Proceedings of Columbia Basin water protection conference now available

Conference was held in Invermere last November

The Water data hub conference was held in November in Invermere. Photo by Pat Morrow

On November 29 & 30, 2017 in Invermere, a two-day conference attended by 120 water experts, residents and guests was convened by Living Lakes Canada, Columbia Basin Trust, the Columbia Basin Watershed Network and Selkirk College to explore solutions in response to a February 2017 Columbia Basin Trust report by Dr. Martin Carver (titled Water Monitoring and Climate in the Upper Columbia Basin, Summary of Current Status and Opportunities) that revealed inadequate Columbia Basin water data for managing and protecting the region’s water resources in response to climate change.

The focus of the conference — CRACKING THE CODE IN 3D — was to envision a Water Monitoring Framework that would coordinate water data collection within the Basin, an endeavour particularly relevant to the region’s higher-volume users such as communities and municipalities, hydropower operators, agricultural producers, industrial operations, ski resorts (snowmaking), as well as commercial and residential users. Additionally, conference participants discussed the development of a Columbia Basin Water Data Hub, a digital access point to store Columbia Basin open access water data in a way that supports decision-making across all levels.

Scientists, government officials, industry staff, community groups, First Nations, and technology experts presented best practices examples of water monitoring initiatives, water data hubs and community-based water monitoring from B.C., across Canada and the U.S. A shared understanding about water monitoring frameworks and water data storage needs was coupled with broad agreement that both a Framework and an open access Data Hub are required to meet the needs within the Basin, and that now is the time to move this forward.

“If we intend to address some of the climate-imposed water challenges that will impact ecosystems, communities and industries in the Basin, then we will need to all work together in a much more collaborative, innovative, timely and cost-effective manner,” said Living Lakes Canada Executive Director Kat Hartwig, “and hopefully the outcomes of this conference will be a catalyst for just that.”

Though several challenges were noted by conference participants, such as data ownership and “open” access – a broad ranging topic that includes intellectual property rights, respecting sensitive data such as traditional ecological knowledge, increased access to government and industry data (i.e. environmental assessment projects) and clarity about the meaning of ‘open’ data versus public data — there was consensus that a collaborative open water data platform for the Basin, free of charge and available to everybody, is technologically feasible.

For the full Conference Summary, visit: http://www.livinglakescanada.ca/wp-content/uploads/2018/02/Columbia-Water-Data-Hub-2017-Conference-Summary-FINAL.pdf

For the shorter Executive Summary, visit: http://www.livinglakescanada.ca/wp-content/uploads/2018/02/Water-Data-Hub-Executive-Summary.pdf

Just Posted

Jumbo’s legal boondoggle continues

Province appealing the BC Supreme Court decision

Good wood; Radium lumbers to top prize

Wood WORKS! BC gives honour to Radium at UBCM

Unsanitary change room conditions exposed at Radium’s hot springs pools

Health inspector felt nothing of concern posed a “serious physical or health risk”

Brewer Creek: a fall classic

Summit Trail Makers Society

VIDEO: Neighbours fear impact of B.C. tent city residents

Greater Victoria residents opposed to campers voice concerns at provincial campground

Wartime Wednesdays

Invermere’s Elinor Florence investigates stories from our wartime past

B.C. premier apologizes for removal of 1950s totem pole at Canada-U.S. border

First Nations say pole was raised at Peace Arch but removed to make way for tourism centre

Tornado touches down in Ottawa and Gatineau, Que.

Environment Canada says cars and homes have been damaged by severe thunderstorms and high wind gusts

An unexpected sight: Bear spotted eating another bear in central B.C.

Cheslatta Carrier Nation Chief finds bear eating another bear’s carcass

RCMP confirm death of missing BC teen Jessica Patrick

No details on cause were given. Case is under criminal investigation and police are asking for tips.

CUTENESS OVERLOAD: 2 sea otters hold hands at the Vancouver Aquarium

Holding hands is a common – and adorable – way for otters to stay safe in the water

B.C. teen with autism a talented guitarist

Farley Mifsud is gaining fans with every performance

B.C. man who left hospice to run in upcoming election dies

A week after leaving hospice to go to city hall to declare his candidacy, David Hesketh has died.

Most Read