GETTING AHEAD OF THE WAVE: Seminar #3 in Comox Valley Learning Lunch Series featured the Comox Valley Regional Water Strategy—context provided in a set of stories posted on waterbucket.ca
During the July – September 2009 period, a series of seven stories published on the Convening for Action community-of-interest on the Waterbucket website progressively foreshadowed and/or elaborated on the curriculum for the 2009 Comox Valley Learning Lunch Seminar Series.
The seven stories addressed a range of water-centric planning issues and perspectives, including the requirement for a Regional Water Strategy for the Comox Valley.
Regional Water Strategy
A Regional Perspective on Water Supply in the Comox Valley was the fourth story in the “curriculum preview series”. The online Story #4 extracted highlights from a report-style document in order to:
- summarize the scope of the provincial requirement for development of a regional water strategy
- introduce the concept of a ‘teachable moment’ and what it means for water-centric planning
- introduce the Water OUT = Water IN equation as the underpinning of An Integrated Watershed Approach to Settlement
Story #4 was of necessity succinct. Subsequently, a number of other stories were posted at various locations on the waterbucket.ca website. These complementary stories elaborate on specific aspects of the “regional water storyline”.
Comox Lake Watershed Assessment
Because Comox Lake is an unprotected watershed, the Comox Lake Watershed Assessment was initiated in 2006 to address public health concerns. This was the first watershed assessment to be completed in British Columbia in accordance with the then-new drinking water source to tap guidelines.
“In 2006, continued urbanization within the valley coupled with competing land uses and recreational interests within the watershed highlighted the need for co-operative actions aimed at managing watershed uses ….. to ensure water quality is preserved,” states Michael Zbarsky, Engineering Analyst with the Comox Valley Regional District (CVRD).
“The Watershed Assessment identified actions to mitigate high level risks or threats to the current and future quality of the water. The CVRD is currently proceeding with engineering studies that build on the technical foundation provided by that body of work.”
To Learn More:
Download a copy of the presentation by Mike Zbarsky: Comox Valley Regional Water Supply Strategy: How it will connect to the landscape
The Complementary Stories
- Water-Centric Planning COI: Drought creates a ‘teachable moment’ for water-centric planning and climate change adaptation in the Comox Valley
The extreme dry weather conditions experienced in 2009 have raised questions and concerns about the way we have been building our communities; and this has focused attention on how to balance settlement changes and ecology.
- Water-Centric Planning COI: Province mandates development of a Regional Water Supply Strategy for the Comox Valley
When the Comox Valley Regional District was established in February 2008, the provincial government required that it develop a comprehensive regional water supply strategy.
- Water-Centric Planning COI: Comox Lake Water System serves 60% of the population residing in the Comox Valley
In 2006, continued urbanization within the valley coupled with competing land uses and recreational interests within the watershed highlighted the need for co-operative actions aimed at managing watershed uses to ensure water quality is preserved.
- Water-Centric Planning COI: The Water Challenge in the Comox Valley: Balancing competing needs
From the water efficiency perspective, the challenge is to balance the need to save money while providing capacity for continued population growth; while also balancing technical and governance issues.
- Water Use & Conservation COI: Comox Valley Water Efficiency Plan sets regional target: 27% reduction in annual water use by 2014
Development activity and population growth is putting extreme pressure on regional water resources. A key message is that the Comox Valley needs to use less water for a number of reasons.
- Green Infrastructure COI: Integrated Planning: Alignment of Comox Valley Regional Water Strategy with Regional Growth Strategy
The Regional Growth Strategy is a tool that helps promote alignment of regional and municipal actions pursuant to an implementation plan for the Regional Water Supply Strategy.
- Water-Centric Planning COI: Living Water Smart commitments frame learning outcomes for Comox Valley Learning Lunch Program
Circumstances have provided the Comox Valley with the opportunity to embrace a ‘closed loop’ approach to water resource management. In short, this means water is water. This is a catalyst for doing business differently going forward.
Understanding the Water Challenge
To read the consolidated story about watershed protection, population-support capacity, infrastructure upgrading and implementation issues in the Comox Valley, click on A Regional Perspective on Water Supply in the Comox Valley to download an 8-page document in PDF format.