Discussion Paper 1: A Vision for the Kettle River Watershed

Towards the Kettle River Watershed Management Plan: A Vision for the Kettle River Watershed. Discussion Paper 1 – September 4, 2013

Discussion Paper 1 Cover

This report is the first of several discussion papers to help develop the Kettle River Watershed Management Plan. It includes a draft vision and goals for the Kettle River Watershed; a summary of watershed management challenges; and an overview of potential strategies for addressing challenges and achieving the goals.

The Advisory Group recognizes the vital importance of reliable, quality water and healthy aquatic ecosystems for our communities, and recommends the following draft vision statement:

Our communities envision a healthy, resilient and sustainable Kettle River watershed, with a landscape that functions to meet community needs and values, and communities that act as stewards of the watershed.

This vision statement is accompanied by three overarching goals: 1) Healthy aquatic ecosystems sustain native biodiversity and aquatic life; 2) Safe & secure water supports healthy communities; and 3) Reliable, quality water supplies support a sustainable economy and food system. Each goal includes sub-goals that relate to topics such as water flow patterns, water quality, habitat, drinking water, shoreline stability and community values.

We recognize that many challenges exist to meeting these goals. For instance, naturally low flows in late summer are made worse by high water use. Changes in the climate and land use are affecting the reliability of water supplies and aquatic ecosystem health. We know that cumulative changes within the watershed impair water quality, aquatic ecosystems, and recreational and other values that are important to Boundary businesses and citizens. We also know that the current overall capacity of organizations, in terms of money, human resources, and governance issues, is not strong enough to respond proactively to challenges across the Kettle River Watershed.

So what can we do – as communities, businesses and individuals – to respond to the challenges we have in the Kettle River watershed? As a starting point, this paper proposes four strategic directions: 1) Increase community understanding, support and capacity for stewardship; 2) Improve the quality, reliability and security of water supplies through sustainable management of water resources; 3) improve watershed health and function; and 4) Maintain or enhance recreational, cultural and amenity values.

Forthcoming discussion papers will expand on these themes and identify options and specific actions to be undertaken by the RDKB, other stakeholders and citizens of the Boundary. We look forward to receiving your input on this process using the feedback sheet at the end of the document, or at meetings with your community group or professional association and at meetings with the public that will be held throughout the Boundary.