GETTING AHEAD OF THE WAVE: As part of the curriculum for the 2009 Comox Valley Learning Lunch Seminar Series, Tim Pringle introduced the vision and rationale for “Water for Life and Livelihoods: How does a community balance settlement change and ecology?”

Note to Readers:

This article provides relevant context for An Integrated Watershed Approach to Settlement by providing background information on the Settlement in Balance with Ecology theme for the 2009 Comox Valley Series. This includes connecting the dots to the term Water for Life and Livelihoods.

The article serves as the bridge to a comprehensive article by Tim Pringle, Director of Special Programs for the Real Estate Foundation of British Columbia. In his article, Tim Pringle explains the origin of the term Settlement in Balance with Ecology; and elaborates on what it means in the context of the 2009 Comox Valley Learning Lunch Seminar Series.

Water for Life and Livelihoods

The need for an approach that balances settlement change and ecology was first introduced by Tim Pringle at the Mini-Summit on Water for Life and Livelihoods, held in Whistler in May 2006.

Tim pringle (160p)“The phrase water for life and livelihoods was ‘borrowed’ from work done in the United Kingdom,” states Tim Pringle. “It conveys the fundamental principles of sustainability of natural systems in their own right and in relation to the health and wellbeing of people who benefit from the use of water for basic life needs and economic activity.”

“The settlement in balance with ecology principle is an extension of water for life and livelihoods.”

Settlement and Ecology are Equal Values

“Settlement and ecology are equal values and they must be as much in balance as possible for wellbeing of human and natural systems,” stated Tim Pringle at the Whistler Mini-Summit. He then explained that:

  • Habitation and ecology are interdependent.
  • Although ecology can exist without habitation by man, habitation cannot exist without ecology.
  • Both systems are finite and subject to change, including growth, decline and decay – in other words, some end state.
  • Balance requires measurement.  Often the required metrics are not available.

“Beginning in 2007, CAVI started a conversation on Vancouver Island around achieving settlement in balance with ecology.”

“Settlement and ecology are both complex systems; and the nature of their complexities means there is no easy answer to achieving a balance that will ensure water for life and livelihoods. Nevertheless, it is in our best interests to learn about both sides of the balance….if we are to ensure that settlement change results in benefits exceeding liabilities at the site, community and regional scales.”

To Learn More:

To access the article by Tim Pringle, click on How does a community weigh the benefits and liabilities of change driven by demand for land use? The article introduced the branding graphic below to connect the dots between theory and practices on the ground.