Convening for Action in British Columbia

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Convening for Action Partnerships are Turning Ideas into Action in B.C.

“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

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“Convening for Action in British Columbia” initiative: links to downloadable versions of PowerPoint presentations

“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.

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Water Balance Management in the Okanagan: Now What Do We Do?

“The paper suggests expanding the application of the Water Balance Model approach to all land uses in the Okanagan, and in particular agriculture. In the urban environment, the main focus is on the individual development site because what we do at the site scale can create opportunities for cumulative benefits over time,” explains Kim Stephens. “In applying the water balance philosophy to the Okanagan in its entirety, the proposed paradigm would be: ‘the Basin is the site’.”

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A New Water Management Paradigm: The Soft Path

“Water management can be viewed on a continuum (or spectrum) that includes three distinct approaches: supply-side, demand management, and the “soft path”. There is a growing awareness of the need to talk in these terms. Furthermore, this awareness is helping to focus attention on what practitioners can do to turn ideas into action,” says Oliver Brandes.

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Convening for Action Initiative Launched at Okanagan Conference on the Future for Water

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.

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Integrated Water Management: Building Effective Partnerships

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’.

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