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

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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WATER, PLACE AND RECONCILIATION: Unpaving Paradise at Kus-kus-sum on the Courtenay River on Vancouver Island

“Pre-1950 aerial photographs confirm that Kus-kus-sum was indeed a forested streamside area in the K’ómoks Estuary with side-channels connecting it to the adjacent Hollyhock Marsh,” stated Caila Holbrook. ”The restoration process will include removing built infrastructure from the site, removing fill, re-grading the topography of the area, planting native species and removing the steel wall. Nature will come back; it is already trying to – as trees and salt marsh plants are poking through the 1 foot deep rebar-reinforced concrete.”

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Water, Place and Reconciliation – Stitching Together Altered Landscapes (article #6 in a series)

“I am fond of the saying: If you want to go fast, go alone; if you want to go far, go together. This comes from the hiking world but is applicable to many aspects of life and to the unique challenges of adaptation in the face of climate instability,” stated Paul Chapman. “The truth of this adage is apparent when we come together to learn from each other’s water stewardship efforts, glean new ideas to take home from our gatherings and modify and apply in our home watersheds. Comox Valley 2020 promises new opportunities to build our community of stewardship.”

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Reinventing the Traditional Vegetated Roof for Detention – an application of whole-system thinking

“Put simply: the modern vegetated roof is designed to drain extremely fast. That is not to say no one has considered alternatives,” states Sasha Aguilera. “Slowing down water to create detention has been tried in vegetated roofs, albeit with mixed success. There are a few examples of great success, but replicability and widespread adoption have been difficult to achieve. This is unsurprising, since creating detention in a thin vegetated system is challenging. However, innovations are changing that equation.”

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CONNECT THE DOTS: International Year of the Salmon – Will Lightning Strike Twice? – CONTINUE READING TO UNDERSTAND THE CONTEXT (#5 in a series)

“From an International Year of the Salmon perspective, large efforts of a very large mass of people around the rims of the North Atlantic, North Pacific and likely Arctic oceans will need to ‘come together’ for any real change to occur. From this perspective the requirement in an increasingly interconnected world is closer to ‘humankind’ than to a few of us in the local community. That said, it’s the sum of us in local communities that will move this closer to a humankind undertaking,” stated Kim Hyatt.

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IMPROVING THE PROCESS OF IMPROVING PLACES: Should Storm Cunningham’s RECONOMICS be mandatory reading for Mayors, Chief Administrative Officers & Directors of Planning in cities and regions?

“I’ve spent the past 20 years leading workshops, keynoting summits and consulting in planning sessions at urban and rural places worldwide. All were focused on some aspect of creating revitalization or resilience.Most of those events had other speakers who recounted their on-the-ground efforts and lessons learned. I’ve thus spent the past two decades researching commonalities: what’s usually present in the successes, and what’s usually missing in the failures? I’ve boiled it down to six elements. Each of them individually increases the likelihood of success,” explained Storm Cunningham.

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BC’s Climate Reality, Inter-Regional Collaboration & Actionable Visions – ARE YOU CURIOUS TO LEARN MORE? THEN CONTINUE READING (#4 in a series)

“What happens on the land matters to water bodies. Water-centric programs underway in the Comox Valley, Cowichan Valley, Nanaimo and Capital regions are foundation pieces for stitching together an altered landscape. Are you aware of the scope, scale and interplay of an array of initiatives and programs underway on Vancouver Island? Do you wonder whether and how these initiatives and programs are making a difference? Join us for a facilitated panel conversation complete with audience interaction segments,” stated Kim Stephens.

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“If an existing groundwater user applies after March 1, 2022, they will be viewed as a completely new user and that seniority will be gone! In many watersheds, the chance of an existing user getting a licence applying after March 1, 2022 may not even be possible – imagine how that would impact the business or land owner? It may not seem like it, but we have entered a new reality. A reality of no return. Existing groundwater users need to realize this, so they can do the right (and smart) thing and apply for a licence prior to March 1, 2022,” stated Mike Wei.

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Natural Assets as Ecological Systems and Services – IF YOU WONDER WHY, THEN CONTINUE READING (#3 in a series)

“The idea of a natural commons supporting a package of ecological services which the community wants and expects to have implies that approved plans for land development should not result in ecological services being merely residual outcomes. Should the community simply be happy with what is left?” stated Tim Pringle. “Rather, their maintenance and management (M&M) should be planned as core municipal services.”

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BC’S FIRST ASSET MANAGEMENT BYLAW: City of Courtenay leads by example

“The City of Courtenay previously adopted an asset management policy in 2015. The bylaw takes the policy one step further, and formally stipulates that decisions on the renewal, upgrade, and acquisition of the City’s assets must consider the full cost throughout the expected lifespan of the asset. As infrastructure ages, maintenance costs typically increase. And failure to maintain assets can dramatically shorten their lifespans, potentially resulting in the need for costly upgrades,” stated David Allen.

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