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

Bull busting

Bull Riding in the Rockies

RCMP Report

Some of the more interesting callouts for Columbia Valley RCMP July 15-21st

423 acre Edgewater property enters Nature Trust of BC ownership

Prime bear and badger habitat in area, Nature Trust reports

Young Hearts Triathlon

Annual event saw racers of all ages swim, bike, and run their way to a cheering finish line on Saturday, July 13th

Museum presents old time film festival

Series of six films Saturday, July 20th through Sunday, July 21st at museum

VIDEO: Missing teens named as suspects in three northern B.C. killings

Kam McLeod and Bryer Schmegelsky are wanted in the deaths of Lucas Fowler, Chynna Deese, unknown man

Northern B.C. double homicide, suspicious death: A timeline of what we know

Two teens from Port Alberni are now wanted Canada-wide in connection to the three deaths

B.C. teacher suspended for professional misconduct

Grade 8 shop teacher admits to use of vulgar language and profanities toward students

B.C. wine industry legend Harry McWatters dies

Among his accomplishments, McWatters founded the province’s first estate winery, Sumac Ridge Estate

Provincial health body refuses to release full findings of cancer triage system audit

Information and Privacy Commissioner asked to review redactions

Southern resident killer whale died of blunt trauma, likely from ship

J34 was found more than two years ago near Sechelt, but the necropsy findings have now been released

B.C. rail crossing death highlights risks for people in wheelchairs: watchdog

Transportation Safety Board points to ‘persistent risks faced by persons using assistive devices’

B.C. teens wanted in double homicide, suspicious death spotted in Manitoba

Kam McLeod and Bryer Schmegelsky were thought to have been seen in the Gillam area

Nelson’s net-zero ready house is a glimpse into B.C.’s future

One local builder set out to construct the province’s ideal energy efficient home

Most Read