The goal of this project was to look at how tourist accommodation operators on Salt Spring Island could adopt best water conservation practices. This tied into the 'Green Accommodations' initiative developed by the local Chamber of Commerce, one of the goals of which was to ensure that tourism on Salt Spring Island would become a beacon of environmental stewardship and a model for sustainability which the rest of the Gulf Islands could look to as an example of best practice in the industry.
During the next quarter century, water utilities in North America will face a number of developments that will put pressure on their resources, spur them to develop alternative supplies, and necessitate new approaches to how they conduct business. This article in the August edition of the AWWA “Journal”, the second in a series, highlights two of these trends—population growth and climate change.
This article, from the October 2005 edition of the AWWA “Journal”, takes a timely look at “Scenario planning: A tool to manage future water utility uncertainty.” This powerful tool can be used by strategic planners to frame the future, and is useful in guiding representatives of the public water supply community when planning for future uncertainty.
In 2004, the City of Williams Lake undertook a major review of its water utility and associated management practices. The resulting documents—the “Williams Lake Water Conservation Plan” and the “Waterworks Bylaw”—identify water management and water conservation strategies that will protect and preserve our valuable water resource well into the future.
Urban development interferes with water resources by altering the hydrological cycle and increasing demands on provision of water services in the affected areas. Changes in the hydrological cycle include altered fluxes of water, sediment, chemicals and microorganisms, and increased releases of waste heat. In general, such changes lead to flow and sediment regime changes, geomorphological changes, impaired water quality, reduced biodiversity and overall degradation of water resources. At the same time, growing urban populations impose increasing demands on provision of water services, including water supply, drainage, wastewater collection and management, and beneficial uses of receiving waters. Integrated urban water management is used to mitigate the conflicts between urban development demands on water services and the resulting impacts on local water resources. Specific aspects of urban development impacts on receiving waters and threats to water availability for municipal water supply are addressed in this chapter. Even though the emphasis was placed on water quantity and availability issues, certain aspects of water quality are also included where appropriate.