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Parksville Water Stewardship Symposium

WATER STEWARDSHIP IN A CHANGING CLIMATE: North Vancouver District’s Richard Boase returns as the moderator for the Parksville 2019 Symposium


Richard Boase brings three ingredients to the role of Symposium moderator: passion, enthusiasm and a sense of humour. “I am very excited to have been asked to continue my moderator role at Parksville 2019.  The momentum and excitement gained in Nanaimo last year has produced results.  I expect to hear from many of our delegates who have been embracing the Hard Work of Hope this past year.  From citizen science to innovative stream restoration methods and hydrology, Parksville 2019 is the highlight of my year,” states Richard Boase.

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MODULE C – DAY ONE – PARKSVILLE 2019 SYMPOSIUM: The context for a mini-workshop within the symposium is “Make Better Decisions: First, 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. Participation in streamflow data collection is a way to educate them 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.

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MODULE D – DAY ONE – PARKSVILLE 2019 SYMPOSIUM: The over-arching theme for the concluding presentation by Nick Leone that provides the bridge to Day Two is “Back to the Future: Reconnect Hydrology and Ecology”


“Opportunities to support continued dialogue, engagement and advancements in innovation across professional disciplines and jurisdictions engaged in water management, conservation and sustainability is of vital importance and genuine benefit,” states Nick Leone. “Going forward we will need to think and act more strategically to account for uncertainty through acknowledging what we don’t know, and variability in what we do know; and develop effective partnerships that get the vision right and produce sound strategies,” states Nick Leone. “

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ENGLISHMAN RIVER WATER SERVICE (ERWS): At the Parksville 2019 Symposium, Vaughan Figueira will elaborate on “A Balancing Act – Regional Bulk Water Supply Needs & Environmental Flow Requirements to Sustain Aquatic Resources” (Module B on Day One – panel vignette on “Watershed Health and You”)


“The location of a new water intake site is a major piece of the water supply puzzle. The location is of interest to many in our community and First Nations have a traditional link to the river,” states Vaughan Figueira. “Using a sustainable approach weighing environmental, financial and social factors and in consultation with Department of Fisheries and Oceans, health authorities, provincial fisheries and regulators, the best location for a river intake is just above Highway 19.”

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WATERSHED HEALTH AND YOU: At the Parksville 2019 Symposium, Gilles Wendling will elaborate on “Groundwater & Surface Water Interaction in the Englishman River Watershed: One Water – Always Moving” (Module B on Day One – panel vignette)


Flux is a core technical concept, and one that Gilles Wendling stresses when making presentations. “In order to visualize the flux between the aquifers and the Englishman River under low summer flow conditions, we created a series of images,” he states. “In my experience, it is important to both remind and emphasize that an aquifer is NOT an underground lake. This fact is not necessarily understood by everyone. So we need to be clear that an aquifer simply consists of saturated layers of sand and gravel in the subsurface. The water is always moving.”

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IMPROVING WHERE WE LIVE: Town of Gibsons on BC’s Sunshine Coast is a “living lab” for the whole-system, water balance approach


“Among many people who study these things, it’s a given that adopting a ‘whole-system, water balance’ approach to rainwater management and creekshed restoration is our best chance at both reestablishing healthy, ecologically sound waterways and mitigating the many impacts of climate change,” wrote Elizabeth Quayle. “One of the primary challenges local governments face is that there are often multiple organizational bodies operating across a single watershed, each with their own, misaligned, policies.”

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PARKSVILLE 2019 SYMPOSIUM SUPPORTER: Ministry of Forests, Lands, Natural Resource Operations and Rural Development (FLNRORD) – “The Ministry is pleased to support the work of the Partnership for Water Sustainability in co-organizing Parksville 2019,” stated Neil Goeller


“Sustainable water management is a central concern and focus of the work of FLNRORD, as we see the increasing effects of seasonal floods and drought that are predicted to increase as a result of a climate change,” stated Neil Goeller. “The 2019 water symposium will showcase approaches to land use planning, and maintenance and restoration of watershed function that can mitigate negative impacts, while drawing on the shared efforts of government and community to successfully face these challenges.”

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IMPROVING WHERE WE LIVE: Building Nanaimo Region’s “Actionable Vision” for Water & Watersheds / Learn More at Parksville 2019 / April 2-3-4 (Announcement #5, February 2019)


“At Parksville 2019, the story of how a strong foundation of public outreach and science was built over the first decade will lead into a lively discussion on opportunities and emphasis for the next 10 years of water sustainability initiatives. It is the successful cultivation of awareness and data that will inform policy and planning in order to make better land and water decisions and tackle regional water issues in the next decade. The RDN is positioned to tackle regional water issues and help to create a vision to chart a new course to a sustainable water future,” states Julie Pisani.

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PARKSVILLE 2019 SYMPOSIUM SUPPORTER: Department of Fisheries & Oceans (DFO) – “Opportunities to support continued dialogue, engagement and advancements in innovation across professional disciplines and jurisdictions engaged in water management, conservation and sustainability is of vital importance and genuine benefit,” 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, including long-term water security and allocation, habitat productivity and ecosystem resiliency, and implications for Government and community-supported stock enhancement efforts,” stated Nick Leone. “Fostering improved partnerships, collaboration and data/information exchange, in addition to sharing of technical and management innovations is of particular importance .”

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BUILDING NANAIMO REGION’S ACTIONABLE VISION FOR WATER & WATERSHEDS: “It all started with a conversation,” recalls John Finnie, General Manager for Regional and Community Utilities, Regional District of Nanaimo


“Once upon a time, a conversation between an RDN Electoral Area Director and RDN staff resulted in a proposal to create a drinking water and watershed protection function and service area in the RDN Electoral Areas,” recalls John Finnie. “Subsequently, over 10 years ago, the Regional District of Nanaimo Board and Electoral Area residents supported a referendum to create this function.   Barely.  It was a challenging process and a very close decision, and could have been defeated. But the right decision was made.”

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