By: Lori Henderson, M.Sc.
In the fall of 2005, Royal Roads graduate student Lori Henderson arrived on Bowen Island to undertake a study of the water system governance and issues here on Bowen Island. Lori interviewed stakeholders including Municipal Council and staff, ministry of health regulators, the water system operation and maintenance contractor, water system local advisory and management committee members, and other local experts. The result is a comprehensive report including recommendation regarding education, strategy change, governance structure change, and other issues. A copy of the abstract follows.
Canada’s abundant freshwater resources have traditionally fostered a highly consumptive per capita water use and a supply-side approach to water provision. Neither is sustainable in the face of increased populations, development, activity and climate change. Several regions now face water availability problems, and these challenges are amplified in smaller communities with limited financial resources and dispersed settlement patterns. This thesis develops a community-based demand-side approach to meeting municipal water needs on Bowen Island, British Columbia, and recommends how this could be implemented and transferred to other small communities. The author proposes a framework for island water management with demand-side options drawn from the literature and from interviews with local water suppliers and users, and presents a leading change strategy to facilitate implementation of Bowen Island’s vision for a sustainable water future. Lastly, the author briefly explores how the case study experience on Bowen Island can be transferred to other communities.
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