BLUE ECOLOGY: Blending First Nations spirituality
with Western water balance science
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 FLOW AND GROW! – A workshop on HOW to respect ecosystem and cultural values, ensure food security and build water-resilient communities (November 29 in Kelowna)
Convening for Action: 4th in the Annual Year-End Water Sustainability Workshop Series

In 2013, the Partnership for Water Sustainability and Irrigation Industry Association (IIABC) decided to co-host a year-end workshop that would be both visionary and practical, with the objective of starting a conversation around a ‘bold idea’. This collaboration has morphed into an annual workshop series. The first three events were held in Metro Vancouver and on Vancouver Island. In 2016, the Partnership and IIABC have joined forces with the Okanagan Basin Water Board to hold the fourth in the series in Kelowna. The ‘bold idea’ that will be showcased on November 29th at the Flow and Grow Workshop is BLUE ECOLOGY, a concept pioneered by Michael Blackstock and supported by UNESCO.
PROGRAM OVERVIEW: Download Flow and Grow

"Cathedral Thinking" aptly describes the vision for Sustainable Watershed Systems
It has taken more than a decade for the Province to implement a policy, program and regulatory framework that makes “water-resilient communities” possible. Context, or perspective, is everything. British Columbia is on a journey that can instil an integrated land and water ethic. But this outcome will take time.
Judge progress by the distance traveled, not the distance remaining to reach the destination. Our progress will be measured in decades and possibly generations. Although BC is progressing and the trend-line is up, those involved in land and water decisions need to continually learn from experience and strive to do better.

Sustainable Watershed Systems is a far-reaching vision for what can be. Getting there requires a well thought-out blueprint and a shared commitment to long-term implementation by all the players in a community. This water-centric vision is founded on whole systems thinking, the primacy of hydrology, and integration of ecosystem services in municipal service delivery. Moving forward, the spotlight will be on GETTING IT RIGHT when it comes to implementing “design with nature” practices that restore the water balance.

BLUE ECOLOGY is a concept whose time has come. It emerged from interweaving two ways of knowing – a First Nations spiritual and traditional ecological perspective; and a Western science secular and ecological (water balance) perspective. A Flow and Grow goal is that the audience will be both energized and inspired to make a difference when they leave the room.
Blue Ecology – A Cross-Cultural Concept for Interweaving Two Ways of Knowing
“We look forward to an engaging opening session in Module A: Spirit & Science – An Inclusive Journey,” states Eric Bonham. He will establish context for the workshop with an opening CALL TO ACTION. “Bob McDonald’s keynote address Water from a Global Perspective & Beyond has already garnered much interest and will set the stage for subsequent presentations from the global to the local.”
“We are pleased to have Chief Aaron Sam from the Lower Nicola Indian Band follow Bob’s presentation as he explores the cultural aspects of water seen through the lens of Traditional Ecological Knowledge. Michael Blackstock will then conclude Module A by integrating what he heard from both and connecting the dots to Blue Ecology.”

Climate Change Adaptation is about Water: “We anticipate considerable interest in the workshop given that the Okanagan Valley is totally dependent upon a secure water supply for industry, agriculture, tourism and settlement. The reality is, however, that climate change will demand new levels of innovation and collaboration to ensure long-term water security, a theme that will be explored further in the other three modules comprising the workshop.”
“An important component of the workshop is the ‘where do we go from here’ town hall session at the end of the program. Bob, Aaron and Michael along with author and water champion Bob Sandford will stimulate discussion and add much to the wrap-up and takeaway messages from the workshop. The objective, to encourage new ways of thinking, collaboration and creative problem solving with regard to the water security challenges of the Okanagan Valley. Lessons can be equally applied to other areas of the province,” concludes Eric Bonham.

The FLOW AND GROW workshop program comprises four cascading modules, from high-level to ground-level 
Eric Bonham
Water Champion & Inspirational Speaker

Leadership Team, Partnership for Water Sustainability in BC

Province-wide Applicability
“Whether discussing the economy or ecological challenges, the significance of the findings from the workshop will be of equal importance and applicability to other areas within the province and beyond, given the focus is on the impacts of climate change and the need to plan now for a water sustainable future.”
Kim Stephens
Executive Director

“Blue Ecology aligns with the natural systems approach to Water Balance management that the Partnership for Water Sustainability champions” 
Blue Ecology

In the words of Michael Blackstock
"Hydrologists are encouraged to embrace the companion Blue Ecology water cycle that is meant to enhance Western science’s hydrological cycle by providing a holistic cultural context.

Hydrologists and water managers could also communicate complex climate change impacts to the public, using common sense terms. 

Hydrologists and water managers can use the hydrological and Blue Ecology cycles to help explain how and why the climate is changing…..

Water is a core human interest upon which we can build collaborative cross-cultural climate change strategies ……
There is hope for future generations if we take a water-first approach to setting global priorities."
Copyright © 2016 Partnership for Water Sustainability in British Columbia, All rights reserved.

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