AT THE PENTICTON DROUGHT FORUM: Drought, Forest Fires and Floods Created a “Teachable Moment” for Climate Change Action (July 2004)
“The year 2003 was a memorable one in British Columbia history. Anything and everything that could happen did in fact happen: 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. The Province’s response to the 2003 drought encompassed a Drought Handbook and a $2M drought planning grant planning program. The rollout of both commenced at the Penticton Forum.,” stated Kim Stephens.
AT THE PENTICTON DROUGHT FORUM: “The vision for the waterbucket.ca website is to provide a resource rich ‘destination location’ for water sustainability in British Columbia,” stated Mike Tanner, Waterbucket Chair (July 2004)
“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. The waterbucket.ca will connect all six Action Plan Elements to provide the complete story on integrated water management – why, what, where and how – and is the key to the communication strategy for the Action Plan,” stated Mike Tanner.
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.
According to David Dyer, stormwater management is a high priority for the City of Prince George due to a combination of factors: the direction provided in the City’s new Officianl Community Plan; the seasonal nature of existing drainage problems; fisheries and polliution concerns related to environmental impact; and recreational aspects of ‘quality of life’.