Canada Water Week: Why Water Matters

Shawnigan Lake. (Photo: Shawnigan Basin Society)

Freshwater sustainability is making choices that protect freshwater resources now and in the future. At the Real Estate Foundation, we believe that a safe and abundant supply of fresh water is integral to healthy communities.

We have an interest in land use initiatives that contribute to novel approaches that support a clean and adequate supply of fresh water. This includes:

  • Land use planning and policy
  • Watershed governance
  • Mapping studies and applied research

In 2013, we awarded 21 grants within our freshwater focus area.

BC Real Estate Association to hire a coordinator to facilitate implementation of priority actions within the BCREA Floodplain Maps Action Plan over a full year. $20,000

BC Real Estate Association for research on funding options and financial incentives to help BC local governments update floodplain maps in their jurisdictions. $10,000

Canadian Water Research Society to review lessons on governance of international waters and natural resources from an aboriginal perspective; develop learning materials. $20,000

City of Coquitlam to support the second phase of a collaborative planning process for the Lower Coquitlam River watershed, led by a multi-sector roundtable. $40,000

City of Dawson Creek for permanent educational signs that support stewardship of Dawson Creek's watershed (2013 BC Water Sustainability Endowment Fund Grant). $3,000

Cowichan Watershed Society for a water governance pilot project to test capacity for more local responsibility and accountability under a new Water Sustainability Act. $200,000

Custodians of the Peace Society to map locations near Hudson's Hope showing water source losses; show potential vulnerability of shallow water systems to oil and gas activities. $8,580

Fraser Basin Council to pilot the use of Salmon-Safe development principles and practices in urban areas through an eco-certification process. $35,000

Fraser River Discovery Centre Society to develop a resource package to help educators teach about water quality and inspire students to connect with water on a personal level. $6,000

Friends of Summerland Research Station Gardens Society to help the community learn how to adapt gardening and landscaping practices to face water challenges in the Okanagan region. $25,000

Green Bricks Education Society to expand the H24 workshop on water and the built environment to grade four students in more BC communities. $50,000

Lower Similkameen Indian Band to establish the Similkameen Valley Water Board as a pilot for regional water governance. $15,030

Okanagan Nation Alliance to involve ONA youth in implementing indigenous collaborative watershed planning in Okanagan, Fraser and Columbia basins. $25,400

Shawnigan Basin Society to develop a ecosystem-based conservation plan for the Shawnigan Lake watershed. $40,000

Shift 41 Society to engage lower Fraser Valley residents with water issues via "story mapping"; develop a paper on new approaches to freshwater governance. $19,500

Simon Fraser University for a tool to help predict water use in the Okanagan and assist decisions on drought management, urban development and climate adaptation. $18,700

Tides Canada Initiatives Society to assist members and/or staff of BC grassroots and First Nations organizations to attend a January 2014 watershed symposium in Duncan. $15,000

Waterlution to hold a month of multi-stakeholder discussions on issues re: the production and transportation of natural gas. $40,000

Wildsight for a Kootenay symposium to discuss regional watershed governance in light of climate change and significant government policies. $20,000

Wildsight to deliver the first year of a public engagement and education outreach program in five lake communities across the Columbia Basin. $20,000

Wildsight to implement a community based groundwater monitoring pilot project in the Upper Columbia region of BC. $9,000

Canada Water Week runs March 17 - 23, 2014. Be sure to find an event near you!