“The water resources of the Okanagan Basin are a limited resource that is already heavily allocated to present uses. To move toward sustainable water management in the Okanagan Basin requires difficult decisions now that will include reducing demand to new governance models that consider the basin as a whole, and to more pro-active management,” stated Brian Guy.
“The Water Sustainability Committee of the British Columbia Water & Waste Association (BCWWA) provided the core content for Day Three. his positioning fitted well with our convening for action mantra: What / So What / Now What. Our team of Oliver Brandes, Lynn Kriwoken and Kim Stephens provided the Now What part of the program,” reports Ray Fung.
“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.
“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’.”
“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.
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.