COURTENAY, B.C. – Comox Valley residents interested in the future of the world’s most precious resource filled the room inside the Florence Filberg Centre on Wednesday night.
The Town Hall meeting named Our Water Future: Local Water Governance In The Comox Valley focused on water and how to preserve it.
The meeting was held in order to start a conversation about watersheds and what citizens can do to help establish a model of community governance for our watersheds.
According to the event’s Facebook page, “there are many reasons why the Comox Valley would be a logical and ideal place to establish such a model. A multi-million dollar water treatment plant is proposed. Summer drought conditions and boil water advisories have become ‘the new normal.’
The licensing by the province to withdraw, bottle and sell water from a local aquifer which serves multiple families and farms, despite opposition from the Komoks First Nation, the CV Regional District and members of the community, indicates a clear disconnect between the province and communities.”
Linda Safford from the Comox Valley Water Coalition told the audience that “the stewardship of our water and watersheds lies in us.”
Safford added, “The decisions we are making, or failing to make, will have irreversable effects on future generations. If the people who live in the watershed are more involved in the decision making, we might see better outcomes.”
The night included five speakers and a Q&A session afterwards where they fielded questions from attendees.
During the meeting, a pair of local water-friendly initiatives were applauded including the Comox Valley Regional District (CVRD) Board purchasing a 113-acre parcel of land at the east end of Comox Lake with the purpose of protecting water quality in the lake. It is one of the last remaining, large, intact waterfront parcels in the most densely populated area of the watershed.
And on Sept. 28, the K’ómoks First Nation (KFN) and the Comox Valley Regional District (CVRD) signed a Mutual Benefit Agreement for management of water resources in the valley. According to the district, this confirmed cooperation and collaboration between the two parties.
The event was sponsored by Comox Valley Water Watch, Our Water BC, Watershed Sentinel, Comox Valley Conservation Partnership, Merville Water Guardians and the Comox Valley Council of Canadians.