As Climate Change Challenges Local Water Resources, New Guide Advocates the ‘Soft Path’ to Water Security
“New approaches for water security are needed right now,” says Dr. David Brooks. “You could learn to live without oil, and we should, but you will not survive without fresh water. Climate chaos will force us to re-think how we manage our voracious demand for energy and water. We offer the Soft Path as a way to do that—a way that respects the environment and leads to social prosperity.”
POLIS Project on Ecological Governance has released At a Watershed: Ecological Governance and Sustainable Water Management in Canada
“This report builds on the strength of the action plans laid out in previous reports. At a Watershed goes beyond the urban environment, addressing specific issues of governance. This final instalment creates the holistic solution for long-term water sustainability in Canada,” states Oliver Brandes.
“The Quesnel workshop provided a timely opportunity to test the relevance of the ‘water balance messaging’ in a Smalltown BC context. The discussion confirmed that small communities recognize the need for changes in land development practices,” reported Kim Stephens.
In 2004, CMHC partnered with local governments in British Columbia to deliver pilot workshops on “Sustainable Planning and Development for Small Communities”
“The workshop is designed specifically for municipal decision makers — people responsible for community planning and development. The workshop lays a solid conceptual foundation,” states Lance Jacubec.
“The year 2003 was a memorable one in British Columbia history: drought, forest fires and floods. They provided the backdrop and the context for the Province convening an event in July 2004 that was branded as the Penticton Drought Forum,” stated Kim Stephens. “The Province’s response to the 2003 drought encompassed a Drought Handbook and a $2M drought planning grant planning program.”
“Integrated water management involves consideration of land, water, air and living organisms – including humans – as well as the interactions among them. Through partnerships, the Water Sustainability Action Plan is promoting the watershed as a fundamental planning unit,” stated Mike Tanner. “The vision for the waterbucket.ca website is to provide a resource rich, highly interactive ‘destination location’ website.”
Province and BCWWA Committee jointly develop “Water Sustainability Action Plan for British Columbia”
“The drought, forest fires and floods that British Columbia experienced in 2003 have created a teachable moment for change in the way we view water in this province. Capitalizing on this opportunity, the purpose of the Water Sustainability Action Plan for British Columbia is to promote and facilitate sustainable approaches to water use and water resource management,” states Ray Fung.
“The relationship between the Water Sustainability Action Plan and the Water Save Tool Kit is cascading—the Action Plan will provide a strategic framework, while the Tool Kit will offer a range of on-the-ground measures and approaches that will enable individuals and communities to achieve water conservation and water-use efficiency objectives,” explained Lynn Kriwoken.
The Province and Water Sustainability Committee co-organized a focus group workshop that was held in the Okanagan. “The approach in developing the Water Sustainability Action Plan is grounded. Our vision is that the products resulting from the Action Plan will represent a continuum…with policy at one end, and pragmatic applications / tools at the other end,” explained Kim Stephens.
Prince George Workshop provided venue for rollout of Stormwater Planning Guidebook and pre-launch of Water Balance Model in 2003
“The premise underpinning the Guidebook was that land development and watershed protection can be compatible. The basis for this premise was that municipalities exert control over runoff volume through their land development and infrastructure policies, practices and actions,” stated Laura Maclean.