LIVING WATER SMART IN BRITISH COLUMBIA: “It is clear in my mind that traditional knowledge and western science are in alignment. They are just different ways of communicating. In fact, I believe there is an analogy between Indigenous oral history, and a statistical approach called Bayesian analysis. This is a way of processing anecdotal information,” stated Neil Goeller, BC Ministry of Environment & Climate Change Strategy (February 2022)
“In North America, from a scientific point of view, water records are quite short. We are lucky when we have 60 years of reliable records, possibly extending out to 100-plus years. Consider that our oldest hydrometric gauge in BC is only in the order of 110 to 120 years. The peak period for collection of streamflow and climate data was the era from the 1960s through 1980s. However, a majority of gauges in BC are discontinuous. When I reflect on this short-term context for hydrometric data collection in BC, there is no doubt in my mind that Indigenous knowledge would expand our horizon and help us make sense of the numbers in a larger context,” stated Neil Goeller.