Rethinking our watersheds: A community based approach for mitigating the effects of climate change in the Regional District of Nanaimo, British Columbia
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Over the last two decades, British Columbia (BC) has adopted a significant number of legislative changes to address the governance of watersheds and management of natural resources. Among the legislation(s) created is the recent Water Sustainability Act of 2016. As part of BC’s Water Act modernization process, public involvement and discussion on crucial aspects of water management including water policies, governance structures, and decision making bodies are a concern. With the increase in population and new developments in the Regional District of Nanaimo, we see a growing demand for the existing water and land resources, thereby driving conflict and concern on the inability of the current watershed management models to address these emerging pressures and challenges. As the Regional District of Nanaimo is adopting various approaches for watershed management, it is imperative to understand the link between adaptation of sustainable watershed governance and collaborative decision making. To ensure clean, fresh water supply currently and for the future, new forms of partnerships and collaborative watershed management need to be explored from individual levels to organizational and government levels.