On November 20, 2019 in Cranbrook, B.C., Living Lakes Canada hosted an inaugural in-person Steering Committee meeting. Over 20 people attended this full-day meeting to brainstorm and share content from their expert backgrounds to help develop the Columbia Basin Water Monitoring Framework and Data Hub Initiative.
The next steps will be pulling together the important information gathered at this meeting to develop the first draft of the Framework Initiative.
This initiative will coordinate a collaborative, systemic guiding framework for addressing water monitoring data collection and data storage needs in the Canadian Columbia Basin. With the participation of all levels of government, including First Nations, this initiative will build upon the backbone of water monitoring data from Federal and Provincial governments. It will address identified priority water data gaps and help to prioritize the expansion of water monitoring in the Basin, including support for community-based monitoring.
This initiative will also create a cost effective open-sourced data hub that is an accessible way to store and share local, traditional, and scientific water data. This will include communication considerations, such developing analysis tools needed for interpretation so that the water data can be used effectively by decision makers, academia, and interested public.
The guiding framework will support efforts necessary for watershed stewardship through engagement, education, capacity and partnership-building. This will include providing training, mentoring, and technical support as needed. It will also work as a central funding hub to coordinate grants from various sources and distribute them to water monitoring groups and researchers who may not have the capacity to do this fundraising themselves.
The outcome is for more informed collective decision-making in efforts towards increased ecosystem resiliency and community resiliency in the face of a changing climate and development pressures.