The State of the Columbia Basin Boundary Region
In 2012 the Columbia Basin Rural Development Institute (RDI) at Selkirk College assumed responsibility for the State of the Basin monitoring program, piloted by Columbia Basin Trust in 2008 to provide information on the region's economic, social, cultural and environmental well-being.
In taking on State of the Basin monitoring and reporting, the RDI sought to improve the program by:
- Exploring the landscape of environmental and sustainability research and planning in the Columbia Basin Boundary region;
- Expanding existing indicators from six to 21;
- Developing a web-based geospatial portal to provide easy access to information that supports decision making and collaboration; and
- Building stakeholder capacity to support data collection efforts, use the web-based portal, and link research to sustainability planning and implementation.
The "Digital Basin" portal allows users to explore over 100 economic, social, cultural and environmental data layers through maps, tables, charts and related reports. It is helping local governments evaluate development, and make decisions that integrate with community sustainability objectives and reflect the relationship between land use patterns and environmental impact in the region.
Results of State of the Basin monitoring are compiled into annual State of the Basin snapshot reports. The RDI plans to issue long reports every five years.
Through the RDI's extensive consultations in developing the current indicators, several themes emerged, which will be addressed as the RDI continues to update and expand the suite of indicators. Climate change, food security and agriculture are among issues of importance to the region.