GETTING AHEAD OF THE WAVE: Seminar #2 in Comox Valley Learning Lunch Series showcased inter-regional sharing and learning to advance a ‘design with nature’ framework for water sustainability

Note to Reader:

The second in the set of three seminars that comprise the 2009 Comox Valley Learning Lunch Series will elaborate on a Water OUT = Water IN framework for achieving water sustainability, coupled with a design with nature approach to climate change adaptation.

To preview the day, click on Draft Agenda for Seminar on “Regional Plans – Pathway to Water Sustainability”

“Hands across the Georgia Basin”

Marc rutten (120p) - comox valley rd“Lessons learned by the Regional District of Nanaimo and Metro Vancouver in undertaking bold water-centric planning initiatives will be shared so that participants can apply the universal principles,” states Marc Rutten, Senior Manager of Engineering Services with the host Comox Valley Regional District.

Cross-Fertilization of Experience

“The hour before lunch will have a regional district electoral area focus. The RDN has experience that is directly relevant to what the CVRD is endeavouring to accomplish via our Regional Water Supply Plan. John Finnie and Mike Donnelly will tell their story,” continues Marc Rutten.

“After lunch, Ed von Euw will elaborate on the facilitating role that Metro Vancouver has in fostering municipal alignment to implement regional plans. This will start the conversation that will flow into a Town Hall Sharing Session.”

“At the end of the day, a desired outcome is that participants will understand WHAT alignment of regional processes with local actions looks like on-the-ground: what all the plans will achieve.”

A Conversational Approach

“Right from the get-go we wish to create a ‘town hall’ atmosphere, starting with the seating arrangement. We will go light on presenting and heavy on conversational interaction,” emphasizes Kim Stephens, seminar moderator and Program Coordinator for the Water Sustainability Action Plan for British Columbia.

Kim stephens - 2009 (100p)“To encourage informality, our guests from Metro Vancouver and the RDN will rely on talking points rather than PowerPoint slides. We will be guided by a philosophy of ‘structured flexibility’ – which means we know what information we want to communicate AND what we want to get out of the session; and then we go with the flow when the light-bulb moments occur.”

Regional District of Nanaimo: Drinking Water & Watershed Protection Action Plan

“To bridge-in to the RDN segment of the Learning Lunch Seminar, Mike Donnelly and I will show our video titled Action for Water. This will provide context that will quickly set the scene for the Comox Valley audience,” states John Finnie, General Manager of Water & Wastewater Services with the RDN. He is also Chair of CAVI – Convening for Action on Vancouver Island.

“The significance of the RDN’s Action for Water is that we have established a provincial precedent by creating a drinking water and watershed protection service area with taxation authority in an electoral area.”

“When we tell our story, we will describe the genesis of the Action Plan and its holistic approach to land and water use. We will also reflect on the challenges in guiding the plan through the political and public processes.”

Action for Water Video

“The Action for Water video was a critical communication tool during the public consultation process leading up to the referendum in November 2008,” adds Mike Donnelly, Manager of Water Services with the RDN.

“A growing population combined with known negative impacts created the need to tackle issues of groundwater depletion, stream degradation, surface water contamination and the changes climate change will bring.”

“Land use planning and development standards cannot be effectively modified without a clear understanding of our water resources, where they are changing and why. These topics are covered in this short 12 minute video.”

Metro Vancouver: Integrated Liquid Waste & Resource Management Plan

“Metro Vancouver and Vancouver Island are learning from each other, and are moving in the same direction,” observes Ed von Euw, Senior Engineer in the Policy and Planning Division of Metro Vancouver. His responsibilities include leading development of Metro Vancouver’s updated Liquid Waste Management Plan.

Through the advisory Reference Panel process, Vancouver Island experience has Ed von euw (120p)informed and influenced elements of Metro Vancouver’s updated plan, in particular those actions that will advance a regional team approach. In its Final Report, the Reference Panel cited the Comox Valley Learning Lunch Seminar Series as an example that reinforces the approach to integration embraced by Metro Vancouver.”

Metro vancouver sustainability framework - cover (200p)“Metro Vancouver’s Liquid Waste (Resource) Management Plan is a regulatory tool that provides the means to translate the visionary Metro Vancouver Sustainability Framework into tangible actions on the ground. The Sustainability Framework is a document that communicates where Metro Vancouver intends to go. Since 2002, Metro Vancouver has formally put sustainability at the centre of its operating philosophy.”

“To help the region conceptualize what a vision for balance and integration would look like, the Reference Panel created a graphic to draw attention to the four elements (or theme areas) which must be integrated if we are to ensure a great plan.”

To Learn More:

To preview the day, click on Draft Agenda for Seminar on “Regional Plans – Pathway to Water Sustainability”