2.1 The Value of Planning
Through water-related planning processes, decision makers and the broader community will be better able to understand current and future pressures on water quantity and quality. They will be better able to manage in the face of those pressures. For example, population growth projections can inform the potential for growth in water use and demand relative to available supply. Similarly, future climate scenarios can help users understand if future water supplies might decrease. By exploring future climate, population, and development scenarios, planners can identify when water use might be projected to exceed supply and can help make the case for water conservation and other strategies to contain demand within supply limits. There can also be public education benefits associated with planning processes, which can lead to public support in implementing plans and any associated strategies.
The following section will explain what water and watershed planning is, why it is important, when it is needed and the range of options available in BC. Sections 5, 6 and 7 then describe in more detail the characteristics and requirements associated with different planning options.
A community vision for a sustainable watershed commonly includes one or more of the following desired outcomes:
Planning can be reactive and responsive to longstanding issues and challenges. Planning can also be proactive in anticipating challenges that may be emerging on the horizon.
A significant new challenge for water and watershed planning is how to deal with climate change. Changes in temperature, precipitation and extreme weather events have already influenced hydrology, and subsequent drought, and flooding and erosion effects. These in turn contribute to a variety of impacts on communities and ecosystems. Scientists project that more changes will come. Identifying, understanding and preparing for these changes (sometimes referred to as climate change “adaptation”) should become an important component, or a relevant lens to apply, within water and watershed planning processes.
In sections 5, 6 and 7 of this guide the following approaches to planning for water and watersheds are profiled:
The suitability of these plans for a community, region or watershed will vary significantly depending on the nature and scope of the issues that need to be addressed. For example, the following are some key considerations:
Back to top
READ MORE ABOUT:
PLANNING FOR WATER AND WATERSHEDS