“Hands Across the Malahat” on Vancouver Island: Reconnect People with Water



On February 23, 2010, the Bowker Creek Forum will celebrate urban watershed management successes in the Georgia Basin, in particular the multi-jurisdictional process that culminated in the Bowker Creek Blueprint: A 100-Year Action Plan to Restore the Watershed.

The Bowker Creek Forum will enable participants to share lessons learned and connect the dots between five Georgia Basin initiatives.

Leading up to the Forum, a set of four stories will progressively foreshadow and/or elaborate on what will be covered at the Forum. These stories will serve as resource materials. To learn more, click on Set of “Forum Preview Stories” establish expectations for 2010 Bowker Creek Forum. The following reflections by Michael Zbarsky are extracted from Story #2.

Georgia basin initiatives


Reconnect People with Water

 “One of the thoughts that crossed my mind while reading about Bowker Creek is that it is viewed, not necessarily as a properly functioning waterway, but as an opportunity to Mike zbarsky (120p) - comox valley regional district‘reconnect’ people with their water,” states Michael Zbarsky, Engineering Analyst with the Comox Valley Regional District. “This is a subject that became a huge discussion point at the 2009 Comox Valley Learning Lunch Series.” 

“People are generally disconnected from water…where it comes from, what its value is, and where it goes to.  Turn the tap and water comes out….pressure wash the driveway and water goes down a drain…out of sight, out of mind…disconnected.”

“What a huge opportunity this is for Bowker Creek…with 30,000 people ‘connected’ by it across jurisdictions, it can serve as a focal point to reunite people with watersheds.”

“Having a blueprint from which various organizations can integrate their activities and plans with is very relevant here in the Comox Valley where we have regional growth, sewer, water and sustainability plans in process. Once these plans are each completed it will be key to jointly incorporate the associated actions into regional, municipal and non-government plans.”

“The Comox Valley is fortunate to have a major waterway that connects the mountains and glaciers with the Comox Lake and then flows past Cumberland, through electoral areas of the regional district, into Courtenay and finally out to Comox as it spills into the ocean.”

“This is our major hydrologic connection, but also our main drinking water source and ultimately where our wastewater goes (the ocean part at least).  Regional cooperation will be key to moving forward with our various regional initiatives, which all have water at their core.  I am keen to see how others have approached the ‘regional team’ concept so that we can learn from them.” 

Creating a legacy - convening for action in the georgia basin (360p)

Posted February 2010