Fraser Basin Council


Rethinking Our Water Ways

a guide to water and watershed planning for BC communities in the face of climate change and other challenges

Water is a Critical Resource

Water is one of BC’s most precious resources – sustaining people, communities, agriculture, natural ecosystems, fish and wildlife, hydroelectric power production, industry, recreation and tourism. Water is critical to life in BC, and to life itself.

It’s a resource under pressure

Water is a finite resource, and demand is on the rise. Some areas of BC face regular water shortages, likely to become more acute with rising population, multiple uses and climate change. Climate change increases the likelihood of extreme weather events and instances of flood and drought. BC  also experiences some variations in water quality, which poses a number of problems, including risks to drinking water.

We need to reset the bar

Rethinking our water ways is a new initiative of the Fraser Basin Council to highlight the challenges of managing BC’s watersheds and water resources sustainably, particularly in the face of climate change and increasing demand for water. Do you have a responsibility for water in your community or region? Is your sector dependent on water for your work? Are you concerned about multiple demands and impacts on the health of watersheds? We welcome everyone with an interest in water to explore this site, and attend one of our companion workshops.


Managing Supply and Demand

Water Plans in BC

What processes now exist to manage water supply and demand in BC?  One opportunity is water allocation planning, which accounts for cumulative needs and demands in a watershed –  so that licensing decisions can be made with greater certainty, efficiency and a focus on water sustainability. Read more about water allocations plans, water conservation plans, drought management plans and water use plans.

About Rethinking our Water Ways

This website is a guide to help BC communities learn more about planning for local watersheds and water resources, navigate current planning processes, consider relevant issues and challenges — including regional climate change impacts —  and build capacity to develop and implement plans.


The Rethinking our Water Ways guide and website are possible thanks to funding support from the BC Ministry of Environment and Natural Resources Canada's Regional Adaptation Collaborative Program. The guide and website were launched and distributed through a series of regional workshops throughout BC, with funding contributions from the Fraser Salmon and Watersheds Program, Environment Canada and the Real Estate Foundation of BC. Learn more about our funders and advisors.

We want to hear from you

Share your suggestions for this website, and ideas for future water workshops, with:

Steve Litke
Senior Program Manager
T: 604 488-5358

About the Fraser Basin Council

Rethinking our Water Ways is an initiative of the Fraser Basin Council (FBC), a charitable non-profit society that advances sustainability in the Fraser River Basin, across BC, and beyond. Established in 1997, FBC brings people together from multiple sectors to learn about sustainability and find collaborative solutions to current issues. Learn more about FBC by visiting