Kettle River Q & A – What’s next for watershed plan?

Kettle River Watershed Plan Coordinator Graham Watt provides an overview of the work to be done over the next six months.

Last May I wrote about the keys to successful watershed management—how planning groups need to work hard to build understanding, support and capacity through the entire planning process.

Now, the Regional District of Kootenay Boundary (RDKB) and the Kettle River Watershed Management Plan Stakeholder Advisory Group (SAG) are building the foundations for long-term success of the plan by creating a flexible framework for coordinating and funding ongoing watershed management activities.

The details of this arrangement are still in the works as the advisory group reviews Discussion Paper 2, “Working Together: Growing Our Capacity for Watershed Stewardship in the Kettle River Watershed.”

But I can share what we are up to for the next six months. We aim to have the final draft plan complete by the end of June, with an official launch scheduled for early fall. That means a lot of work on our part, and a lot of chances for you to have your say.

Between now and April, we will release four short discussion papers on the website (http:// kettleriver.ca/what-we-are-planning/). These will include Discussion Paper 2 as well as papers on sustaining water supplies and improving water conservation, improving floodplain and riparian management, and encouraging responsible recreation and amenity development.

Each of the discussion papers provides an overview of the issues, key planning concepts and draft strategies and actions that the advisory group designed to accomplish the goals and respond to the issues that were identified in Discussion Paper 1, “A Vision for the Kettle River Watershed.”

To get your ideas on those topics, we will hold two special meetings: Water Conservation, Storage, and Agricultural Water Issues on March 11, and Floodplain and Riparian Management on April 15. Stay tuned for more details on those events.

After getting feedback on the discussion papers, we will prepare a draft plan for you to review by the middle of May. The plan will be relatively short and action-oriented, building on the discussion papers with recommendations, strategies and actions for managing the watershed in the coming years. Two open houses will provide you an opportunity to review and provide feedback on the draft. All public events will be advertised widely with details posted to http://kettleriver.ca/ calendar.

 

Graham Watt is project co-ordinator of the Kettle River Watershed Management Plan, Regional District of Kootenay Boundary. Ask Watt watershed questions at plan@kettleriver.ca. Figures and footnotes are included online at http:// kettleriver.ca – look for the link in the menu to “Kettle River Q&A.