BLUE ECOLOGY: A Pathway to Water Reconciliation and Resilience at the Local Scale in British Columbia

“When I think about the experience in the Cowichan, in many ways the region is still in the theoretical stage in terms of weaving Indigenous knowledge and Western science,” stated Brian Carruthers. “We created the framework for that to happen, but I cannot say that it truly has happened. The foundation for interweaving in the Cowichan region is really with the Cowichan Tribes. Everything the Cowichan Valley Regional District (CVRD) has done has been shoulder to shoulder with them. The framework is in place and the Drinking Water and Watershed Protection service exists. But I do wish the Cowichan region was further along. However, a reality is that things do take time.”

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A NEW SEASON: Local government policy impacts ripple through time

“My over-arching message to those elected in October 2022 is succinct: Get the water part right in a changing climate, and you will be amazed how other parts of the community resiliency puzzle then fall into place. A supporting message is this: Our land ethic has consequences for water. This means elected representatives need to understand why development practices disconnect the water balance pathways that power stream-ecology. They also need to understand why a water-first approach to green infrastructure can reconnect the two,” stated Kim Stephens.

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