What’s Beneath Our Feet?

Date: March 22nd, 2022

At this webinar, we screen the award-winning short film 26 Years, which calls attention to the lack of safe drinking water on Indigenous reserves in Canada, as well as Finding Balance Below and an excerpt from Pumped Dry, which illuminate the layers of complexity and the obstacles that California is experiencing with depleting groundwater sources. The moderated conversation turns to the B.C. context, where we feature insightful conversations with three change-makers working to protect groundwater, focused on hydrology, groundwater law and policy, and Indigenous health and well-being.

Download resource sheet with links to panellist websites and works, as well as action items and information from the event.


Opening remarks from Minister Josie Osborne, B.C. Ministry of Land, Water and Resource Stewardship.

Dialogue with:

Melissa Rohde, Groundwater Scientist at the Nature Conservancy’s California Chapter. Melissa provides scientific leadership to the Nature Conservancy’s Groundwater Program using her expertise in biology, hydrology, and water policy to advance sustainable groundwater management.

Dr. Shannon Waters, Medical Health Officer for the Cowichan Valley Region at Island Health, Vancouver Island Health Authority; member of Stz’uminus First Nation; and member of the Cowichan Watershed Board. Shannon embraces bridging Indigenous and Western worldviews while promoting, protecting, and advocating for health in her home territory.

Mike Wei, Senior Consultant for Western Water Associates Ltd. As the former Head of Aquifer and Watershed Science with the B.C. Government, Mike was the provincial government technical expert in developing and implementing groundwater legislation, including the Water Sustainability Act, as well as the Water Sustainability Regulation and Groundwater Protection Regulation.

Moderated by Sherry Da, Water Leaders & Special Projects Coordinator at the POLIS Water Sustainability Project, based at the University of Victoria’s Centre for Global Studies and Tom Gleeson, Associate Professor in the Department of Civil Engineering at the University of Victoria.

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With support from