Category:

Watershed Security Strategy

YOUTUBE VIDEO — OUR LOSING BATTLE WITH NATURE-TRANSITION OR DESTINY: “The risks are greater than we were led to believe by government, industry and professionals” – a webinar featuring Younes Alila and moderated by Lori Daniels of the UBC Faculty of Forestry


“Climate change has elevated the risk of extreme weather the world over,” stated UBC’s Dr. Lori Daniels, webinar moderator. “In British Columbia, a natural flood risk mitigator lies all around us in the water-absorbing power of trees. Research has shown that even a modest loss of forest cover due to wildfire, logging and disease can cause surprisingly large increases in the frequency of extreme floods. Will dykes, dams and levees be enough to protect against property loss and devastation from floods in the future?”

Read Article

YOUTUBE VIDEO — HYDROLOGY OF CONVENIENCE IN BC FORESTRY: “Powerful. Compelling. Younes Alila is passionate and engaging! This is a MUST WATCH video,” stated Kim Stephens, Partnership for Water Sustainability in British Columbia


“Through his research thrust over three decades, Younes Alila landed on a discovery that challenges mainstream practices and provides the foundation for a paradigm-shift in forest hydrology science and practice. In sharing his findings at a Community Town Hall event hosted at UBC Okanagan Campus in April 2024, Younes Alila laid out a compelling and powerful storyline that he titled Hydrology of Convenience in BC Forestry. He uses the term hydrology of convenience to frame the issue and thus capture attention,” stated Kim Stephens.

Read Article

LANDSCAPES AND WATERSHEDS IN BC ARE AT A HEIGHTENED RISK: “In 1982, John Hewlett urged use of the probabilistic framework. But this cue from the godfather of forest hydrology was completely missed,” stated stated Younes Alila, professional engineer and professor in the UBC Faculty of Forestry


“Hydrologists have understandably been confused by the difficulties inherent in describing the nature and frequency of floods to laymen, who are apt to have little patience with probability statements. But among ourselves we must drop back to rigorous language in order to discuss and trade information about land-use causes and flood effects,” wrote John Hewlett, professor emeritus of forest resources at the University of Georgia. Many fundamental precepts of modern hydrology can be traced back to Hewlett’s work, including interflow and the use of stream buffers.

Read Article

BC’s PATH TO FOOD SECURITY IS THRU WATER SECURITY: “When we think of all the changes in thinking that we have gone through in the last 50 years, the Land Commission Act really is a testament to the incredible foresight demonstrated in 1973,” stated Joan Sawicki, former MLA


“At a time when most other jurisdictions continue to lose their food lands, BC’s ALR remains the most successful agricultural land preservation program in North America. With food security now becoming a top-of-mind public issue, thanks to the foresight demonstrated in 1973 we still have “the land” – and I submit we would not still have the option for viable agricultural sectors in high growth areas like the Lower Mainland or the Okanagan without the ALR. The ALR has been doing exactly what it was designed to do,” stated Joan Sawicki.

Read Article

TOWARDS WATERSHED SECURITY IN BRITISH COLUMBIA: A report on the role of water in modernized land use planning by the University of Victoria’s POLIS Water Sustainability Project (July 2020)


“In the past decade, land and water planning by the provincial government have advanced in fits and starts. Plans were often developed in response to conflict and litigation by Indigenous Nations or by local governments and authority holders seeking to fill planning gaps. While these plans are highly local and fit for purpose, they lack provincial authority and resources making them challenging to enforce. The report provides direction to both provincial and Indigenous decision-makers by outlining the need for, and elements of, a reformed provincial land and water planning framework,” stated Rosie Simms.

Read Article

PREPARE FOR TOMORROW: “A Watershed Security Fund offers an opportunity for government to deliver effectively on multiple commitments and would provide a mechanism to integrate policy priorities at a landscape level,” states Tim Morris, Project Director, BC Freshwater Legacy Initiative


“50 years ago, BC’s political leaders took bold action to secure our farmland by creating the British Columbia Agricultural Land Reserve. This act of vision and courage created a legacy of food security that still benefits British Columbians today. But securing our farmland was only half the job: just like farmland is the source of our food security, healthy watersheds are key to our water security. It’s time to take bold action once again to secure and sustain our critical fresh water sources forever,” stated Tim Morris.

Read Article

A WATERSHED SECURITY FUND FOR BRITISH COLUMBIA: Position Paper on Building Resilience and Advancing Reconciliation (released November 2019)


“First Nations communities often lack the necessary financial resources to meet the demands placed upon them from Crown governments and industry, and to proactively develop and implement their own water protection plans, policies, and laws. A Watershed Security Fund would provide lasting financial support to First Nations and community partners to build and strengthen their capacity to undertake watershed stewardship, planning and governance activities for the benefit of all British Columbians,” stated Susi Porter-Bopp.

Read Article

FLASHBACK TO 1992: Article on “Water, Water Everywhere….Does British Columbia Really Need a Water Conservation Strategy?”


In 1992, co-authored papers by Tom Heath and Kim Stephens and by Ted van der Gulik and Kim Stephens were adapted and published as an integrated magazine article. “Although there is a perception that BC is water-rich, the reality is that we are often seasonally water-short (mainly because of storage limitations) during the period when water demand is heaviest due to lawn and garden irrigation,” wrote the authors in their opening paragraph.

Read Article