Living Rivers and Partnership for Water Sustainability align efforts in Mid-Island Region to advance Living Water Smart provincial initiative


Convening for Action in the Mid-Island Region

In October 2011, the Living Rivers Partnership and the Partnership for Water Sustainability in BC announced that they would collaborate under the umbrella of the CAVI-Convening for Action on Vancouver Island initiative.

“Initially, Living Rivers and the Partnership will collaborate with local governments and others within the boundaries of the Nanaimo Regional District and Cowichan Valley Regional District to advance Convening for Action in the Mid-Island Region. Collaboration will enable us to advance a shared vision for settlement change in balance with natural ecosystems,”  stated Alan Lill,  Program Manager for the Living Rivers – Georgia Basin / Vancouver Island Program.

“Both Living Rivers and the Partnership for Water Sustainability have undertaken to implement core elements of the Living Water Smart provincial initiative in our respective spheres of influence,” continues Tim Pringle, Partnership President. “Our area of primary responsibility is in the local government setting, whereas the efforts of Living Rivers are mainly directed into rural areas outside populated  areas.”

“Living Water Smart provides local governments and others with high level policy direction. Living Rivers and the Partnership are implementers. Of relevance to our collaboration with Living Rivers is this position statement by the Province:  By 2012, all land and water managers will know what makes a stream healthy, and therefore be able to help land and water users factor in new approaches to securing stream health and the full range of stream benefits.”

About Living Rivers

Established by the Provincial Government in 2006, the vision of the Living Rivers Trust Fund (LRTF) is to create a legacy for British Columbia based on healthy watersheds, sustainable ecosystems and thriving communities. Since 2006, the LRTF has granted the Georgia Basin / Vancouver Island Program $7.7 Million for watershed planning, water supply augmentation and fish habitat restoration work. This has leveraged over $17 Million in additional investments from a wide range of partner organizations.

In 2009, Natural Resources Canada provided Living Rivers with multi-year funding for the Englishman River Case Study in order to complete:

  • a water balance study for the watershed;
  • engineering feasibility studies for a proposed Shelton Lake (South Englishman River sub-basin) storage dam; and,
  • a watershed management plan (incorporating climate change adaptation).

In place of a formal Englishman Watershed Management Plan, however, the 2012 Official Community Plan Review being undertaken by the City of Parksville opened the door to a collaborative effort with the Partnership for Water Sustainability that we hope will advance water-centric thinking in the mid-Island region,” reports Craig Wightman, Senior Fisheries Biologist.

About the Partnership for Water Sustainability 

The Partnership for Water Sustainability in BC is helping the Province implement the Living Water Smart and Green Communities initiatives in the local government setting. Launched in 2008, these initiatives comprise plans, strategies, targets, actions and tools to reduce the ‘water footprint’ of BC communities. While the Partnership is a not-for-profit society, the voting members mostly represent local governments.

CAVI-Convening for Action on Vancouver Island began as a graas-roots initiative in 2006, and is now being delivered by the Partnership for Water Sustainability under the umbrella of the Water Sustainability Action Plan for British Columbia,” explains John Finnie, Past-Chair (2006-2011) and former General Manager of Regional & Community Utilities with the Regional District of Nanaimo.

“Collaboration, alignment and consistency up and down the east coast of Vancouver Island will create opportunities for everyone to be more effective; and to implement water and watershed sustainability goals in the context of existing budgets.”