VANCOUVER ISLAND: Inter-Regional Education Initiative launched at Cowichan Water Balance Forum




Sustainable Rainwater Management: What Does It Look Like? 

Vancouver Island is a hot-bed of progressive ideas and provincially significant initiatives. Regional districts and their partner municipalities are advancing watershed-based strategies and programs that integrate the site with the watershed and stream. These initiatives all recognize the importance of fostering a land ethic that respects water. 



Convening for Action in the Cowichan Valley

In 2008, the Cowichan Valley was the first demonstration region for the initial rollout of Living Water Smart. In October 2008, for example, the Cowichan Valley regional team hosted the inaugural Vancouver Island Water Balance Model Forum.


In March 2012, the Cowichan Valley regional team hosted a Water Balance Forum and the Partnership for Water Sustainability formally launched the Vancouver Island Inter-Regional Education Initiative. The Cowichan Valley regional team comprises five local governments, the Cowichan Tribes, and the Cowichan Watershed Board.

“Through collaboration and alignment of efforts, our goal is to ensure a consistent approach to rainwater management on Vancouver Island, one that mimics the water balance,” reports Nagi Rizk, Municipal Engineer with the Town of Lake Cowichan. When he delivered the closing remarks at the Forum, he said:

“It is a great honor for me to be part of the Cowichan Valley team. I am glad so many have travelled from so many places to be here today. In this room alone there is a lot of talent; and to reinforce what Blake Medlar of the Ministry of Environment observed, by working together we can make a difference…not just on the Island but also throughout the Province, across the country, and south of the border.”

“I am going to be around for at least another ten years; and am excited to think about the future and the great progress we can achieve together in the coming years,” concluded Nagi Rizk.



Held at the Cowichan campus of Vancouver Island University, the Water Balance Forum attracted representatives from 29 organizations, including the City of Calgary. The Inter-Regional Education Initiative is bringing together local governments from four regions on the east coast of Vancouver Island: Capital Region, Cowichan Valley, Nanaimo Region and Comox Valley. 

“The Cowichan Forum provided us with a teachable moment to focus our local government colleagues on what it means in practice to mimic the Water Balance,” reports Kim Stephens, Partnership Executive Director. “A critical take-away message was the need for everyone to shine their spotlights on the Water Balance Methodology. This is the priority. The Water Balance Model is simply the means to achieve an outcome.”

To learn more about the knowledge-sharing that took place at this event, click on Vancouver Island Inter-Regional Education Initiative launched at Cowichan Forum on Sustainable Rainwater Management.

To read a story previously posted on the Waterbucket website, click on Sustainable Rainwater Management on Vancouver Island: What Does It Look Like?



E-Blast #2012-13

April 3, 2012


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