Project Updates

New Handbook for Water Champions

Practical guide for communities taking action and making decisions for B.C. watersheds

Released in May, the Handbook for Water Champions: Strengthening Decision-Making and Collaboration for Healthy Watersheds is a practical guide intended for local groups, collaborative organizations, and Indigenous and Crown governments seeking to better understand watershed governance. Inside, readers can find answers to questions such as: -Why is local involvement in decision-making a solution to many challenges? -How can we get started? -Who needs to be involved? -What does it look like to build respectful collaboration between Indigenous and non-Indigenous neighbours? -What aspects of watershed governance can provincial and local government staff and politicians help deliver?

Job Posting: Research & Special Projects Coordinator

The POLIS Water Sustainability Project is seeking a highly organized, motivated, and growth-oriented Research Assistant and Special Projects Coordinator to join our team at the University of Victoria.

New Watershed Governance Series for Practitioners and Decision-Makers

In January, the POLIS Water Sustainability Project released the first publication in its new Watershed Governance Dispatch series. These short, focused research summaries for practitioners, politicians, and decision-makers describe the what, why, when, and how of recent and emerging innovative developments in watershed governance. This series will support local efforts to advance watershed governance and water sustainability through practical, real-world examples.

Waterlines: Confluence and Hope through Environmental Communication

2019 Conference on Communication and Environment in Vancouver

From June 17-21, 2019 the 15th international Conference on Communication and Environment (COCE) will be held in Vancouver, B.C., on the traditional unceded territory of the Musqueam people. Communicating water is the theme of this year's conference. It will focus on the challenges faced by water communicators and new ways of telling our water stories, with the goal of fostering more effective, inspiring, ethical, and hopeful environmental and sustainability communication. POLIS’ Laura Brandes will be in attendance, presenting on a panel on water governance and collaboration.

B.C Government responds to POLIS Recommendations Report

Steps being taken to improve water quality and protection in B.C.’s Hullcar Valley

One year after POLIS released a recommendations report to improve source water protection and agricultural nutrients in B.C.’s polluted Hullcar aquifer, the B.C. Government has published the Hullcar (Clcahl) Aquifer Response Plan Report, which summarizes government’s response to the 90 recommendations put forward by POLIS.

Is B.C. keeping its freshwater promises?

New research from the POLIS Water Sustainability Project evaluates a decade of “Living Water Smart” and key provincial water commitments

It has been 10 years since British Columbia released its Living Water Smart plan, a visionary provincial strategy with 45 commitments for managing fresh water in B.C. While some headway has been made, new research from the POLIS Water Sustainability Project reveals that nearly one-third of those commitments have seen minimal progress to date.

Third annual B.C. Water Leaders-Funders workshop held in Victoria

Resulting “B.C. Water Leaders’ Statement of Essential Elements for Freshwater Protection” presented to government

In early November, 35 water leaders and funders from across British Columbia came together for updates on a range B.C. freshwater policy priorities and to determine how to best strengthen the funder-leader interface. The position paper B.C. Water Leaders’ Statement of Essential Elements for Freshwater Protection (Dec 2018) was developed out of these meetings.

POLIS Wins 2018 Land Award

Water Sustainability Project Recognized as Freshwater Leader in B.C.

On October 11th, the POLIS Water Sustainability Project was recognized as a freshwater leader in B.C., when it was awarded the 2018 Land Award in the Fresh Water and Food Systems category by the Real Estate Foundation of British Columbia. "It’s such an honour to even be considered among so many excellent projects and a vibrant community of change-makers,” said Oliver M. Brandes.

Majority of British Columbians bracing for future water crisis

2018 BC Freshwater Public Opinion Insights Topline Report relased

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...

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Looking Ahead

New handbook, environmental flows conference, and webinar season on horizon

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...

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New research for local communities and water leaders looking to advance freshwater protection

Opportunities in British Columbia's Water Sustainability Act

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...

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780 water champions come together for watershed governance forum

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...

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