Environmental Flow Needs in British Columbia

Date: February 1st, 2016

Where: Vancouver, B.C.

The Forum on Environmental Flow Needs in British Columbia convened to explore what is needed to implement an effective, world-class regime for the management of environmental flows in British Columbia, bringing together representatives from many different sectors that share a common interest in the management of water and aquatic ecosystems. The management of Environmental Flow Needs (EFN) is one aspect of the new Water Sustainability Act (Bill 18 – 2014), which came into force through an initial set of regulations on February 29, 2016. However, the EFN component has not yet been implemented, adding urgency for engaged water leaders to gain clarity on how and when EFN will be addressed.

The forum drew on work already completed by governments, First Nations, academics, stakeholders and nongovernment organizations to understand effective governance of water and aquatic ecosystems. The intent of the forum was to pool existing knowledge and information, introduce new perspectives and ideas, and work towards a shared understanding of needs and priorities for improved management of environmental flows in B.C.

The agenda, select presentations and a discussion paper prepared for the forum are accessible below. The discussion paper provides background and an overview of the issues affecting environmental flow needs, and was sponsored by WWF-Canada and the POLIS Project on Ecological Governance. A hosts’ statement and summary is also available below, released in August 2016, prepared by WWF-Canada with support from POLIS.

With presentations available below:
Brian Richter
, Chief Scientist, Global Water Program, The Nature Conservancy
Todd Hatfield, Biological Consultant, Ecofish Research
Ted Van der Gulik, President, Partnership for Water Sustainability in BC
Jim Mattison, Independent Water Resource Consultant & Primary Author, EFN forum discussion paper

With presentations unavailable at this time:
James Casey, Specialist, Freshwater Conservation, WWF-Canada
Deborah Curran, Hakai Professor in Environmental Law and Sustainability, University of Victoria
Matt Kennedy, Vice President, Environment, Innergex Renewable Energy Inc.
Deana Machin, Strategic Development Manager, First Nations Fisheries Council
Denise Mullen, Director, Environment and Sustainability, Business Council of British Columbia
Jen Turner, Senior Policy Advisor, Water Protection and Sustainability Branch, Ministry of Environment
Ted White, Manager of Water Strategies and Conservation, Water Protection and Sustainability Branch, Ministry of Environment
Howie Wright, Program Manager, Okanagan Nation Alliance Fisheries Department

The forum was hosted in partnership between WWF-Canada and the University of Victoria’s POLIS Water Sustainability Project. The forum was co-chaired by Elizabeth Hendriks (Vice President, Freshwater, WWF-Canada) and Oliver M. Brandes (Co-Director, POLIS Project on Ecological Governance; Lead, POLIS Water Sustainability Project).

Forum Agenda Package (PDF, 596 KB)
Presentation: Brian Richter on World-Class Approaches to Protecting Environmental Flows (PDF, 940 KB)
Presentation: Todd Hatfield on Determining Environmental Flows (PDF, 485 KB)
Presentation: Ted Van der Gulik on Irrigation Management and Low Flows (PDF, 395 KB)
Discussion Paper: Jim Mattison on an Overview of the Issues Affecting Environmental Flow Needs (PDF, 972 KB)
Hosts’ Statement and Summary (PDF, 3.2 MB)