“Climate change is not the driver; rather, it is a variable. The key is to focus on what you want to do. Because many factors are in play, the objective is to build in resiliency to address risk,” stated Kim Stephens
Understanding Water Resources
CAVI – Convening for Action on Vancouver Island – is led by a team that represents both the private and government sectors. This regional initiative is supported by the Water Sustainability Committee of the BCWWA, the Green Infrastructure Partnership, the Real Estate Foundation of BC, and two provincial Ministries – namely Environment and Community Services. CAVI will ultimately comprise an array of program elements that celebrate and advance on-the-ground examples of green infrastructure innovation and ‘designing with nature'.
How does a community weigh the benefits and liabilities of change driven by demand for land use? What will determine long-term wellbeing for a community or region? In a nutshell, ‘wellbeing' is about sustainability of what communities allow or prevent happening on the land. Wellbeing is about balancing settlement activity and ecology!
Within the next 10 to 15 years it is projected that the available water in the Okanagan Basin will be fully allocated. At the same time, agricultural development is also expected to increase, with potential growth in the grape and wine sector leading the way. Also, the region will continue to experience both the benefits and consequences of climate change – that is, a longer growing season and changes in form and pattern of precipitation and runoff, respectively.
As an adjunct to the Gaining Ground Summit Conference, the organizations that comprise the Convening for Action on Vancouver Island (CAVI) partnership are holding a consultation workshop for local government on June 3, 2007. The workshop is an action item arising from an earlier consultation workshop held in conjunction with the Water in the City Conference in September 2006.
The phrase ‘water for life and livelihoods' has been introduced to British Columbians in order to focus them on what is at stake over both the short and long terms. The phrase conveys the fundamental principles of sustainability of natural systems in their own right and in relation to the health and well-being of people who benefit from the use of water for basic life needs and economic activity.
Convening for Action on Vancouver Island (CAVI) is a pilot program at a regional scale. CAVI will integrate with other groups, move ‘green value' from concept to practice, and encourage the introduction of a ‘design with nature' way of thinking into local government decision processes.
The Ministry of Environment held a one-day workshop in Nanaimo in March 2007 to provide technical information and highlight the work being done related to water quality issues on Vancouver Island.
Stoltz Bendway Weirs – Cowichan River
Return periods are common in regulations and in 'standard engineering practice'. However, using return periods without considering their response to climate variability and climate change could result in poor long-term decision making and prevent proactive adaptation if not put into the context of climate change.