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Convening for Action in 2019

Parksville 2019 on YouTube > Watershed Health and You – “After the Arrowsmith Dam was built, most of the time we have been able to stay above the minimum fisheries baseflow requirement which establishes an operating rule for the Englishman River Water Service,” stated Vaughan Figueira, City of Parksville’s Director of Engineering (April 2019)


“The EWRS is a joint venture between the City of Parksville and the Regional District of Nanaimo. It comprises the 20-yr old Arrowsmith Dam, a new river intake and water treatment facility. System operation is guided by this statement: An environmentally sensitive use of water to improve fish habitat and domestic water supply,” stated Vaughan Figueira. “The impact of wetter winters and drier summers on the seasonal water balance creates operational challenges in sustaining environmental flows.”

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Parksville 2019 on YouTube > Watershed Health and You – “It is important to keep engaging with community. Communication is key,” stated Dr. Gilles Wendling, when he explained the innovation in engaging the community in Englishman River applied research to better understand surface water-groundwater interaction (April 2019)


“How do we pass information? How do we present information so that people with no technical knowledge will grasp what is important? Telling stories – that is how we do it to change behaviour,” stated Dr. Gilles Wendling. “Community involvement in a monitoring program was a foundation piece, and one of several innovations, for characterizing surface and groundwater interaction in the Englishman River system.”

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Parksville 2019 on YouTube > Watershed Health and You – “The watershed is the base unit for the purposes of a forest company’s landscape level plan,” stated Domenico Iannidinardo, Vice-President of Mosaic Forest Management, when he explained the importance of hydrological balance (April 2019)


“The watershed is the base unit of ecology, certainly on Vancouver Island,” stated Domenico Iannidinardo. “Over 80% of the Englishman River watershed is dedicated to forest management. Applying a landscape level approach makes a working forest work for multiple values. Hydrology and ecology values are managed through conservation agreements, land sales, and cooperation with researchers and communities. A guiding objective is to keep sediment out of streams.”

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Parksville 2019 on YouTube > Watershed Health and You – “We engage with volunteers in the Englishman River watershed and other watersheds across our region,” stated Julie Pisani, Regional District of Nanaimo, when she explained the region’s partnership-based water quality monitoring program (April 2019)


“Through the efforts of stewardship volunteers, the RDN’s Community Watershed Monitoring Network has successfully completed 7+ years of monitoring surface water quality. A recent study has analyzed the data region-wide, modelling land use factors and their connection to water quality results, including for the Englishman River,” explained Julie Pisani. “We have worked very closely with Ministry of Environment staff who helped us to decide what the key parameters are to monitor in order to get a baseline understanding of watershed health.”

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Parksville 2019 on YouTube > Understand How Rain Reaches a Stream – “Prominent scientists say 2018 marks a turning point in human history. We may have crossed an invisible threshold into a new climate regime,” stated Kim Stephens, Partnership for Water Sustainability in BC, when he provided a whole-system context for the mini-workshop on surface and groundwater interaction (April 2019)


“The new normal in BC is floods and droughts – along with longer, drier summers and warmer, wetter winters. What happens on the land matters to streams. To make better decisions, we must first understand how rainwater reaches a stream. Not many people have that understanding. And that includes engineers,” stated Kim Stephens. “Only when everyone involved has that basic understanding of what happens when that rain drop reaches the ground, will we be able to do the things that we need to do to reconnect hydrology and ecology, and in so doing, go ‘back to the future’!”

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Parksville 2019 on YouTube > Understand How Rain Reaches a Stream – “Stewardship groups have local knowledge about local water resources; and are the most invested and most connected to the land base,” stated Neil Goeller, when he and Sylvia Barroso conducted a mini-workshop on surface and groundwater interaction (April 2019)


“Participation in streamflow data collection is a way to educate streamkeepers about creekshed hydrology, in particular correct data collection techniques and their importance for refining the water balance and understanding what the numbers mean. This would create understanding that would enhance their effectiveness as champions for reconnecting hydrology and ecology,” stated Neil Goeller. “My vision is to develop relationships and partnerships with stewardship groups, local governments, federal government and First Nations to expand our collection and understanding of data.”

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Parksville 2019 on YouTube > Back to the Future – “Decades of in-stream restoration work have not been sustainable because communities have not addressed the root causes of ‘changes of hydrology’. Going forward we will need to think and act more strategically,” observed Nick Leone, Fisheries and Oceans Canada, in the concluding module on Symposium Day One


“Look for synergies between programs, systems, policies, disciplines and management objectives. Account for uncertainty through acknowledging what we don’t know, and variability in what we do know. Develop effective partnerships that get the vision right and produce sound strategies,” stated Nick Leone. “The issues around effective water management, and certainly as it pertains watershed planning and restoration efforts, aligns well with fisheries conservation and management considerations.”

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DEMONSTRATION APPLICATION OF ECOLOGICAL ACCOUNTING PROCESS: “The Town of Comox and its collaborators have provided a working example of understanding the worth of Brooklyn Creek, its hydrology, and ecological systems,” stated Tim Pringle, EAP Chair


EAP, the Ecological Accounting Process, provides metrics that enable communities to appreciate the worth of natural assets. “The EAP analyses have described what the Town’s residents and key intervenors think the Brooklyn creekshed is worth. The understanding gained will be shared with other local governments,” stated Tim Pringle. “Through use of the commons asset analysis, which applies BC Assessment data for land values, EAP has estimated the financial value of the stream corridor and adjacent set-back areas at about $2700 per lineal metre. This calculation is important for an asset management strategy.”

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Parksville 2019 on YouTube > Make Better Land Use Decisions – “We really want to keep re-inventing new ways of bringing people together, sharing success, and renewing faith and trust between ourselves to keep moving forward,” stated Richard Boase, Water Stewardship Symposium Series Moderator, when he reflected on what collaboration means to open Day Two of the Symposium (April 2019)


In this video clip, Richard Boase sets the scene for Day Two of the Symposium which had a “Restorative Land Development” theme. RIchard talks about building trust, and why it is so essential for effective collaboration. “There are lots of things we can do to renew, restore and reinvigorate this faith in working together,” stated Richard Boase. “Day One was about the challenges and the what-to-do with the science that we have. We also heard about what we would like to do, but don’t have the resources to do. In contrast, Day Two is all about sharing the success and really good celebration stories of leaders within this region.”

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Parksville 2019 on YouTube > Make Better Land Use Decisions – “Value the water balance services provided by nature. The worth of a creekshed is a package of ecological services made possible by the hydrology. Looking through the ‘worth lens’ leads to a fundamental shift in philosophy,” stated Kim Stephens, Partnership for Water Sustainability in BC, in his context presentation for the morning session on Day Two of the Symposium (April 2019)


“The goal of making the world ‘less worse’ does not go far enough. Rather, we have it within our power to undo previous damage and make the world better. Shrink our destructive footprint while growing our regenerative footprint. The process of restoring our planet and revitalizing our communities is becoming a rigorous discipline, with the proper education and tools,” stated Kim Stephens, when he quoted from the work of Storm Cunningham, to set the context for Day Two of the Symposium.

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