Fraser Basin Council publishes "A Guide to Water and Watershed Planning for BC Communities"




Rethinking Our Water Ways 

In October 2011, the Fraser Basin Council released Rethinking Our Water Ways – A Guide to Water and Watershed Planning for BC Communities in the Face of Climate Change and Other Challenges; and is rolling out the Guide at workshops around the province. Workshop venues include Salmon Arm, 100 Mile House, Prince George, Chilliwack and New Westminster (January 18) 

“Do you or your organization have responsibilities in the planning and management of watersheds or water resources in British Columbia? Would you like to know more about current water-related challenges and opportunities?”, states Steve Litke, Senior Program Manager.

Rethinking Our Water Ways has been developed to help planners, decision makers and communities strengthen their capacity to look after healthy watersheds and water resources.”

“The guide offers a primer on 10 different types of water and watershed planning processes that are available in BC to manage water supply and demand; protect drinking water quality; and better integrate water, land and watersheds. The guide provides an overview of the water-related impacts of a changing climate in BC and it offers suggestions on how these impacts can be addressed through planning. The guide also shares experiences, lessons learned and information resources from water leaders, champions and practitioners from across BC.” 



To download a copy and/or access the web version, click on Rethinking Our Water Ways. For more information, phone Steve Litke at 604-488-5358; or email him at

An integrated approach to watershed planning considers the interactions between the biophysical, constructed and human landscapes within a watershed. An integrated approach recognizes the interdependencies in both natural and human systems. Integrated watershed planning provides a means for coordinating decisions among government and private agencies in order to resolve land use and resource managment conflicts and issues. More recently, the terms “water-centric planning”, “design with nature”, and the “soft path” approach have been used in BC to discuss and promote the concepts embedded in integrated watershed management.




In a chapter titled Learning from Experience, the Guide provides a synthesis of several relevant issues or themes to consider in relation to water and watershed planning. A featured case study that illustrates leadership at a regional scale is CAVI-Convening for Action on Vancouver Island.

The Guide describes CAVI as “an exciting initiative that ….. uses the informal process of collaboration to build capacity and a network of like-minded individuals across Vancouver Island so these individuals can harness the tools of local government to bring about positive change in local watersheds.” 

“At the heart of the initiative is the concept of water-centric planning. Through education and awareness-building initiatives, CAVI demonstrates how water-centric approaches and specific tools can be integrated into existing planning processes.”

“Since its launch in September 2006, CAVI has witnessed considerable success in getting its message out.” 

“On Vancouver Island, local governments are demonstrating what can be accomplished through partnerships and collaboration. Success in moving from awareness to action is ultimately keyed to a regional team approach that is founded on the notion of shared responsibility,” the Guide quotes John Finnie, CAVI Past-Chair and General Manager for Regional and Community Utilities with the Regional District of Nanaimo.
E-Blast #2012-02
January 18, 2012


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