Monthly Archives: May 2012

“Rethinking our Water Ways”

The Fraser Basin Council has produced an excellent report on water resources management in BC. “Rethinking our water ways” will be a valuable resource guide for our planning work over the coming two years. Their website ( has the report broken out into readable sections that are easy to share by email or social networking. There is also a pdf available for download. From the website:

Rethinking our water ways is a new initiative of the Fraser Basin Council to highlight the challenges of managing BC’s watersheds and water resources sustainably, particularly in the face of climate change and increasing demand for water. Do you have a responsibility for water in your community or region? Is your sector dependent on water for your work? Are you concerned about multiple demands and impacts on the health of watersheds? We welcome everyone with an interest in water to explore this site, and attend one of our companion workshops.


Think like a watershed: Making watershed decisions from an ecosystems perspective

A new article in Water Canada (May/June 2012) explores the landscape of watershed governance in Canada. Oliver and Laura Brandes (University of Victoria’s POLIS Project on Ecological Governance) emphasize the importance of providing an appropriate formal mandate to empower locally grounded watershed decision-making that balances a range of interests. Local levels of government already have a large responsibility in drinking water, storm and wastewater, and land use controls, and they may have an increasing role in watershed management decisions as senior levels of government have decreased capacity.

Water flows without regard for maps, and watershed boundaries rarely align with political borders. While fresh water links many cities and towns across Canada via industrial and commercial activities within these watersheds,responsibility for fresh water tends to be disconnected and fragmented,making managing the resource across jurisdictions particularly challenging.

The article builds on themes identified at a recent conference in Vancouver, “Collaborative Watershed Governance in BC and Beyond“. Conference delegates emphasized three priorities

  1. Completing BC’s Water Sustainability Act with explicit attention to enabling collaborative watershed governance
  2. Establishing an annual conference of watershed-based groups and users from across BC to build capacity and share best practices and experience
  3. Establish a government-to-government forum to enhance mutual understanding of interests about water governance in BC.

The article is available for downloading at the POLIS Water Sustainability Project:

Advisory Group Kick-Off Meeting, May 3 2012

Thirty representatives of the RDKB, various local organizations, and members of the public came together at the Senior’s Hall in Grand Forks to start defining the future of the Kettle River Watershed last Thursday evening. The “Kick-off” meeting of the Kettle River Watershed Management Plan Stakeholder’s Advisory Group was held to look forward at the planning process and begin discussing stakeholder expectations of the plan.


Compendium of forest hydrology and geomorphology in British Columbia

Everything we needed to know about forest hydrology and geomorphology in BC. What happens to streams when forests are clear cut? What kind of erosion patterns are associated with forestry activities?


Over the last two decades, hydrologists and geomorphologists have often discussed the need to document the history, scientific discoveries, and field expertise gained in watershed management in British Columbia. Several years ago, a group of watershed scientists from FORREX, academia, government, and the private sector gathered at the University of British Columbia to discuss the idea of a provincially relevant summary of hydrology, geomorphology, and watershed management. Through this meeting, the Compendium of Forest Hydrology and Geomorphology was born.

As a synthesis document, the Compendium consolidates current scientific knowledge and operational experience into 19 chapters. To ensure reliable, relevant, and scientifically sound information, all chapters were extensively peer reviewed employing the standard double-blind protocol common to most scholarly journals. Chapters in the Compendium summarize the basic scientific information necessary to manage water resources in forested environments, explaining watershed processes and the effects of disturbances across different regions of the province. In short, the Compendium is about British Columbia and is primarily intended for a British Columbian audience, giving it a uniquely regional focus compared to other hydrology texts. At over 800 pages, the Compendium showcases the rich history of forest hydrology, geomorphology, and aquatic ecology research and practice in British Columbia and sets forth the foundation for the future by showing us how much more we have yet to learn. Continue reading Compendium of forest hydrology and geomorphology in British Columbia