British Columbia

    FLASHBACK TO 2015: The Water Sustainability Act allows for the development of Water Sustainability Plans to integrate water and land use planning to address the potential impacts of land use decisions and actions on water

    “The scale and scope of each Water Sustainability Plan – and the process used to develop it – would be unique, and would reflect the needs and interests of the watersheds affected. Planning will be an effective tool where the need is great, and where other area-based management tools are not able to address the links between land use and watershed impacts,” explained the Ministry of Environment’s Jennifer Vigano. Water Sustainability Plans can be combined with other local, regional or provincial planning processes.

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    NEW REPORT > ‘Tapped Out’ Sounds Alarm about British Columbia’s Looming Water Crisis

    “Many people believe that B.C. has limitless water supplies. Unfortunately, this is simply not true. All over the province, communities are already experiencing water shortages, and low water levels in many rivers threaten the survival of salmon. I began this project about a year ago, and my mission was to find a way to demonstrate how B.C. does not have the abundant water that many people think it does. Unfortunately, BC has very poor information about how much water we have and how much we use,” stated Tanis Gower.

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    LONGER, DRIER SUMMERS = DROUGHTS EVERY YEAR: British Columbia is in Year 5 of its ‘new reality’ – prominent scientists say we have crossed a threshold into a new climate regime

    FLASHBACK TO 2015: “The water supply issue and concern in a nutshell can be summarized in four points: Southwest BC dodged a bullet this past summer; there have been past crises; there is a repeating pattern; and increasing water supply storage is problematic,” summarized Kim Stephens in a series of year-end interviews following the drought of 2015. “The clock is ticking. Communities need to leverage this teachable year and seize opportunities to change how the water resource is viewed and managed.”

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    BUILDING CLIMATE RESILIENCE IN THE OKANAGAN: “The goal of the Homeowner’s Resource Guide is to raise awareness and identify key actions homeowners can take to protect properties from flood, drought, fire, and invasive species,” states Eva Antonijevic, lead author (May 2019)

    “Understanding how wildfires travel onto private property helps homeowners understand how to reduce risks of property damage. Reducing fire risk requires a team approach and communities need to work together–neighbour to neighbour,” states Eva Antonijevic. “The guide summarizes climate challenges, and introduces solutions to support Okanagan homeowners in their efforts to protect and enhance their real estate investment from the ongoing challenges of climate change.”

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    FIRE WEATHER SEVERITY: ‘Abnormally dry’ conditions across Pacific Northwest could spell long wildfire season for British Columbia (May 2019)

    “The signs of climate change are all around us. Earth mother’s lifeblood (i.e. water) is becoming sparse in the Pacific Northwest, and some Indigenous Elders say this is happening because humans are not showing respect to water,” said Michael Blackstock. “Water withdraws itself from the disrespectful. Water is transforming from ice, to sea and river water, and then to traversing atmospheric rivers. Water was sleeping as ice, but now it is moving rapidly and unpredictably around our planet. Some places are deluged, while others lay tongue-parched.”

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