LIVING WATER SMART IN BRITISH COLUMBIA: “Our watersheds have been stewarded for thousands of years by First Nations. We can continue to steward them for thousands of years into the future,” stated Keith Lawrence, Cowichan Valley Regional District (January 2023)

Note to Reader:

Waterbucket eNews celebrates the leadership of individuals and organizations who are guided by the Living Water Smart vision. The edition published on January 31, 2023 publicized the Stories of Inter-Regional Collaboration Series. The first in the series tells the story of the Cowichan Region Drinking Water and Watershed Protection Program.

Cowichan Region Drinking Water & Watershed Protection Program

“The Partnership for Water Sustainability now has a multi-decade history under the Water Sustainability Action Plan umbrella. This allows us to reflect on both oral and written history, including the context that has informed our collective actions and thus shaped the journey that we are on together,” stated Kim Stephens, Executive Director, Partnership for Water Sustainability.

“Everyone learns through stories, and this is how the Partnership hopes to inspire readers. In January 2023, the Partnership released the first in the Stories of Inter-Regional Collaboration Series. The series is about the Georgia Basin Inter-Regional Education Initiative (IREI) and shines the spotlight on the local government champions who are committed to the long-term wellbeing of their communities.”

“The first in the series features the Cowichan Region and tells the story of the Drinking Water and Watershed Protection Program. This regional service is tasked with helping to protect the region’s water resources. The One Water One Region strategy sets out the programs, goal, objectives, program areas, priority actions and guiding principles for delivery.”

Towards a “Spirit of Stewardship” Culture

“When I first joined CVRD in mid-2013, watershed governance was top of mind for some folks. We were working on a program to collaborate with various organizations to look at watershed and groundwater governance. We were trying to understand the problems with the current governance framework which was informal and identify a framework that could work going forward,” states the CVRD’s Keith Lawrence

“The Cowichan watershed is a great example of community involvement. Given the number of organizations, one needs to create a mind map to understand it, because the stewardship network is an ecosystem in and of itself.”.

“Thinking more broadly, how do we enhance that spirit of stewardship everywhere? How do we enhance that responsibility that people everywhere can have towards the watershed that they live in, work in, and play in?”


To read the complete story published on January 31st 2023, download a PDF copy of Living Water Smart in British Columbia: Adapting to floods and droughts in the Cowichan region.