Dialogue in Nanaimo: Ted van der Gulik explains why the Ministry of Agriculture & Lands is leading the Water Balance Model initiative
The Dialogue in Nanaimo
In June 2010, Leadership BC – Central Vancouver Island and the Vancouver Island Economic Alliance (VIEA) initiated a community dialogue about Fresh Water Sustainability. Hosted by Vancouver Island University, and sponsored by BC Hydro, the event was held in Nanaimo.
The event featured a 7-person Water Panel that included Ted van der Gulik (Chair of the Water Balance Model Inter-Governmental Partnership), Chris Wood (journalist and author of Dry Spring), and Kim Stephens (Water Sustainability Action Plan).
About the Water Balance Model
In response to a question from the audience about engineering standards, Ted van der Gulik elaborated on why he, representing the Ministry of Agriculture & Lands, is the Province’s lead person for the Water Balance Model initiative.
“We need to change the way the engineering community looks at stormwater,” responded Ted van der Gulik. “I am the Chair of the Water Balance Model and I work in agriculture. People always ask me: Why are you Chair of the Water Balance Model?”, he continued.
“The reason is this…we don’t like putting houses in floodplains. So we develop in the uplands. (But) we don’t apply good stormwater management practices. And where does the water end up? It ends up in the lowlands; it ends up on the agricultural lands.”
“Farmers are saying it is not the big storms (that cause them problems). The big storms come and go. It is all the little storms and all that water that comes down is just enough that the farmers cannot get on their lands and plant or harvest their crops.”
“(Development in the uplands) is affecting the way we are trying to manage agriculture. So we need to change the way we are doing things in the uplands. It is about replenishing the groundwater.”
Link to YouTube Video
To view Ted’s remarks in their entirety, click on Changing the Way We Develop Land, and view a video clip that is less than 2-minutes in length.
To Learn More:
To read the complete set of stories posted on the Convening for Action Community-of-Interest about the Dialogue in Nanaimo. click here.
Posted December 2010