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Partnership for Water Sustainability in BC

The Partnership publishes weekly e-Newsletters. These feature champions who are leading changes in practice. Stories are replicated on our Blog for ease of access.

Latest Posts

CREATING OUR FUTURE: “Beyond Champions – Building a Culture of Water Stewardship” – Paul Chapman, Chair, Vancouver Island Water Stewardship Symposia Series


“The Symposia programs are built around success stories – inspirational in nature, local in scale, and precedent-setting in scope and outcome. In short, these precedents can be replicated and/or adapted in other communities. Now, more than ever, it is essential that we look beyond short-term responses and figure out how we will learn from these success stories; and build a sustaining culture of stewardship so that communities do adapt to the new normal caused by COVID 19,” stated Paul Chapman.

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PREPARE FOR TOMORROW: A proposed Watershed Security Fund would create an enduring legacy for British Columbia


“50 years ago, BC’s political leaders took bold action to secure our farmland by creating the British Columbia Agricultural Land Reserve. This act of vision and courage created a legacy of food security that still benefits British Columbians today. But securing our farmland was only half the job: just like farmland is the source of our food security, healthy watersheds are key to our water security. It’s time to take bold action once again to secure and sustain our critical fresh water sources forever,” stated Tim Morris.

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IN MEMORIAM: Erik Karlsen (1945-2020) – as a professional planner, he was someone quite special


Over the course of his career in government, Erik Karlsen bridged the worlds of municipal affairs and environmental stewardship. For a generation of elected representatives, his was a familiar face in the local government setting. He was indeed one of a kind, and his ability to envision the big picture, yet identify practical steps going forward, was what made him stand out from the crowd and earned him much respect from his colleagues.

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PREPARE FOR TOMORROW: Campbell River City Council has adopted its Sea Level Rise strategy


“The strategy is our roadmap for coping with a climate change impact that will profoundly affect the City’s residents, businesses, asset management plan, and capital works projects. Sea Level Rise is a relatively slow-moving phenomenon and will go largely unnoticed most of the time. However, during a storm event, 1 metre of global sea level rise becomes a serious danger for those few critical hours or minutes around high tide,” stated Chris Osborne.

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CARPE DIEM: Is the pandemic a ‘reachable, teachable moment’ for actually achieving sustainability in British Columbia?


“Being ‘stuck in the past’ has always been a liability. Now, as the pace of everything accelerates, it is logical to expect disruption. It is prudent to be nimble and responsive. There is a French word ‘prevoyant’ that has no English equivalent. It is ‘the power of a prepared mind to act upon chance events in a world of deep uncertainty’. Pulitzer Prize winning historian, David Hackett Fischer wrote that prevoyant is also ‘learning to make sound judgements on the basis of imperfect knowledge; taking a broad view in projects of large purpose; and thinking for the long run’,” stated George Hanson.

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Resiliency Planning During a Pandemic: perspectives from Gibsons on a local government response


“In our resiliency framework, Emergency Planning is identified as an area of focus and includes recommendations to update programs to support neighbourhood preparedness to deal with natural or human-induced disasters. We had barely identified that as an action, and here we are dealing with an extremely serious situation, affecting everything and everyone we know. I wanted to share some thoughts about what I have observed in terms of our local government’s response to this on-going situation,” stated Emanuel Machado.

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PREPARE FOR TOMORROW: Here’s what the coronavirus pandemic can teach us about tackling climate change


“In many ways, what we’re seeing now is a rapid and unplanned version of economic ‘degrowth’ – the transition some academics and activists have for decades said is necessary to address climate change, and leave a habitable planet for future generations. Degrowth is a proposed slowing of growth in sectors that damage the environment, such as fossil fuel industries, until the economy operates within Earth’s limits,” stated Dr. Natasha Chassagne.

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VALUATION OF ECOLOGICAL SERVICES: Do you wonder how streams influence property values and purchasers? To find out, download the Shelly Creek report!


“We arrived at an important insight about ecological assets; that is, an ecological commons is a land use. Regulations define stream functions and setback requirements. Whether it is a pond, wetland or riparian zone, it can be measured. The assessed values of adjacent parcels can be used to provide a value for the natural commons. The inference is that the area of the natural commons would be zoned residential or whatever if the stream was not there,” stated Tim Pringle.

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PREPARE FOR TOMORROW: Coronavirus response proves the world can act on climate change


“The alarms for both COVID-19 and climate change were sounded by experts, well in advance of visible crises,” stated Eric Galbraith. “As scientists who have studied climate change and the psychology of decision-making, we find ourselves asking: Why do the government responses to COVID-19 and climate change — which both require making difficult decisions to avert future disasters — differ so dramatically? We suggest four important reasons.”

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KEEP CALM & CARRY ON: Words of wisdom from UBC’s Dr. Daniel Pauly, the world’s top fishery scientist, provide perspective during difficult times


“It’s not a question of gloom or hope. People ask you: pessimist or an optimist? What does it mean if I tell you I am an optimist or a pessimist? You don’t know what I’m going to do. But what we need to do is what Winston Churchill told England what it had to do to fight Nazism. We will fight them on the beach and fight them on the hills and we’ll fight them. That speech is the answer to the question. Churchill never told people whether he was an optimist or a pessimist. Churchill didn’t know if the Germans were going to cross the English Channel. It is beside the point,” stated Daniel Pauly.

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