Released on the heels of record-setting wildfires, droughts, and floods, new opinion data shows that more than half of British Columbians worry about the potential for a major water crisis in their community.
Another 87 per cent believe the province will face a serious problem if nothing is done to improve the management of water resources in B.C. This is up from 76 per cent in 2013, according to polling results released in September 208 by the Canadian Freshwater Alliance...Read more »
Coming Fall 2018: New Handbook for Water Champions
What steps do local water champions need to take to gain influence and control in watershed decision-making? This fall, the Centre for Indigenous Environmental Resources (CIER) and POLIS Water Sustainability Project will be releasing the new Handbook for Water Champions: Strengthening Decision-Making and Collaboration for Healthy Watersheds to help readers deepen their understanding of the “how-tos” of governance with practical advice and diagnostic tools. It unpacks the deeply complex and often messy social process of making choices, taking risks, and making compromises to achieve the long-lasting solutions and positive ecological outcomes that communities want and need...Read more »
New research released this week by the POLIS Water Sustainability Project outlines the potential of British Columbia’s Water Sustainability Act (WSA) when it comes to addressing water security and sustainability in the province. The brief is written for local communities and water leaders who want to support implementation of the WSA to advance freshwater protection.
“The Water Sustainability Act provides a number of promising tools that have the potential to address water challenges and promote sustainability,” said co-author Rosie Simms, researcher at the POLIS Water Sustainability Project...Read more »
From record-breaking droughts and floods to conflicts over use and rights, fresh water across Canada and in B.C. is facing increasing threats. Addressing current and looming freshwater challenges requires new partnerships and innovative forms of shared authority and collaborative governance to respond to the many social and ecological needs of our watersheds.
For nearly a decade the POLIS Water Sustainability Project (WSP), along with many important partners, has been organizing and co-hosting the biennial series of Watersheds events...Read more »
How do two neighbouring countries tackle vital questions on the renegotiation of an international water agreement involving important issues such as conservation, river health, flood control, hydropower generation, and Indigenous engagement for a 1,930-kilometre river in the heart of the Pacific Northwest?
This spring, approximately 200 people converged on the University of Victoria campus to discuss important topics surrounding the future of the Columbia River Treaty and the importance of Indigenous roles and responsibilities...Read more »
“This year, we are trying something new,” said Oliver M. Brandes, POLIS Water Sustainability Project Lead. “Instead of one large, in-person gathering like we’ve done in the past, we are hosting a series of focused in-person and virtual events, all under the banner of Watersheds 2018.”
So far, this series of events has featured a film screening and panel discussion on the Columbia River Treaty, a special session on sustainably science with Dr...Read more »
This spring, the POLIS Water Sustainability Project team has been busy hosting and participating in a variety of events focused on various aspects of freshwater governance, planning, and protection. Looking toward the half-day Watersheds 2018 forum on June 5th, each of these recent events has offered different insight and perspective as B.C.’s freshwater community continues to work towards building capacity to advance watershed governance.
Tools for Groundwater-Surface Water Connectivity under SGMA Workshop
March 12, 2018
WSP Lead Oliver M...Read more »
On March 23rd Nicola Valley’s five First Nation bands and the Government of British Columbia made history when they co-signed the brand-new Nicola watershed pilot memorandum of understanding (MOU).
This innovative project will promote the co-leadership of water resources by the Province and the Nicola First Nations with an overarching goal of sustainable management and improved health of the Nicola watershed. This represents a potentially leading example of watershed governance in action as B.C...Read more »
Collaborative consent provides a powerful way to tackle difficult questions about how Indigenous and non-Indigenous governments can work together to make decisions about water and land use.
Canada’s relationships with Indigenous peoples—and the institutions, laws, and policies governing these relationships—remain fraught with challenges 150 years into Confederation. These tensions are evident in freshwater governance in B.C. where First Nations are excluded from the major decision-making regime; yet the outcomes have a significant impact on Indigenous rights and important cultural, spiritual, and economic water uses...Read more »
Oliver M. Brandes, POLIS Water Sustainability Project Lead, has been appointed to support the review of better source water protection in B.C.’s Hullcar Aquifer. George Heyman, B.C. Minister of Environment and Climate Change Strategy, made the announcement earlier this month.
Pollution in the Hullcar Aquifer, which supplies drinking water to about 150 residents, has been the subject of recent national attention. For over two years, its nitrate levels have exceeded the maximum allowed under the Canadian Drinking Water Guidelines...Read more »
This summer, the POLIS WSP team is busy working on a number of projects that are nearing completion and will ready for release by early fall. We wanted to provide you a “sneak preview” of what our team has under development. Stay tuned for more information on each of these publications and events.
Collaborative Consent and B.C.’s Water: Towards Co-Governance for B.C.’s Watersheds
A joint effort of the POLIS Water Sustainability Project and the Centre for Indigenous Environmental Resources, the discussion paper Collaborative Consent and B.C.’s Water: Towards Co-Governance for B.C.’s Watersheds will expand on the concept of collaborative consent that originally emerged from the Northwest Territories to describe the decision-making process used in developing the Mackenzie River Basin Bilateral Water Management Agreements and other recent legislation and plans in the territory...Read more »