Cowichan Valley Regional District is the sixth Vancouver Island local government to join Water Balance Model community
Inter-Governmental Partnership welcomes Cowichan Valley Regional District
Abbotsford – The BC Inter-Governmental Partnership (BCIGP) is pleased to welcome the Cowichan Valley Regional District (CVRD) to the Water Balance Model community. Other Vancouver Island members comprise the City of Courtenay, Town of Comox, District of Highlands, District of Central Saanich, and District of Metchosin.
The Inter-Governmental Partnership comprises three BC Ministries (Agriculture & Lands, Community & Rural Development, and Environment), numerous local governments in four regions of BC, and three federal agencies. In addition, the Real Estate Foundation of British Columbia has been a major funder and collaborator.
The BCIGP has an Inter-Provincial Partnership with the Alberta Low Impact Development Partnership.
2008 Cowichan Valley Water Balance Model Forum
In October 2008, the CVRD hosted the Cowichan Valley Water Balance Model Forum in collaboration with the BCIGP. This set the stage for the CVRD becoming a member of the BCIGP.
“The Forum was an outcome of the Cowichan Valley Learning Lunch Seminar Series,” explains Kate Miller, Manager of Regional Environmental Policy. “We described the Forum as a hybrid-training workshop because the day was built around case study applications of the Water Balance Model. These provided the technical foundation for roundtable sharing, exploration and cross-fertilization of ideas on how to implement green infrastructure effectively.”
Building a Regional Team Approach
“The Learning Lunch Series was the first step in building a regional team approach so that there would be a common understanding and consistent messaging regarding on-the-ground expectations for rainwater management and green infrastructure in the Cowichan Valley. Signing on as a Water Balance Model partner is the latest step in an unfolding process.”
“The Water Balance Model can be used early in the development planning process to help inform decision-making. It will help guide choices by enabling an evaluation of land use options that maintain the water balance.”
A Message from the Regional District Chair
“The Cowichan Valley Regional District is pleased to partner with the province and other local governments to bring the Water Balance Model tool to citizens of the Cowichan Valley,” states Gerry Giles, Chair of the Cowichan Valley Regional District.”
“The CVRD Board and Staff see our participation in this inter-governmental partnership as an excellent opportunity to advance the ‘design with nature’ vision, goals and objectives of the Water Balance Model initiative throughout our region.”
“The model is a tool that will help us integrate sound environmental, engineering and land use practices so that we act in a sustainable manner for our community. Partnering with the province and other local governments provides the innovation and support necessary to enrich the social, environmental and economic wellbeing of our neighbourhoods and our community.”
About the Cowichan Valley:
Nestled between the bustling cities of Victoria to the South and Nanaimo to the North, the Cowichan Valley is made up of the District of North Cowichan and a number of small communities, each with its distinct character and unique activities: Ladysmith, North Oyster, Saltair, Chemainus, Duncan, Lake Cowichan, Youbou, Honeymoon Bay, Mesachie Lake, Glenora, Cowichan Bay, Mill Bay, Shawnigan Lake and Cobble Hill.
Fertile valleys, rolling mountains, undulating rivers and pristine lakes come together to form the backdrop of the Cowichan. Click here to learn more.
Doing Business Differently in BC
“We believe that the expanding membership of the BCIGP reflects the groundswell of support among local governments for doing business differently….so that together we can achieve the Living Water Smart vision for creating liveable communities and protecting stream health,” states Ted van der Gulik, BCIGP Chair (and Senior Engineer with the BC Ministry of Agriculture & Lands).
“LIving Water Smart is complemented by the Green Communities Initiative. In fact, the two must be viewed as an integrated package. Living Water Smart presents the vision, and the Green Communities Initiative provides the enabling tools to achieve the vision. Together they represent a call to action. The Water Balance Model is one of the tools that underpins both.”
“The Cowichan Valley has been an incubator for proving out ideas and approaches for building practitioner capacity to implement green infrastructure.”
Call to Action
To learn more about these two provincial programs, click on British Columbia’s Call to Action: Living Water Smart & Green Communities Initiative – an integrated package.
To learn why the Cowichan Valley is described as an ‘incubator’, click on Convening for Action on Vancouver Island: Team-building north of the Malahat.