CONVENING FOR ACTION AT ‘THE DIALOGUE IN NANAIMO’: “We need to change the way the engineering community looks at stormwater in order to prevent drainage from upland residential areas causing problems in the agricultural lowlands,” stated Ted van der Gulik when he was asked why the Ministry of Agriculture chairs the intergovernmental Water Balance Model Partnership (June 2010)
NOTE TO READER:
The Dialogue in Nanaimo was structured around a water sustainability panel. Rather than talking heads, the panel engaged in a form of ‘improv theatre’ to feed off each other in spontaneously expressing key messages about water. This primed the audience for ‘small group’ dialogues in eight theme areas. The small groups dialogue were followed by a ‘big group’ dialogue. Watch Ted van der Gulik explain why the Ministry of Agriculture chairs the intergovernmental Water Balance Model Partnership (1:45 minutes):
About the Water Balance Model
“We need to change the way the engineering community looks at stormwater. I am the Chair of the Water Balance Model and I work in agriculture. People always ask me: Why are you Chair of the Water Balance Model?. The reason is that we don’t like putting houses in floodplains,” stated Ted van der Gulik.
“So we develop in the uplands. But but we don’t apply good stormwater management practices. And where does the water end up? It ends up in the lowlands; it ends up on the agricultural lands. Farmers are saying it is not the big storms that cause them problems. The big storms come and go. It is all the little storms and all that water that comes down is just enough that the farmers cannot get on their lands and plant or harvest their crops. Development in the uplands is affecting the way we are trying to manage agriculture. So we need to change the way we are doing things in the uplands. It is about replenishing the groundwater.”
Ted van der Gulik was a member of the water sustainability panel that interacted with the audience as the Dialogue in Nanaimo.
Sustainable Watershed Systems
Inter-governmental collaboration and funding enable the Partnership for Sustainability in British Columbia to collaborate with others to develop (and share) approaches, tools and resources; as well as provide teaching, training and mentoring.
The educational goal of the Partnership for Water Sustainability in British Columbia is to build practitioner capacity within the local government setting to implement a whole-system, water balance approach branded as Sustainable Watershed Systems, through Asset Management.
TO LEARN MORE:
Download a copy of Who’s Who – Fresh Water Sustainability Presenters.
Visit www.waterbalance.ca for more information and to test-drive the Water Balance Model.