“California is now facing a historic drought and the consequences of decades of lacklustre follow-through on groundwater management. BC could be in a multi-year drought like California. However, BC does not have to follow this same path. It can learn from the best examples of California’s new regime and, by employing a precautionary and proactive approach, can avoid the situation that California is currently facing,” says Randy Christensen.
BC’s Water Sustainability Act – Water Leaders identify two critical issues essential to the success of implementation
Passed into law in May 2014, the associated regulations are now being developed. In October 2014, a diversity of individuals working on issues related to water sustainability came together at a workshop held at the University of Victoria. “This group of water leaders developed a statement of support to the province which identified action was required on two critical issues to insure success of the Water Sustainability Act,” reports John Finnie.
“Water Sustainability Act working in tandem with the Environmental Management Act would be a powerful combination,” says Derek Richmond
“The Water Sustainability Act recognizes the connection between land use actions and the implications (consequences) for both the water cycle and watershed sustainability in the local government setting. This is important because restoration and protection of watershed health is a priority for local governments in BC,” states Derek Richmond.
POLIS Project at University of Victoria proposes new way to make decisions about BC’s freshwater resources
“The blueprint sets out a strategic 10-year program and proposes nine winning conditions to ensure success. Recognizing the unique institutional, legal, cultural, and geographic challenges of BC, we provide a clear timeline for successfully moving toward watershed governance to improve ecological resilience across the province,” states Jon O’Riordan.
Live-Streaming of Watersheds 2014: Fraser Basin Council hosts regional satellite events in Vancouver, Chilliwack and Quesnel on January 27
“Our live streaming events in Vancouver, Chilliwack and Quesnel will be a great opportunity to capture some of the action at the Forum for those who could not travel to Duncan, and also to network with a diverse range of stewards and watershed-governance folks from throughout the region,” stated Amy Greenwood.
Watersheds 2014: Towards Watershed Governance in British Columbia & Beyond (January 27-29 in Duncan)
“We live in a changing world and water needs to be managed and governed in new ways. Watershed governance is one innovative approach. It involves reorganizing our decision-making processes to align with the ecological boundaries of watersheds, instead of political boundaries,” states Oliver Brandes.
“Province of British Columbia is committed to water sustainability,” writes Environment Minister Mary Polak
“What government does is only part of the solution. All British Columbians are challenged to play their part to protect, preserve and conserve our water. I look forward to introducing the new Water Sustainability Act in the legislature in 2014,” wrote BC Environment Minister Mary Polak.
“The Provincial Government’s Living Water Smart Plan and the modernization of the BC Water Act provide significant potential to improve water management and protect water resources in British Columbia,” wrote Jack Wong.
“Think Like a Watershed,” advocates Oliver Brandes, leader of the POLIS Water Sustainability Project
“More than a decade into the 21st century, the idea of collaborative watershed management has come of age, and watershed groups across the province are eager to participate. It is all about learning to think like a watershed. That is our vision,” emphasizes Oliver Brandes.
“Dialogue is always a precursor to action in a healthy democracy. The challenge is to include a broader cast of characters so that more than just the “usual” suspects are involved in decisions. This forum was designed with the belief that collaborative solutions are within reach, calling on successful stories of change,” stated Oliver Brande.