Eric Bonham connects the dots between Nanaimo Water Pricing Workshop and Vancouver Island Economic Summit

Nanaimo Water Pricing Workshop

In September 2010, the Regional District of Nanaimo (RDN) hosted a workshop titled Worth Every Penny: An Introduction to Conservation-Oriented Water Pricing and Sustainable Service Delivery. Part of the rollout to stimulate a national dialogue on sustainable water management, the Nanaimo Water Pricing Workshop is decribed as the first of its kind in Canada.

John finnie (120p)“Effective conservation-oriented water pricing can help reconcile growing communities with the health of local watersheds and engage individuals and businesses to change their behaviour and begin reducing their water footprints,” states John Finnie, General Manager of Regional & Community Utilities with the RDN. He is also Chair of Convening for Action on Vancouver Island, known by the acronym CAVI.

Connecting the Dots

Eric Bonham is often described as the ‘heart and soul’ of CAVI because of his passion and vision for Vancouver Island. “Everything we have heard today fits in like a glove with what we are going to do with this next effort at the Vancouver Island Summit,” Eric bonham (120p) at nanaimo water pricing workshopstated Eric in the final moments of the workshop.

He provided historical context by refecting on the CAVI genesis almost a decade ago. “A group of 40 people came together with something in common. That something in common is how can we do things differently, how can we share our ideas?”

Collaborate, Communicate and Share

“The Vancouver Island Economic Summit is the next step. From all corners of Vancouver Island and in all sectors, leaders are wanting opportunities to collaborate, communicate and share best practices, resources and information.”

“The general consensus is that there is unnecessary competition and that everyone on the Island would benefit from more collaboration and sharing on all levels. Now is not the time to be only concerned with issues within our defined community boundaries and subregions.”

“We must look outside our boundaries and work with our neighbouring communities for the betterment of all. Vancouver Island could be a test case…to show the world literally… how we can collaborate and pull things together.”

“CAVI is collaborating with the Vancouver Island Economic Alliance and Leadership BC to inspire leadership and action for water sustainability on the Island. This year they have identified water sustainability as a focus.”

Link to YouTube Video:

To view Eric’s remarks in their entirety, click on Connecting the Dots to the ‘2010 State of the Island Economic Summit’ and view a 4 1/2 minute video clip of Eric Bonham in full oratory flight.


Blending Research and Practice

The Nanaimo Water Pricing Workshop was a unique blend of research and practice. The workshop connected the dots between three initiatives:

  • Action for Water, implemented by the Regional District of Nanaimo following approval in a referendum in November 2008.
  • Worth Every Penny: A Primer on Conservation-Oriented Water Pricing,released in May 2010.
  • Beyond the Guidebook 2010: Implementing a New Culture for Urban Watershed Protection and Restoration in British Columbia, released in June 2010.

“The desired outcome for the workshop was that participating practitioners would understand why ‘conservation-oriented water pricing’ is a tool to achieve a larger end, that is: Sustainable Service Delivery,” concludes John Finnie.

To Learn More:

Click on Nanaimo Water Pricing Workshop: Connecting the dots to Sustainable Service Delivery to access a series of articles that elaborate on the program content.