LIVING WATER SMART IN BRITISH COLUMBIA: “Getting involved in a Water Sustainability Plan is one thing. Leading it is another. Who is going to take charge, who is going to step up and really lead that process,” stated Brian Carruthers, former Chief Administrative Officer with the Cowichan Valley Regional District (January 2023)

“When I think about the experience in the Cowichan, in many ways the region is still in the theoretical stage in terms of weaving Indigenous knowledge and Western science,” stated Brian Carruthers. “We created the framework for that to happen, but I cannot say that it truly has happened. The foundation for interweaving in the Cowichan region is really with the Cowichan Tribes. Everything the Cowichan Valley Regional District has done has been shoulder to shoulder with them. The framework is in place and the Drinking Water and Watershed Protection service exists.”

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BLUE ECOLOGY IS THE PATHWAY TO REACH WATER RECONCILIATION: “What Blue Ecology offers local government is a foundation, and starting point, that has both Indigenous and non-Indigenous buy-in. I believe this will alone remove some of the fear,” says Michael Blackstock, independent Indigenous scholar and creator of the Blue Ecology methodology

“I have been reflecting on the recent UN climate change conference in Egypt. It seems that the wind is coming out of the sails. It seems like climate adaptation is too big a hill for nation level governments to climb and solve. My hope lies in local government because local people understand their local area. And at the local scale, we are able to self-organize better on specific execution of executable tasks. I have lived in many communities throughout BC and have learned that those towns each have their own culture. So, local knowledge is important, whether it is Indigenous or non-Indigenous,” stated Michael Blackstock.

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LIVING WATER SMART IN BRITISH COLUMBIA: “The growing cost of neglect, combined with the urgency of the flood liability issue in particular, is the driver for linking municipal infrastructure asset management and stream health as cause-and-effect,” stated Kim Stephens, Executive Director, Partnership for Water Sustainability in BC (January 2023)

“My over-arching message to those who were elected to municipal councils and regional boards in October 2022 is succinct: Get the water part right in a changing climate, and you will be amazed how other parts of the community resiliency puzzle then fall into place,” stated Kim Stephens. “Land use alters the landscape. That is obvious, right. But there is an elephant in the room. It is the unfunded liability due to neglect of the drainage service. The cost of neglect grows over time. The consequence of neglect is an accumulating financial liability to fund creek channel stabilization and stream corridor revegetation in urban and rural settings.”

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