Manhole cover in the rain. Photo © Scott Schiller, via Creative Commons

When government officials and industry specialists gather downtown on Tuesday, they’ll be discussing an issue rarely off the public radar for long in this region: water management.

The Partnership for Water Sustainability in British Columbia and the Irrigation Industry Association of British Columbia are hosting the one-day workshop, Convening for Action on Vancouver Island: How Managing Water Now Will Shape the Future.

The forecast calls for rain.

Sure, we enjoyed one of the region’s drier summers. Rivers dropped to worrisome levels. Water restrictions up Island were extended past their usual end dates.

We’ve also experienced the soggy lash of Hurricane Ana’s remnants. And, in September, a storm so sudden and intense hit the region that water gushed out from beneath manhole covers onto Victoria’s streets. In October, the beach at Cadboro Bay was closed to the public yet again, because high-rainfall mixing of stormwater and sewage in Oak Bay’s aging drains system flushed human waste into the bay.

And the City of Victoria officially announced its new stormwater utility.

As mentioned, water and water management are perennial topics for discussion here….

Read the rest of this editorial at the Victoria Times Colonist….

Sooke reservoir, March 5, 2014. Photo © Capital Regional District

We can relax. The Sooke Reservoir is filled to capacity—once again, and at last. The series of storms that recently charged across the region did the honours. Together, they dropped 83 per cent of the rainfall we typically see in all of a March in the month’s first nine days, and ended the region’s latest winter dry spell.

A full reservoir means we now face summer with only the usual limits on water use. Years of summertime water restrictions have trained many of us to turn blind eyes to brown lawns and dusty vehicles.

Managing water is key to ensuring enough remains to go around in coming years. Last year’s hot, dry weather provided a taste of what climate-change models predict for the coast in coming decades—longer, warmer, drier summers, and more more-intense storms, particularly in winter. Although we cannot control when, where or how much rain falls here, we can to some extent control what happens once it hits the ground.

Two measures in B.C. that relate to that concept come to mind….

Read the rest of this editorial at the Victoria Times Colonist….

Bottled water. Photo © Steven Depolo, creative commons