Western Canada's largest annual meeting of water industry professionals.
Colorado’s inherently dry climate coupled with several years of drought have led to increased awareness of the importance of water conservation both indoors and outdoors in recent years.
Companies around the world have been working for decades to manage their own water use and wastewater discharge. Now, as freshwater becomes increasingly scarce, and amid mounting competition between communities, industries, agriculture and ecosystems for finite resources, there is growing awareness that “to manage water globally, you need to know the water situation locally”.
The City of Dawson Creek hosted a workshop titled “Sustainable Planning and Development for Small Communities”, a program developed by Canada Mortgage & Housing Corporation to help small communities. Held in December 2006, the workshop was attended by municipalities from throughout the Peace River region.
The convergence of local, regional and provincial interests provided the impetus for organizing a ‘water-centric working session' in the Town of Oliver on March 30, 2006. A list of ten incremental steps were identified that will help guide the Town and the Regional District of Okanagan-Similkameen on their journey to get from “there to here” along the soft path to water sustainability.
Water-centric planning in the South Okanagan can facilitate a plan of action for the entire Okanagan. This was the message conveyed by Kim Stephens, Program Coordinator for the Water Sustainability Action Plan for British Columbia, when he was invited to make a presentation to the recently formed Okanagan Water Stewardship Council.
The Town of Oliver's journey along the soft path to water sustainability provides an on-the-ground case study for implementation of a water-centric approach to land use and water planning.