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Vancouver Island Water

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IMPROVING WHERE WE LIVE: “Closing the Data Gap: Water Stewards, the Key to the Future” / Learn more at the Parksville 2019 Symposium (Announcement #7, February 2019)


“Understanding the complex interactions of whole-system, water balance processes that lead to water availability in and on the ground, and all the values that depend on it, is critical to effective water resource allocation. 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,” states Neil Goeller. “Involving stewardship groups in streamflow measurement would fill a gap at the micro-scale where flow data are sparse to non-existent.”

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Brooklyn Creek in the Comox Valley: It’s surviving, but faces old and new threats from upstream development


“That the stream can sometimes support salmon and trout in an urban environment is just magic,” Robert Deane, president of the Brooklyn Creek Watershed Society. But it’s more than magic, it’s long hours of hard work by a dedicated group of volunteers. “The town has been a good partner. Our aims and the town’s aims are aligned,” Deane said. He has a vision that could save Brooklyn Creek from dying the “death by a thousand cuts” that has killed other urban streams.

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PARKSVILLE 2019 SYMPOSIUM ON IMPROVING WHERE WE LIVE: March 1st is the last day for Early Bird Registration / Don’t Delay / Register Today (Announcement #6, February 2019)


The bridge between the two symposium days is a free public lecture by Storm Cunningham, author and global thought leader. He will also provide Closing Reflections on what he heard throughout the 2-day symposium. “Restoration comprises the largest new economic growth cycle since the beginning of the industrial revolution. Development has arrived at the ends of the Earth. Progress has nowhere to turn, except to revisit and restore what we’ve already wrought,” states Storm Cunningham.

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STORYLINE OVERVIEW: Root Causes of Degraded Urban & Rural Streams – attend the Parksville 2019 Symposium and learn why the way we have historically developed land and managed runoff has disconnected hydrology from ecology (Module B on Day One)


“At Kitsap County we have applied this Whole Systems concept to develop our strategy for watershed retrofit and rehabilitation – it is not sufficient to do only a single (or even a few) things – it is necessary to do everything! We know we need to work at multiple scales and multiple levels to improve conditions in our small stream watersheds – that’s our strategy,” states Chris May. “But, so many people in local government are just too busy these days to even contemplate what needs to be done to repair and restore at multiple scales and levels.”

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STORYLINE OVERVIEW: Creating an Actionable Vision for Drinking Water & Watershed Protection in the Regional District of Nanaimo – attend the Parksville 2019 Symposium and learn what is envisioned for the Second Decade (Module B on Day Two)


“Drinking Water and Watershed Protection program implementation has been characterized by numerous accomplishments, as documented in a third party review, completed in September 2018. The focus has generally advanced from an initial emphasis on education and outreach, proceeding to expanded effort in water science and data collection. More recently, as the program has progressed, policy and planning and refining science processes and data management has been given more attention,” stated Julie Pisani.

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SPONGE CITIES: “There’s been a further shift toward a recognition that nature itself cleans and controls rainwater better than any engineered solution,” wrote George Le Masurier in the first in a series published on decafnation.net


“This new emphasis attempts to imitate nature with pervious surfaces, downspout disconnection, rain gardens, bioswales, green roofs and rainwater harvesting. And the prospects have excited many municipal engineers and environmentalist. But the wheels of change turn slowly,” wrote George Le Masurier. “Without legal regulations, not all developers and property owners will embrace the movement.”

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IMPLEMENTING THE WHOLE-SYSTEM, WATER BALANCE APPROACH IN BRITISH COLUMBIA: “Closing the Data Gap: Water Stewards, the Key to the Future” – provincial government initiative aims to build capacity and mobilize the stewardship sector to collect flow data in creeksheds


“It really is a long-term objective to build stewardship sector capacity to do flow measurement. The people who are involved in this grass-roots program are all volunteers. They are doing the field work because they are passionate about it, and most importantly, they have the time,” 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. MVIHES and the Friends of French Creek are the first two groups to participate.”

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RESTORATIVE LAND DEVELOPMENT: Parksville 2019 Symposium organizing committee releases the Detailed Agenda for Day Two (April 4) – “Getting It Right by Making Better Land Use Decisions”


“Yes, we can decrease our destructive footprint while at the same time increasing our restorative footprint! Sustainable is attainable. Make where we live better. Create an ‘actionable vision’. Chart a new course to a sustainable water future. Celebrate Vancouver Island success stories. Follow the leaders! These success stories are inspirational in nature, creekshed in scale, and precedent-setting in scope and outcome. ‘Get it right’ and proceed along a restorative development pathway,” states John Finnie.

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MODULE A – DAY TWO – PARKSVILLE 2019 SYMPOSIUM: “In the RDN part of the program, delegates will contribute to the visioning of the next decade of Drinking Water and Watershed Protection in the Nanaimo region,” states Julie Pisani, DWWP Coordinator, Regional District of Nanaimo


“An important aspect of the Drinking Water & Watershed Protection program is that it is regional in nature, with a focus on the natural boundaries of watersheds and aquifers to frame program activities, rather than political boundaries. All four member municipalities and all seven Electoral Areas are partners in this region-wide function, recognizing the water does not conform to jurisdictional lines. Protecting and planning for our water requires a high level of collaboration,” states Julie Pisani.

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MODULE B – DAY TWO – PARKSVILLE 2019 SYMPOSIUM: A Panel & Town-Hall Session on “Improving Where We Live” features five Vancouver Island initiatives to demonstrate what is possible through a Whole-System Approach


“A vision for restorative land development could be guided by the mantra: Sustainable is attainable. We can make where we live better. While communities cannot restore lost biodiversity, they can halt its decline and consciously direct efforts into bending the trend-line in an upwards direction. ‘Getting it right’ is a process that requires long-term commitment, patience and perseverance by champions,” states Kim Stephens. “Inspirational in scope, five Vancouver Island initiatives demonstrate what is achievable when there is a restoration imperative.”

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