘so what’). Rather, the objective of the Action Plan is to challenge individuals and organizations to demonstrate how we can move from talk to action (the ‘now what’),” stated Erik Karlsen
Thinking Outside the Pipe: 2005 Rainwater Harvesting Workshop Series resonates with British Columbians
“Drawing on the experience of two international experts, workshops held in Vancouver and Victoria connected the dots between WHY harvest rainwater and HOW to cost-effectively implement rainwater collection, storage, treatment and delivery systems,” wrote Colwyn Sunderland.
Organized by the Canadian Water Resources Association, the Conference was the kick-off for an education process designed to broaden province-wide support for this shared vision: In a fully integrated landscape, water is the unifying element. “To move toward sustainable water management in the Okanagan Basin requires difficult decisions now that will include new governance models that consider the basin as a whole,” stated Brian Guy.
The 2005 Environment Conference organized by the Union of British Columbia Municipalities explored the development and implementation of an integrated environmental management process through the building of effective partnerships. Richard Boase explained how the Water Balance Model enables users to compare scenarios for rainwater runoff volume reduction in order to achieve a light ‘hydrologic footprint’.
In March 2005 the Douglas College Institute of Urban Ecology in New Westminster, BC hosted a conference on how to keep rainwater out of the pipes and get it back into the ground. Don Moore was the driving force in organizing the event. He was responsible for constructing the first ‘engineered rain garden’ in British Columbia.
The Green Infrastructure Partnership informed REAC regarding the Convening for Action process and invited member municipalities to participate in a Consultation Workshop hosted by the City of Surrey in May 2005. “Achieving higher levels of ecological systems protection and overall environmental well-being is being successfully pursued through changes to existing land use regulations, design guidelines and construction standards”, stated Paul Ham.
The BC Ministry of Environment and the federal Department of Fisheries and Oceans held two workshops in 2005 to increase awareness of Species at Risk issues. Kim Stephens was a featured speaker at both events. His presentations were titled “Green Infrastructure & the Water Balance Model: A Tool for Designing with Nature”.