Oct 2015

“Will there be sufficient fresh water in the Lower Fraser River for agriculture in the future?,” asks Ted van der Gulik, President of the Partnership for Water Sustainability in BC

“Context is everything. BC needs 215,000 hectares of irrigated agriculture to help feed our current population, an increase of 20% over what has access to irrigation today. Another revealing comparison is the amount of irrigated agricultural area within the Metro Vancouver region versus that in the Okanagan Valley: ~13,000 ha versus ~20,000 ha. The Fraser Valley can increase irrigated acreage to 35,000 ha with careful planning, a region where most of the vegetables would come from. From a food security perspective, these comparisons underscore the strategic value of agricultural land in the Fraser Valley,” states Ted van der Gulik.

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“If used properly as an adjective, the phrase ‘Sustainable Service Delivery’ makes sense,” says David Allen, City of Courtenay CAO, and Co-Chair of Asset Management BC

“The word ‘sustainable’ is an adjective, not a noun. Since it is not a ‘person, place or thing’, how could we achieve that which we cannot see, hear, smell, touch, build, buy or steal? The BC Framework defines Sustainable Service Delivery as a collection of practices that enables continuous delivery of current community services in a responsible manner that does not compromise the ability of future generations to meet their own needs. Sustainable Service Delivery is the singular aim. Sound Asset Management practices prevent in-service failure of assets which consequently cause service delivery interruptions. Therefore, Asset Management is the means to achieve the aim,” stated David Allen.

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“By supporting our staff to become EOCP-recognized trainers and to deliver training at home and in nearby communities, we are making a very cost-effective investment in the City’s long-term human resource capacity for water utility excellence, while also meeting our regulatory requirements for continuing education,” stated Joe McGowan, Director of Public Works for the City of Cranbrook

When the water utility operators at the Village of Canal Flats heard about the Peer-to-Peer (P2P) training pilot project being led by Columbia Basin Water Smart and the Environmental Operators Certification Program (EOCP), they knew they had a perfect case study for testing the model: in May 2015, water utility staff from Canal Flats contacted Joe McGowan at the City of Cranbrook and requested peer-to-peer training support from Cranbrook utility personnel with expertise in Closed Circuit Television (CCTV) sewer camera operation.

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“The Cowichan Region is advancing processes and developing products that are the foundation for a future Water Sustainability Plan,” says Keith Lawrence, Senior Environmental Analyst (Engineering & Environmental Services Department), Cowichan Valley Regional District

Located on the east coast of Vancouver Island, the Cowichan region is an incubator for Water Balance approaches that can be replicated elsewhere in the Georgia Basin and beyond. “Recurring region-wide consequences of water-related challenges have also prompted regional action to develop governance structures and processes to make the connections between high-level decision making and actions on the ground. The Regional Surface and Ground Water Management and Governance Study identified co-governance with First Nations as a primary condition for success in managing regional water resources,” stated Keith Lawrence.

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