Water Conservation on the Island
Water is commonly thought to be plentiful on BC’s west coast; an assumption that has traditionally shaped our decisions about everything from planning our home gardens to designing and operating cooling systems and industrial processes. However, the rising cost of providing drinking water from finite sources in growing urban areas is rendering many traditional water using devices, systems and practices obsolete.
Globally, a growing awareness of the impacts of extracting resources from our environment and returning them in a diminished state provides additional incentive to conserve. Technology is changing to dramatically improve the efficiency of water using devices and systems, but Islanders, like most Canadians, have been slow to adopt technology improvements that protect our very affordable, high quality water resources.
A March 2006 workshop co-hosted by the Capital Regional District (CRD) and the British Columbia Water & Waste Association (BCWWA) examined the ways that urban growth and technology are changing the ways we use water on Vancouver Island, and provided practical tools that water providers, facility managers, planners and designers can employ to manage the cost of growth and reduce operating costs. The workshop included local case studies and practical discussions on fixture replacements, water audits and education programs. The event attracted 82 delegates.
The workshop was delivered by BCWWA in Victoria, with project leadership and financial support from CRD Water Services, and financial support from the Ministry of Community Services (MCS). According to the CRD's Colwyn Sunderland, programd developer, “The benefits of this conference to the partners were three-fold:
- BCWWA benefited from increased presence on Vancouver Island and strengthening of its position as a leading not-for-profit organization providing industry education regarding water and waste in BC.
- The workshop was supported by the MCS Infrastructure Planning Study Program mandates of comprehensive water use efficiency planning, and studying innovative water saving measures such as treated wastewater reuse. The conference may be used as a model for similar events in other regions of the province.
- The workshop supported the CRD Water Services mandate to provide practical water conservation tools and strategies to local businesses and institutions.”
To view the report by Colwy Sunderland to the BCWWA Water Sustainability Committee, click on Water Conservation on the Island – Workshop in Review
For program details, click on Water Conservation on the Island – Agenda
This Vancouver Island event was part of the Convening for Action outreach and continuing education series.
Posted June 2006