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Convening for Action in 2021

WATER EFFICIENT YARDS AND GARDENS: “The BC Landscape Water Calculator is a new tool for the CRD’s Summer Waterwise Campaign. It has real potential to foster a stewardship ethic on the part of homeowners,” stated Glenn Harris, Senior Manager of the Capital Regional District’s environmental protection team


“CRD saw that our participation in the BC Landscape Water Calculator initiative would benefit both our residential and business water conservation programs. When CRD launches Waterwise Summer as part of Live Green in the Yard and Garden, we will promote the BC Landscape Water Calculator as part of the program. The campaign objective is to raise awareness throughout the region about water conservation. We will present the BC Landscape Water Calculator as a tool that anyone can use to design a water efficient irrigation system and landscape plan,” stated Glenn Harris.

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FINANCIAL CASE FOR MILLSTONE RIVER ECOLOGICAL SERVICES: “The report on application of EAP, the Ecological Accounting Process, will help the City look at how to improve and enhance the value of the Millstone greenway and help the City prioritize future restoration of this important natural feature that runs through the heart of our beautiful City,” stated Rob Lawrance, Environmental Planner with the City of Nanaimo


EAP, the Ecological Accounting Process, focuses on drainage and the condition and/or integrity of stream corridors. “There are many threats that are degrading our environment, such as invasive species, but there are also opportunities to enhance our environment, such as tree planting to rebuild the health and diversity of our watercourse riparian areas. The EAP process helps underscore the value of these investments into our streams and rivers and the value Nature contributes back for our community to benefit from,” stated Rob Lawrance.

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DRINKING WATER & WATERSHED PROTECTION IN THE NANAIMO REGION: “The Millstone River and EAP (Ecological Accounting Process) project are a vignette for the bigger mandate of the DWWP. Both demonstrate project level partnerships with stewardship groups; as well as partnerships across local government jurisdictions,” stated Julie Pisani, DWWP Program Coordinator, when the Partnership for Water Sustainability’s case study report on the Millstone River EAP Project was approved by the RDN Board (April 2021)


“The EAP methodology reflects the understanding that landowners adjacent to the stream corridor and setback zone and the broader community share responsibility for and benefit from the condition of the stream as well as the financial and ecological value of the land it occupies. The report suggests a general framework for local governments to consider in using the lens of ecological accounting within Corporate Asset Management Plans,” stated Julie Pisani.

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INTERWEAVING WESTERN SCIENCE AND INDIGENOUS KNOWLEDGE: “My work related to water and reconciliation has put the spotlight on a new angle. Is reconciliation just dealing with the past and acknowledging the pain and moving on, or is it something more complex than that?” asked Michael Blackstock, Indigenous Independent Scholar and creator of Blue Ecology


“My question for the Western science world is this: Are you prepared and willing to change your definition of water in science? And if you are, what would the change in definition look like? No longer is it ceremonial. The methodology for Blue Ecology is about the actual work of interweaving the strengths of two cultures to reconcile them. It is time for First Nations to take a seat at environmental policy tables, as respected knowledge keepers who understand and respect water. Indigenous teachings can improve Western science,” stated Michael Blackstock.

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SHORT-TERM GRATIFICATION VS INTER-GENERATIONAL LEGACY: “It really is important for us to be focused on the future. We have mapped out the next 10 years with Action Plan 2.0, but our vision really needs to remain focused on a much longer time horizon. 10 years is not enough. 100 years is what we need to be looking at.” – Randy Alexander, General Manager for Regional and Community Utilities, as quoted in the story of the Regional District of Nanaimo’s Drinking Water and Watershed Protection program, published by the Partnership for Water Sustainability in March 2021


“Externally, we have been successful at forging, developing and maintaining strong long-term partnerships; and realizing that we are all in this together. Our success depends on our ability to leverage our resources with those of others to achieve common goals, and to understand what those common goals are. The DWWP program has found that its natural role is to bring together diverse groups; and to identify what those common goals are so that we can efficiently pool our resources and focus our joint efforts to achieve results,” stated Randy Alexander.

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NANAIMO REGION’S JOURNEY TO A WATER-RESILIENT FUTURE: “We are proud of our accomplishments over the last 10 years, and our vision remains focused on the future. The Drinking Water & Watershed Protection program helps us make informed decisions today, and create the framework for sustainable decision making for the long term,” stated Tyler Brown, Board Chair, Regional District of Nanaimo (April 2021)


Strong and enduring political leadership is a critical success factor. Over the past two decades, successive Regional Boards have handed the DWWP baton to their successors to carry on the mission. “The DWWP regional service was created explicitly to protect water at a watershed scale. The program is a leading example of how local governments can drive innovation and be a powerful influencer in watershed sustainability. Our recently adopted Action Plan for the next 10 years will allow the program to continue to innovate, better protect our water, and extend its reach,” stated Tyler Brown.

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WATERSHED MOMENTS, THE VIDEO TRILOGY: “Passion is the glue for collaboration when everyone shares a common set of values and a vision for reconnecting people, land and water,” stated Paul Chapman, Chair, Vancouver Island Symposia Series on Water Stewardship in a Changing Climate (ANNOUNCEMENT – just click on the links to view the Trilogy on YouTube)


“Producing three videos in just six months required an incredible commitment by all 15 members of the Watershed Moments Team . As I reflect on all three modules in the series, the thread that attaches them all is the different layers of responsibility that team members represent. Yet most team members only knew a few of the other members when we began our sprint to create the series. Through the shared experience of doing something bold and original, everyone connected and bonded in a way that would not have happened without COVID,” stated Paul Chapman.

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INTER-GENERATIONAL CAPACITY-BUILDING: “Partnerships with local governments and others are essential. They allow students to work on collaborative projects. Everyone benefits,” stated Graham Sakaki, Research & Community Engagement Manager, Mount Arrowsmith Biosphere Region Research Institute at Vancouver Island University


“Our collaboration with regional partners is guided by a vision that working together we can increase the environmental, social, cultural, and economic sustainability of the biosphere region. VIU students have assisted with working on all the Ecological Accounting Process case study projects that have been completed in partnership with MABRRI. Both undergraduates and graduates have assisted with these projects,” stated Graham Sakaki.

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