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Vancouver Island Water

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NATURE’S ASSETS SUPPORT CORE LOCAL GOVERNMENT SERVICES: Emanuel Machado and Tim Pringle are agents of transformation. They independently ventured into uncharted territory to build the financial case for inclusion of ecological systems in local government asset management strategies! – following the live broadcasts, “Watershed Moments, the Video Trilogy Series” will be accessible as a legacy educational resource on YouTube (Announcement #4, October 2020)


“Each round (of the conversation) is framed by a question that provides the starting point for delving into what Emanuel Machado and Tim Pringle have learned through experience,” explained Richard Boase. “The questions are designed to draw out the reasons why translating policy objectives into tangible outcomes requires that local governments have a methodology and metrics for valuing ecological assets and services in an asset management strategy. It is one thing to have a number for better maintenance and management of ecological assets. Putting it into play requires an understanding of how local government processes work.”

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WATERSHED MOMENTS, THE VIDEO TRILOGY SERIES: Moving Beyond a Zoom Webinar to Inspire an Audience – register now for a unique and interactive experience delivered via YouTube on November 19 / November 26 / December 3


“We looked to TED Talks for inspiration. The videos are much more than talking heads. In re-imagining the 2020 Symposium as the Video Trilogy Series, our vision is that the audience experience ‘in the moment’ will be better than having a front-row seat at a live event. In a virtual sense, our audience will be up close and personal with our team members. All that will be missing from the experience will be the conversations that happen spontaneously during networking breaks, when delegates share their immediate reactions to what they just heard,” stated Kim Stephens.

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BRITISH COLUMBIA’S CLIMATE REALITY, INTER-REGIONAL COLLABORATION & ACTIONABLE VISIONS: Five women are leading programs that strive to ‘reconnect land and water in altered landscapes’ in four regional districts on Vancouver Island – following the live broadcasts, “Watershed Moments, the Video Trilogy Series” will be accessible as a legacy educational resource on YouTube (Announcement #3, October 2020)


“A dynamic team of five women provide their insider insights into an array of water-centric initiatives and programs underway on Vancouver Island. In four regions, water management initiatives are now into a second decade and ramping up. Sharing and learning from each other helps these program managers and doers adapt concepts and approaches to the local context. The programs they lead are foundation pieces for restoring the water balance in an altered landscape,” stated Kim Stephens.

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WATERSHED-BASED RAINWATER MANAGEMENT IN RURAL AREAS: “The regional district does have responsibility to ensure proper stormwater and drainage management when land alteration occurs as a result of development that was enabled by the regional district,” wrote Debra Oakman, former CAO, Comox Valley Regional District, in her 2011 report to the Regional Board which laid the groundwork for an Electoral Areas Rainwater Management Strategy


Regional districts are a unique feature of the British Columbia local government system which date back to the early 1960’s. In the absence of municipalities, regional districts are the “local” government for rural areas. While municipalities have extensive and very specific regulatory tools to achieve watershed-based goals and objectives, regional districts do not. Regional districts do have enabling powers, however, to establish a drainage function within a service area boundary. Residents in electoral areas affected by drainage problems look to regional districts to take the lead with a watershed-based approach to rainwater management.

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CONVENING FOR ACTION IN THE COMOX VALLEY: Watershed Resilience Event Explores Climate Change, Collaboration and Landscape Restoration (October 21-22-23, 2020)


“Over the past 150 years, the Comox Valley landscape has been transformed by logging, coal mining, agriculture, road building, industry, and development. These altered landscapes are where the local impacts of climate change – flooding, erosion, and loss of biodiversity – first become evident. But these altered landscapes also hold the greatest potential for building resiliency. Kus-Kus-Sum, The Courtenay Estuary, Morrison Headwaters, Perseverance Watershed, Comox Lake – these places are at the heart of our local climate story,” stated Meaghan Cursons.

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CONTEXT FOR RESTORATIVE DEVELOPMENT: “We abuse the land because we regard it as a commodity belonging to us. When we see the land as a community to which we belong, we may begin to use it with love and respect” – a famous quotable quote written by Aldo Leopold, professor and author of A Sand County Almanac (1949)


In his presentation at the 2018 Engineers & Geoscientists BC Annual Conference, Kim Stephens quoted Aldo Leopold – legendary American professor, author, philosopher, scientist, ecologist, forester, conservationist, and environmentalist. “The Land Ethic,” a chapter in his book A Sand County Almanac, popularized the idea of ecological thinking — that animals, plants, soil, geology, water and climate all come together to form a community of life — that they are not separate parts, but integrated pieces of a whole.

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WATERSHED MOMENTS, THE VIDEO TRILOGY SERIES: “There are so many variables to take into account when making a video in the age of COVID. We have created a blueprint for ‘getting it right’ by exceeding local, provincial and federal requirements,” stated David Mackenzie, technical director and volunteer extraordinaire (Announcement #2, September 2020)


“Inspired and guided by David Mackenzie’s passion, knowledge and attention to detail, a plan took shape to deliver Watershed Moments, the Video Trilogy Series via YouTube. The vision for the three videos is that they will be educational legacy resources that would inspire a snowballing of individual actions. Each video is built around a group conversation. We are now in the post-production phase, which includes inter-weaving of outdoor footage. We are striving to provide an experience comparable to viewing an engaging TED Talk video,” stated Kim Stephens.

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WATERSHED MOMENTS, THE VIDEO TRILOGY SERIES: “We hope to seed and stimulate conversations amongst our viewing audience as an outcome of watching the series. The important consideration is that each participant will have reached their own conclusions based on what they got out of the three sessions, and what resonated with them individually,” stated Richard Boase, Partnership Vice-President and series moderator, when he reflected on desired outcomes for Watershed Moments, the Video Trilogy Series (September 2020)


“Three module teams totaling twelve individuals are on camera in the Video Trilogy Series. Every team member is passionate about what she or he does. This is what we hope and believe will inspire series viewers to apply what they absorb from each of the team conversations. But the video series is not a magic wand. It won’t result in overnight change. Humans are not wired that way. It is therefore best to view the series as an important milestone in a journey. We hope to bring others along with us by seeding their conversations with information,” stated Richard Boase.

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A BLUEPRINT FOR MAKING VIDEOS IN THE AGE OF COVID: “My intent is to try and help illuminate a pathway for interested parties, and the visionary leaders as well. It’s about human interaction and how to adapt to it on our COVID planet,” stated David Mackenzie, technical director for ‘Watershed Moments, the Video Trilogy Series’ (Nov 19 / Nov 26 / Dec 3)


“We could not have done what we did if we didn’t change gears and refocus our staging. Fixed platforms are not a good idea in a COVID world. When we are doing these events, we have to be as fluid as possible. We know now what that set looks like. By working with COVID standards, and with a film crew, we have been able to determine that for us to host an event with six participants requires a 50×50 room. But more importantly, it doesn’t just meet COVID standards. We have exceeded them. And we have enhanced them. We aimed to do better. And we pulled it off,” stated David Mackenzie.

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STITCHING TOGETHER AN ALTERED LANDSCAPE: “An ‘Actionable Vision’ translates good intentions into practices on the ground. It is driven by leadership that mobilizes people and partnerships, a commitment to ongoing learning and innovation, and a budget to back it up,” stated Kim Stephens, Partnership for Water Sustainability, when he foreshadowed the first module of “Watershed Moments, the Video Trilogy Series” (November 19, 2020 at 10:00 AM on YouTube)


“Water-centric programs underway in the Comox Valley, Cowichan Valley, Nanaimo and Capital regions are foundation pieces for stitching together an altered landscape. Are you aware of the scope, scale and interplay of an array of initiatives and programs underway on Vancouver Island? Do you wonder whether and how these initiatives and programs are making a difference? Join us for a facilitated panel conversation complete with audience interaction segments. An inter-regional team will share and reflect on successes, challenges and lessons learned over the past decade in their regions,” stated Kim Stephens.

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