Archive:

2021

LIVING WATER SMART IN BRITISH COLUMBIA: “Many readers tell us that they are inspired by the stories that we share,” stated Kim Stephens, Waterbucket eNews Editor and Executive Director, Partnership for Water Sustainability in British Columbia (June 2021)


“Each week, from September through June, we celebrate the leadership of individuals and organizations who are guided by the vision for Living Water Smart, British Columbia’s Water Plan. Feature stories published weekly on Waterbucket eNews constitute a legacy resource. To make them readily accessible and sharable, many of these stories are now downloadable as report-style documents. In the Living Water Smart Series, featured authors explore specific themes, with an objective of helping others make a difference in the communities in which they live,” stated Kim Stephens.

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LIVING WATER SMART IN BRITISH COLUMBIA: “We will be successful when community development is guided by a vision that  embraces ‘design with nature’ approaches to reconnect people, land, fish, and water in altered landscapes,” stated Peter Law, a Founding Director of the Partnership for Water Sustainability, when he provided context for the Partnership’s Living Water Smart Series (May 2021)


“Released in 2008, Living Water Smart was the provincial government’s call to action, and to this day transcends governments. With Living Water Smart as its starting point, the Partnership has a primary goal, to build bridges of understanding and pass the baton from the past to the present and future. The Living Water Smart Series is an integral part of the knowledge-transfer process. In the Series, featured authors explore specific themes, with an objective of connecting dots. The Partnership goal is to facilitate understanding of how to build greener communities and adapt to a changing climate,” stated Peter Law.

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LIVING WATER SMART IN BRITISH COLUMBIA: “When someone with expertise often retires their managers ‘don’t know what they have lost until it is gone’ and even then they might not know. That person has left with all their knowledge and connections,” stated Kate Rushton, UK-based community strategist


“Two years ago I attended my first intergenerational innovation challenge. Afterwards, I occasionally thought about this new way of working. It sparked my interest in intergenerational co-creation. Not only as a way to build bridges between generations but as a way to innovate in general. By using an older adult’s experience-based knowledge, which is known also known as deep smarts, and the younger generation’s fresh eyes and new perspectives intergenerational co-creation can help create more rounded solutions,” stated Kate Rushton.

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LIVING WATER SMART IN BRITISH COLUMBIA: “Through my readings and discussions with people in the Metro Vancouver region area, I have found that there is a sense of pragmatism among researchers, urban managers, and advocates,” stated Charles Axelesson, PhD candidate, University of Venice


“My discussions with Kim Stephens have helped me to re-evaluate how I discuss my own research. I was taking some of the terminology for granted as it is repeated in the literature time and time again but words like ‘stormwater’, ‘rainwater’ and ‘drainage’ can have such powerful unconscious effects on how you interpret the discussions and they can mean different things to different stakeholders in the system. These terminology choices ultimately have a large effect in science communication and the message you intend to convey. I find these differences interesting and yet more proof that I love science communication,” stated Charles Axelsson.

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RESTORE THE BALANCE IN THE WATER BALANCE: “The approach to urban design – where water is held in place to be called-upon when needed – is known as the ‘sponge city’, and it is rapidly growing in popularity,” wrote Laurie Winkless, author of ‘Science and the City: The Mechanics Behind the Metropolis’, in an article for Forbes Magazine (July 2021)


A sponge city is a new urban construction model for flood management, strengthening ecological infrastructure and drainage systems, proposed by Chinese researchers in 2014. “Extreme weather, a changing climate, and impervious streets and roads have combined to create an urban disaster. All of this has seen cities begin to re-imagine their relationship with water. Rather than just designing systems that allow the water to drain away slowly and stably, they want to harvest and reuse it,” stated Laurie Winkless.

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WATCH THE VIDEO / Water and a Changing Climate / Drought Affects Us All: “When you think about it, the earth is a closed-loop system. New water is not being created. What changes is the seasonal distribution. Extreme droughts followed by extreme floods show just how unbalanced the seasonal water cycle is now,” stated Kim Stephens, Partnership for Water Sustainability (July 2021)


“A long career provides perspective. In my five decades as water resource planner and engineer, there are three years that really stand out in British Columbia when the topic is water conservation. After what in respect was a benign half-century, 1987 was BC’s first wake up call. The drought was unprecedented in living memory. But it was 2003 that truly was what we call ‘the teachable year.’ This really got the attention of British Columbians that the climate was indeed changing. In 2015, the West Coast of North America crossed an invisible threshold into a different hydro-meteorological regime. And it has happened faster than anyone expected,” stated Kim Stephens.

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CONTEXT FOR BLUE ECOLOGY AND WATER RECONCILIATION: “Over the last several years, our team of Indigenous and non-Indigenous researchers have been exploring what this word (reconciliation) means to people in Canada. In doing so, we have come to understand that our relationship to the natural world is an important, yet often overlooked, part of furthering reconciliation,” wrote University of Manitoba researchers Aleah Fontaine and Katherine Starzyk in an article published by The Conversation (August 2021)


“Considering traditional Indigenous perspectives and social psychological research, we wanted to understand whether people’s support for reconciliation was related to their attitudes toward nature and other animals. And if this was the case, why? At the core of our project is the idea that moral expansiveness, or the breadth of entities a person feels moral concern for, is important for motivating support for reconciliation. Our results showed that people who felt more connected to nature also supported reconciliation more,” stated Aleah Fontaine.

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DEALING WITH UNCERTAINTY AND MANAGING RISK: “A key feature of climate change is that it doesn’t pose one single risk. Rather, it presents multiple, interacting risks that can compound and cascade. Importantly, responses to climate change can also affect risk,” wrote University of Capetown researchers Nicholas Simpson and Christopher Trisos in an article published by The Conversation (August 2021)


“In our highly connected world, climate risks and our responses to them can be transmitted from one system or sector to another, creating new risks and making existing ones more or less severe. In many cases risks cannot be understood without considering these interactions. Recent evidence indicates how some of the most severe climate change impacts, such as those from deadly heat or sudden ecosystem collapse, are strongly influenced by interactions across sectors and regions,” stated Nicholas Simpson.

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A CHANGING CLIMATE AFFECTS ALL OF US: “Over the past eight years, climate scientists have improved the methods they use to measure different aspects of climate and to project what might happen in the future. They’ve also been monitoring the changes that have developed right before our eyes,” stated Dr. Alex Crawford, a climatologist at the University of Manitoba (August 2021)


On August 9, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) will release its most comprehensive report on the science of climate change since 2013. “The report will provide policy-makers with the best possible information regarding the physical science of climate change, which is essential for long-term planning in many sectors, from infrastructure to energy to social welfare,” stated Alex Crawford. In his article, he identifies five things to look for in the new report.

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GROUNDWATER LICENSING IN BRITISH COLUMBIA IS A CRISIS IN THE MAKING: “I think there’s a lot of frustration all around, and it’s because the government, in my mind, hasn’t taken this file seriously. It’s a big story but it hasn’t gotten much traction. It’s going to be a big story,” stated David Slade, a Past-President of the BC Groundwater Association (August 2021)


BC’s faltering effort to manage groundwater use brings a looming crisis. Thousands of groundwater users could be cut off effective March 2022 as they fail to apply for water licences. Critics blame government inaction. The way it looks to David Slade, a water-well driller with 50 years of experience, some 15,000 British Columbia groundwater users are going to become criminals overnight next March. “That certainly seems to be the trajectory we’re on now. I don’t know if it’s willful ignorance, or just people are ignoring it in hopes it will go away,” said Slade.

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