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Parksville Water Stewardship Symposium

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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OUTREACH & AWARENESS RAISING FOR PARKSVILLE 2019 SYMPOSIUM: UBCM newsletter spreads the word to all local governments in British Columbia – “restorative land development results in sustainable stream restoration”


The way communities have historically developed and drained land has disconnected hydrology from ecology. The consequences of this disconnect are more erosion and flooding, loss of baseflow and aquatic habitat, and an unfunded infrastructure liability for stream stabilization. “Delegates at the Parksville 2019 Symposium will learn how local government partnerships with stewardship groups can be transformational and respond better to a changing climate,” stated Glen Brown, General Manager, UBCM Victoria Operations.

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PARKSVILLE 2019 SYMPOSIUM FUNDER: Pacific Salmon Foundation – transforming the public’s outlook to realize the connection wild Pacific salmon have with everything that is British Columbia


“With ongoing education, partnership and collaboration, we will positively transform people’s outlook to realize the connection wild Pacific salmon have with everything that is British Columbia,” stated Jim Shinkewski. “The Pacific Salmon Foundation is pleased to support this symposium as it is well connected to our mission of salmon conservation and watershed health. It is a good opportunity to empower the stewardship community to address current and future challenges related to a changing climate and to celebrate past accomplishments in this area.”

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