Vancouver Island Coordinating Team welcomes First Nations representation
The Vancouver Island landscape is being transformed by settlement and economic growth. Growth areas are experiencing avoidable environmental impacts due to pressures on land and water resources. Yet there is hope. Through implementation of green infrastructure standards and practices, cumulative benefits are achievable, one property at a time. At the heart of green infrastructure is rainwater management.
The inter-agency Vancouver Island Coordinating Team (VICT) was formed in 2006 to advance the state-of-the-practice in rainwater management on Vancouver Island. VICT has provincial, federal, local government and now First Nations representation. VICT is promoting use of the Water Balance Model for British Columbia to facilitate a consistent, science-based approach to rainwater management.
First Nations Perspective
Michael McCarthy provides the First Nations perspective on the VICT steering committee. According to Jay Bradley, “As Chair of the Vancouver Island Coordinating Team for the Water Balance Model, I am excited to have Michael McCarthy as the newest member of our team.”
Michael McCarthy is island born and raised and now works for the Esquimalt First Nation. He is also on the Treaty committee for Ucluelet First Nation, which is part of the Maa-nulth Treaty Group.
“Besides bringing to the Team a compatible vision of water sustainability for Vancouver Island's future, Michael will provide a much-needed First Nations' perspective for this initiative,” observes Jay Bradley, “Through him VICT hopes to strengthen connections and facilitate dialogue with First Nations' communities on Vancouver Island.”
Michael McCarthy notes, “Changing practices towards water sustainability happens from the ground up, and we have many opportunities to work with First Nations to realise this goal.” Jay Bradley adds, “Outreach to and collaboration with First Nations' communities is recognized as a fundamental step. VICT aims to seek change on the ground by working with decision-makers and First Nations are an essential component.”
Both McCarthy and Bradley concur that “there is much work to be done!”
Convening for Action on Vancouver Island
VICT is part of the Convening for Action on Vancouver Island (CAVI) roundtable, and also represents Vancouver Island on the Inter-Governmental Partnership that developed the Water Balance Model. VICT is co-chaired by Jay Bradley (Ministry of Agriculture & Lands) and Chris Jensen (Ministry of Community Services). For more on CAVI, please click here.
In June 2007, CAVI held the Creating Our Future Workshop. The event attracted elected officials and senior managers from 19 local governments; and a balanced mix of representatives from provincial ministries, First Nations, the private sector, the real estate industry, and academia. For a story about the First Nations participation that set the stage for Michael McCarthy being invited to join the VICT steering committee, please click here.
What is Green Infrastructure?
Green infrastructure is associated with how water is used and how water use impacts on the sustainability of water supply.
Green infrastructure is also associated with the management of water that runs off the land and how water runoff impacts on the sustainability of both terrestrial and aquatic habitat and resources.
What is Rainwater Management?
In British Columbia, the technical vocabulary of drainage practitioners is in transition as the single function view of traditional 'stormwater management' gives way to the integrated and comprehensive perspective that is captured by the term 'rainwater management'.
Stormwater suggests there is a problem, whereas rainwater is a resource. The evolution to an integrated approach over the past two decades is summarized in the graphic below.
Posted July 2007