FLASHBACK TO 2004: “The vision for the waterbucket.ca website is to provide a resource rich ‘destination location’ for water sustainability in British Columbia,” stated Mike Tanner, Waterbucket Chair, at the Penticton Drought Forum hosted by the Province of British Columbia (July 2004)

Note to Reader:

In 2003, British Columbia experienced one “teachable moment” after another, highlighted by the Okanagan forest fires that resulted in mass evacuations and widespread destruction in the City of Kelowna and surrounding areas. The impact of this “teachable year” was to set in motion a series of outcomes that have rippled through time. First came the Water Sustainability Action Plan, released in February 2004. Then came release of British Columbia’s Drought Response Plan in June 2004. This was followed by the Provincial Drought Forum held in July 2004 in Penticton. 

Water Sustainability Action Plan

In July 2004, the Province hosted a Water Use and Conservation Forum in Penticton. This was quickly branded as the “Penticton Drought Forum”. The program was co-hosted by two provincial Ministries and organized by Land and Water British Columbia Inc (LWBC). To download the Agenda, click here.

The Forum commenced the rollout of the Water Sustainability Action Plan, released in February 2004. The Action Plan comprises six elements that holistically link water management with land use, development and resource production. The Waterbucket Website is an Action Plan element and is being developed by an inter-agency partnership.

To Learn More:

To download a copy of the Water Sustainabiltiy Action Plan for British Columbia: Framework for Building Partnerships, click here.

Waterbucket Website Partnership

Mike Tanner, representing BC Hydro Power Smart, spoke on behalf of the Waterbucket Website Partnership when he participated in one of the Forum panel sessions. Mike Tanner is Waterbucket Chair. He presented the website vision. The next panel session provided a platform for Gary Paget, representing the Ministrty of Community, Aboriginal and Women’s Services, to announce that his Ministry was giving the Partnership a $25,000 grant towards website development

Integrated Water Management

“Integrated water management involves consideration of land, water, air and living organisms – including humans – as well as the interactions among them. Through partnerships, the Water Sustainability Action Plan is promoting the watershed as a fundamental planning unit,” stated Mike Tanner. “The vision for the waterbucket.ca website is to provide a resource rich, highly interactive ‘destination location’ website for information and communication related to water sustainability in the Province of BC.”

“The waterbucket.ca will connect all six Action Plan Elements to provide the complete story on integrated water management – why, what, where and how – and is the key to the communication strategy for the Action Plan.”

“The Action Plan recognizes that partnerships hold the key to building broad-based support for improving water management practices, and for integration of water management with land use.”

To Learn More:

Download a copy of the Water Sustainability Action Plan for British Columbia 

Read FLASHBACK TO 2005: “Water Sustainability Action Plan for British Columbia provides a partnership umbrella for on-the-ground initiatives,” stated Kim Stephens, lead person responsible for program delivery, a year after Premier Gordon Campbell approved release of the Action Plan

Universal Access to Information

“In November 2003, the Province and the Action Plan partners conducted a working session in Kelowna with a ‘provincial focus group’ to identify the information  needs of stakeholders. The focus group determined that there are at least two barriers to providing universal access to information and to furthering sustainable water resource management,” stated Mike Tanner.

“The first is related to finding, retrieving and/or sharing appropriate resources useful for promoting learning and change. Although resources exist (information, tools, people, funding), they are located on numerous websites and are not linked to one portal.. There are those who are willing or eager to share resources but there are limited effective vehicles to get these resources to people who might benefit from them.”

“The second and related barrier is concerned with communication and/or integration across initiatives, regions, sectors and disciplines and linking these in order to further collective understanding, collaboration and the development and implementation of best practice.”

“Implementation of the waterbucket.ca project will help overcome these perceived barriers. The website will be developed primarily for elected officials, government agencies, water utilities, water suppliers and managers, but will be of interest to all water users – domestic, industrial, commercial and agricultural. The site will include elements that are representative of features of a geophysical community,” concluded Mike Tanner.