Living Within a Watershed: Creating Urban Water Systems That Go With The Flow
"Living Within a Watershed" was a weekend residential workshop for up-and-coming leaders aged 18-35 years. The purpose of the workshop was to explore the application of integrated watershed management best practices in Vancouver’s Lower Mainland. Through experimental field tours, interactive dialogue session, mentoring and visioning exercises participants shared their perspectives on storm water management, waste water management, water conservation, point source pollution, watershed restoration and other key topics that support functioning watersheds.
Why the Lower Mainland?
Vancouver’s Lower Mainland includes the Fraser Canyon, Harrison River, Chilliwack, Lower Fraser, and Squamish watersheds. These watersheds are a mosaic of forests, wetland, grasslands, and alpine ecosystems. Functioning watersheds absorb excess storm water, which offers flood protection to the residents of Vancouver’s Lower Mainland. Healthy watersheds also provide clean drinking water, and improve the ecological health of our shared environment by naturally filtering urban and industrial discharge. Vancouver’s Lower Mainland is also home to 60% of the province’s growing population. Urban developments greatly impact a watershed’s ability to function. This workshop explored how we can conserve the quality and quantity of freshwater in Vancouver’s Lower Mainland, and support urban water management systems that “go with the flow”.