YOUTUBE VIDEO: “The RDN demonstrates commitment to watershed initiatives and water sustainability by delivering this service with a long-term reliable funding source,” stated Julie Pisani, Regional District of Nanaimo

Note to Reader:

At the Nanaimo Water Stewardship Symposium, Julie Pisani led-off the afternoon session and elaborated on initiatives in the Regional District of Nanaimo under the umbrella of the Drinking Water & Watershed Protection Program. These included outreach and education, local water studies and community-based monitoring, and policy advocacy and support for land use planning.

Like other locations in the province, the region is experiencing change: population growth as more residents are attracted to the area; climate change that manifests as longer, drier summers and more frequent short-duration intense rainstorms; and an evolving regulatory landscape that opens up possibilities for local water management.

Drinking Water & Watershed Protection in the RDN – Sustainable Partnerships

“In the early 2000s, the RDN developed a Steering Committee to come up with an Action Plan to address these stresses and strategic goals. This resulted in the DWWP Action Plan, which resulted in a brand new regional function, which was established through elector assent by referendum in 2007 and implemented first in 2009. This is the first program of its kind in the province,” stated Julie Pisani, DWWP Coordinator.

“The focal areas for the program are Education, Science and Planning  – each of which complements and support the others. They are nested together and strengthen each other.

“The RDN demonstrates commitment to watershed initiatives and water sustainability by delivering this service with a long-term reliable funding source.

“This allows us to effectively leverage support from partners, because we are in it for the long came and we are coming to the table with some resources to get started. Not fund the whole thing, but get it off the ground and generate collaboration.”

Water-Centric Planning

“Our program is called Drinking Water and Watershed Protection on purpose. Yes, it’s a long name but it captures the related elements of water that we work on in terms of education, science and policy,” emphasized Julie Pisani.

“Aspirational water-centric planning brings together Water Supply (community drinking water); Habitat Values (watershed ecosystems); Cultural Values; Land use (planning); Rainwater – Stormwater – Drainage.

“I say aspirational as we are not fully operating or contributing in all these spheres but overtime we aim to bring these together.

“That means working with partners outside our jurisdiction as we all have a stake or an interest in water, that overlaps.”

To Learn More:

To view the complete presentation by Julie Pisani, click on the link to YouTube.

Download a copy of Water Stewardship in a Changing Climate: Convening for Action at the 2018 Nanaimo Water Symposium

Download a PDF copy of Charting a New Course to a Sustainable Water Future, an article co-authored by Julie Pisani and Pat Lapcevic on the RDN’s Drinking Water and Watershed Protection program, and published in the January/February 2018 issue of Innovation Magazine.