Who decides about the water?

It's difficult to photograph collaboration, as it takes place through large groups meeting and talking together. Here, government folks, community volunteers, and university people gather to sign a memorandum of understanding.

It’s less worry about being in over your head, if you know how to swim.”

There is a sense of urgency about leadership in the watersheds of BC. I know this, because there are at least five workshops this autumn dedicated, in some way, to governance.

What’s going on?

The world is changing, and everyone is trying to catch up. In this new era, “governing” by a central authority has become weaker. Our budget priorities are focused on health care and education (not many quarrel with this emphasis), and the resource agencies have downsized. In the absence of strong top-down control, watershed decision making has to broadened to include many different voices. This can be a good thing, but it can also be messy.

And there are really important decisions to make. Who should get water? What activities should be allowed in the forested drainages around drinking water sources? Who will go after the polluters? Who pays for what? Continue reading