“Getting local government engineers to implement green infrastructure that protects or restores water quality in developed areas will take massive and relentless public pressure on local governments,” wrote columnist George Le Masurier after attending the Parksville 2019 Symposium

Note to Reader:

On his decafnation.net website, retired journalist George Le Masurier has posted a series of articles exploring the consequences for waterways due to traditional drainage practices. In the article below, he reports out on the Parksville 2019 Symposium on Water Stewardship in a Changing Climate. The article focus is on the keynote presentation by Bill Derry – Washington State local government innovator, consultant with cross-border experience, AND, stewardship sector leader.

Courtenay Councillor Wendy Morin (left) and Comox Councillor Stephanie McGowan listen to Tim Ennis speak about Kus Kus Sum / George Le Masurier photo

Put the Forests Back

To protect or restore water quality in developed areas is a complicated problem, but Bill Derry said the solution is quite simple: “Put the forest back”. That’s impossible, of course, yet alternatives do exist, wrote George Le Masurier.

“Tweaking current systems and practices isn’t enough,” Derry said. “Major change is required, and governments can’t do it. They won’t do it unless we push them.”

Derry cautioned his audience not to expect instant results. “This isn’t something that will happen overnight,” he said. “But we need to amp up the seriousness of the discussions.”

To Learn More:

To read the complete story by George Le Masurier, download Has engineered stormwater doomed BC’s waterways?

To read more about Bill Derry, visit:

THE SCIENCE BEHIND THE WHOLE-SYSTEM, WATER BALANCE APPROACH: Bill Derry will co-present with Dr. Chris May at the Parksville 2019 Symposium (April 2019)

“In the 1990s, Puget Sound research by Horner and May made it clear that stormwater management was as much or more about land use decisions as engineering solutions,” recalls Bill Derry, watershed champion