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The nature of human adaptation : exploring local water resource management in the Okanagan region Blincoe Shepherd, Philippa 2005

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The Nature of Human Adaptation: Exploring Local Water Resource Management in the Okanagan Region By PHILIPPA BLINCOE SHEPHERD B.Sc, The University of East Anglia, 1998 A THESIS SUBMITTED IN PARTIAL FULFILMENT OF THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE OF M A S T E R ; ,OF SCIENCE in THE FACULTY OF GRADUATE STUDIES (Resource Management and Environmental Studies) THE UNIVERSITY OF BRITISH COLUMBIA March 2005 © Philippa Blincoe Shepherd, 2005 ABSTRACT Using climate change adaptation theory as a framework, this study explores the process of adaptation to multiple stressors in the context of water management in the Okanagan Region, British Columbia. Water resources in the Okanagan are under growing stress from many pressures, including population growth, irrigated agriculture, tourism activities, forestry at higher elevations and now climate change. How to effectively adapt to these multiple stressors is a pertinent question for both local and provincial decision-makers. Four case studies, each representing different water efficiency approaches were selected for the study: domestic metering in Kelowna, irrigation metering in SEKID, wastewater reclamation in Vernon and institutional change in Greater Vernon, specifically amalgamation of separate water utilities. The primary objective of the study is to explore how local authorities are adapting to current changing circumstances that impact availability of water resources: what factors triggered adaptation, determine the options selected and the success or failure of implementation, as well as what capacities facilitated adaptation i.e. adaptive capacity. Exploration of adaptation from a multi-signal perspective accentuates the contextual nature of future adaptation to climate change; that many factors i.e. other environmental pressures, socio-economic and political issues, will ultimately constrain, impede or encourage effective adaptation. Secondary objectives of the study include analysing the effectiveness of the four management practises and exploring the role of learning in the adaptation process. 28 interviews of local water managers, Council/Board members and other key informants were undertaken. These cases show that adaptation, even planned adaptation, is not a rational, clear-cut process. Five key elements are critical for the initiation and follow through of appropriate and effective adaptation: 1) Capacity; 2) Willingness; 3) Understanding; 4) Trust, and 5) Learning. Resources need to be available/accessible in order for adaptation to occur. Willingness, or human agency, is vital in making appropriate decisions. Understanding the context will aid selection of appropriate options, aid procedural ease and outcome effectiveness. Trust, although won't necessarily prevent conflict will ease the decision-making process. Finally, making learning an explicit objective will challenge internal status quo and ensure continual system improvements as well as the diffusion of experience between organisations. 11 TABLE OF CONTENTS Abstract • Table of contents iii List of tables viii List of figures x List of boxes xii Acknowledgements xi ' i Chapter!. Introduction 1 1.1 Focus, scope and significance 1 1.2 Study Objectives 2 1.3 Research framework 3 1.4 Part of a multidisciplinary project 4 Chapter 2. Adaptation and Learning Theory 5 2.1 Introduction to the concept of "adaptation" 5 2.2 Adaptation process: modes, structure and context 7 2.2.1 Mode of behaviour/Nature of adaptation 7 2.2.1.1 Autonomous versus planned 8 2.2.2 A daptat/on structure and context. 8 2.2.2.1 Adaptation: a stimuli-response process 8 2.2.2.2 Adaptation in climate change literature 8 2.2.3 Aspects of the adaptation process 12 2.2.3.1 What drives adaptation? 12 2.2.3.2 Who adapts? 12 2.2.3.3 What is the temporal nature of adaptation? 13 2.2.3.4 What strategies are selected? 14 2.2.3.5 Decision-making 15 2.2.4 Adaptation models in related theoretical disciplines 16 2.2.4.1 Adaptation in Global Environmental Change research: an example 16 2.2.4.2 Adaptation in resource management: Panarchy 16 2.2.4.3 Organisational change as adaptation 18 2.3 Adaptive capacity 19 2.3.1 General definition of adaptive capacity 19 2.3.2 Properties of an adaptive system - adaptability and resilience 19 2.3.3 Components of adaptive capacity. 20 2.3.4 Barriers and ma/adaptation 21 2.4 Outcome of adaptation: Reducing vulnerability 22 iii 2.5 Learning and its relationship to adaptation 23 2.5.1 The concept of organisational learning 23 2.5.2 Social learning: learning in policy-making 25 2.5.3 Learning in Climate Change literature 26 2.6 Learning and adaptation: complimentary concepts 26 Chapter 3. Study Area: Okanagan Region 28 3.1 The Okanagan. an introduction 28 3.2 Institutional framework for water management in the Okanagan 29 3.2. J Division of responsibility between provinces and federal government. 29 3.2.2 Pro vincia I regulation 31 3.2.2.1 Divvying out a scarce resource: water rights and allocation 33 3.2.2.2 Water conservation • 34 3.2.2.3 Water quality .' 35 3.2.3 L oca/ and regional authorities 36 3.2.3.1 Water management by local authorities 37 3.2.4 Multiple non-governmental organizations 38 3.3 Water supply and demand in the Okanagan 41 3.3.1 Water supply: approaching peak capacity 42 3.3.2 Water demand: population growth the future pressure 44 3.3.2.1 Population growth, tourism and per capita demand 44 3.3.2.2 Potential impact of land use change and irrigation on water demand 45 3.3.2.3 Potential impact of climate change on demand 46 3.3.3 Non-structural management practices in the Okanagan 47 3.3.3.1 Municipal demand-side management in the Okanagan 47 3.3.3.2 Agricultural efficiency mechanisms 49 3.3.4 Balancing supply and demand. 50 Chapter 4. Methodology 51 4.1 General approach 51 4.2 Selection of case studies 51 4.2.1 Selection criteria 51 4.2.2 Method of selection 51 4.3 Interview process and analysis 53 4.3.1 Interviewees 53 4.3.2 Interview process 53 4.3.3 Interview analysis 54 4.3.4 Interviewee feedback 55 4.4 Collection and use of other information sources 56 Chapter 5. Case study results and analysis 57 5.1 Case Study 1: VERNON - Water Reclamation 57 5.1.1 Actors 57 i v 5.1.2 Time-line 57 5.1.3 The adaptation process 60 5.1.3.1 Drivers 60 5.1.3.2 Options 62 5.1.3.3 Enabling factors 62 5.1.3.4 Changing authority attitudes 63 5.1.3.5 Barriers and obstacles 65 5.1.3.6 Conflict resolution/avoidance 66 5.1.4 Effectiveness 67 5.1.4.1 What interviewees said about success and failure? 67 5.1.4.2 Maintaining 100% application 68 5.1.4.3 Avoiding discharge into the lake 69 5.1.4.4 Other benefits : 69 5.1.5 Learning 69 5.1.5.1 Information sources and learning means 69 5.1.5.2 Learning to implement: Interviewee reflections 69 5.1.5.3 Diffusion of learning: Evaluation and feedback 70 5.2 Case Study 2: GVWU - establishing a valley-wide authority 71 5.2.1 Actors 71 5.2.2 Time-line 71 5.2.3 The adaptation process 73 5.2.3.1 Common drivers 73 5.2.3.2 Drivers: Vernon 74 5.2.3.3 Drivers: Coldstream 74 5.2.3.4 Drivers: VID (agricultural community) 75 5.2.3.5 Enabling factors 78 5.2.3.6 Options..: 78 5.2.3.7' Barriers and obstacles ' 79 5.2.3.8 Conflict resolution 81 5.2.4 Effectiveness 82 5.2.4.1 Project objectives 82 5.2.4.2 What interviewees said about expected outcomes? 83 5.2.4.3 Initial indications of project outcomes 84 5.2.5 L earning 85 5.2.5.1 Learning to implement: Information sources and learning means 85 5.2.5.2 Learning to implement: Interviewee reflections 86 5.2.5.3 Diffusion of learning: Evaluation and feedback 86 5.3 Case Study 3: Kelowna - domestic water metering 87 5.3.1 Actors 87 5.3.2 Time-line 87 5.3.3 The adaptation process 89 5.3.3.1 Drivers 89 5.3.3.2 Enabling factors and authority attitudes 91 5.3.3.3 Options considered : 92 5.3.3.4 Barriers and obstacles 92 5.3.3.5 Conflict resolution/avoidance 93 5.3.4 Effectiveness 94 5.3.4.1 Project objectives 94 5.3.4.2 What interviewees said about success? 94 5.3.4.3 Public awareness and reduction in consumption 94 5.3.4.4 Political acceptability: the rate structure 96 5.3.4.5 Accuracy of data and deferral of impending capital investments 96 v 5.3.4.6 Follow-on: reducing peak demand : 98 5.3.5 L earning 98 5.3.5.1 Learning to implement: Information sources and learning means 98 5.3.5.2 Learning to implement: Interviewee reflections 100 5.3.5.3 Diffusion of learning: Evaluation and feedback 100 5.4 Case study 4: SEKID - metering agricultural irrigation 101 5.4.1 Actors 101 5.4.2 Time-line 101 5.4.3 The adaptation process 103 5.4.3.1 Drivers 1 0 3 5.4.3.2 Options.: '06 5.4.3.3 Enabling factors and authority attitudes 108 5.4.3.4 Barriers and obstacles 109 5.4.3.5 Conflict resolution 1 ' 0 5.4.4 Effectiveness HI 5.4.4.1 Project objectives I l l 5.4.4.2 What interviewees said about success? 111 5.4.4.3 Improved data accuracy: better management and equity 112 5.4.4.4 Reduced consumption ' 13 5.4.4.5 Over-users " 4 5.4.4.6 Cost-benefit analysis '15 5.4.4.7 Awareness and diffusion 117 5.4.5 Learning ' I ? 5.4.5.1 Learning to implement: information sources and learning means 117 5.4.5.2 Learning during implementation 117 5.4.5.3 Learning to implement: Interviewee reflections 118 5.4.5.4 Diffusion of learning: Evaluation and feedback 118 5.5 Summary of results 119 5.5.1 Adaptation process 119 5.5.2 Context and adaptive capacity • 122 5.5.3 Effectiveness 124 5.5.4 Learning 127 Chapter 6. Synthesis and discussion 1 29 6.1 Adaptation 129 6.1.1 The nature of adaptation 129 6.1.2 Embeddedness: system scale ' 35 6.1.3 Embeddedness: values and conditions 136 6.2 Learning 138 6.2.1 Limited substantial learning /38 6.2.2 Some apparent constraints to learning / 39 6.3 Effectiveness 140 6.4 Adaptive Capacity 141 6.4.1 Objective and subjective capacity 141 6.4.2 Capacity effectiveness 142 6.5 Effective adaptation, capacity, understanding and learning 143 vi Chapter 7. Adaptation to climate change in the Okanagan: what can be applied from this study? 147 7.1 Lessons learned: Context and conditions in the Okanagan 147 7. /. / Values and perceptions 147 7.1.2 Financial issues 148 7.1.3 Politics and policy / 48 7.2 Reducing vulnerability: option effectiveness and appropriateness 149 Chapter 8. Afterward 1 56 8.1 Recommendations 156 8.2 Further research 156 Bibliography 1 58 Appendices 166 vii LIST OF TABLES Table 2-1 Definitions of human adaptation in biological anthropology 5 Table 2-2 Key stages in the adaptation process as presented by Risbey, Kandliar et al (1999) 11 Table 2-3 Generic types of adaptation measures (Burton, Kates et al. 1 993) 14 Table 2-4 Some general definitions of adaptability in ecological anthropology collected by Ulijaszek and Huss-Ashmoore (1 997) 1 9 Table 3-1 Overview of federal department regulatory responsibilities regarding inland waters 29 Table 3-2 Key provincial ministries and their regulatory responsibilities related to water 31 Table 3-3 Information collected through telephone calls with local authorities and documentation review during summer 2002 48 Table 3-4 Volumetric water prices for domestic use in four local authorities in the Okanagan 49 Table 4-1 Overview of selected cases of adaptations in water management 52 Table 4-2 Interviews conducted 54 Table 5-1 Summary of advantages and disadvantages mentioned by interviewees 67 Table 5-2: Four models initially considered as possible approaches to regionalisation 79 Table 5-3 Change in governance and management structure during the development of the project 82 Table 5-4 Summary of Raw Water Quality and Treated Water Goals, AO = Aesthetic Objective, MAC = Maximum Allowable Concentration. Source: (Associated Engineering 2002a p.8-3) 85 Table 5-5 Steps taken during the implementation of metering in Kelowna 88 Table 5-6 Average annual domestic consumption (UMA 1994) 89 Table 5-7 Average monthly per capita consumption (m 3 = 1000 L) for 1 998, 1 999 and 2000 (in italics: % change when compared with 1998 consumption where a positive number means a decrease from 1998 levels and a negative number means an increase from 1998 levels). Source: City of Kelowna 96 Table 5-8 Change in cost, consumption and design standards between Kelowna's 2014 and 2020 services plans due to improved measurement e.g. meters, and reduced consumption as a consequence of constant unit water rates and education. Source: City of Kelowna 97 Table 5-9 Recommendations from the pilot project (Edmonton Water 1996) and their implementation 99 viii Table 5-10 Key participants in the SEKID story 101 Table 5-11 Options explored in SEKID's LTWMP. Source: Dayton & Knight (1994) 107 Table 5-1 2 The three rate options considered by SEKID prior to implementation 107 Table 5-1 3 Inclining block rate for over-users in SEKID. Implemented 2003 11 3 Table 5-14 Comparing pre and post metering water use in the district (Nyvall and Van der Gulik 2000, p.7-2) 114 Table 5-1 5 Water supply and demand in SEKID in 1 998 (SEKID 2003) 11 4 Table 5-16 Potential water savings and cost of universal metering and irrigation system changes in SEKID. Source: Kerr Wood Leidal Ltd. (1990) 11 5 Table 5-1 7 Potential financial savings from implementing universal metering and more efficient irrigation systems. Source: Kerr Wood Leidal Ltd (1990). *Present value calculation based on 11 % rate and 20-year period 116 Table 5-1 8 Total Project Costs (Nyvall and Van der Gulik 2000, p.6-1) 116 Table 5-19 Calculation of program benefits (SEKID 2003) 11 6 Table 5-20 Summary of the key aspects of the adaptation process of each case study 119 Table 5-21 Context and adaptive capacity summary of results 1 22 Table 5-22 Overview of the costs and benefits of each adaptation option 124 Table 5-23 Overview of learning in each case. *Two main consultancy firms used in the region for project planning are Dayton & Knight and Kerr Wood & Leidal. **A statement made by one interviewee 1 2 7 Table 6-1 Signal-response time (approximate numbers) 1 37 Table 7-1 Reducing vulnerability 149 Table 7-2 Screening the case study management approaches for applicability as near-term adaptations to climate change in the Okanagan Basin 1 51 ix LIST OF FIGURES Figure 1-1 Research Framework 3 Figure 2-1 Smit, Burton et al's (2000) framework of adaptation 10 Figure 2-2 Conceptual framework showing, in shaded area, iterative steps involved in planned coastal adaptation to climate variability and change 11 Figure 2-3 Simon's Model of Decision Process 1 6 Figure 2-4 Simplified diagram showing the four stages in the panarchy adaptive change model (Cunderson and Holling 2002) 1 7 Figure 2-5 March and Olsen (1976) model of organisational learning 23 Figure 2-6 Key stages in the learning process as presented by Berkhout, Hertin et al. (2004) 24 Figure 2-7 Combining adaptation and learning embedded in context 27 Figure 3-1 Trends in and dominant water uses in the Okanagan Watershed based on licensed demand (not actual consumption). Source: LWBC (no date-b) 41 Figure 3-2 Farmland acreage in the Okanagan Region between 1976-2001. Source: Statistics Canada, Census of Agriculture 46 Figure 5-1 Annual flow from the Water Reclamation Plant (W.R.P) i.e. wastewater production compared with annual water reclaimed from 1980 to 2002 68 Figure 5-2 Based on anticipated average water consumption (assuming a 20% reduction in average consumption) there is no change in yearly totals from water bills between the 1 998 flat rate and new unit charge (City of Kelowna 1998) 92 Figure 5-3 Monthly average per capita water consumption per person between 1998-2000 (the new rate was implemented in 1999) Source: City of Kelowna 95 Figure 5-4 The data displayed on each graph includes the "block total", which is the fee for the block, the "cumulative $", which is a running total of the block charges and the "block rate", which is the rate per 1,000 USC presented in the table (SEKID 2003) 108 Figure 5-5 Water use in SEKID in terms of % allotment 11 5 Figure 6-1 Vernon time-line, adaptation stages and stage duration 1 30 Figure 6-2 Vernon time-line continued 1 31 Figure 6-3 GVWU time-line, adaptation stages and stage duration 1 32 Figure 6-4 Kelowna time-line, adaptation stages and stage duration 1 33 Figure 6-5 SEKID time-line, adaptation stages and stage duration 134 Figure 6-6 How adaptation at different scales can influence change 1 36 Figure 6-7 Overview of objective and subjective capacities needed for adaptive change 143 x Figure 6-8 Three components required to initiate appropriate adaptation (Callopin 2002).... 144 Figure 6-9 A descriptive framework of adaptation with prescriptive elements i.e. key lessons about what is effective adaptation. Characteristics of this framework that compliment or supplement other frameworks are: Embeddedness (or contextualism), multiple signals en route and the integration of learning into the adaptation process. Five elements are critical to selecting appropriate options, aiding procedural ease and achieving appropriate outcomes: 1) Understanding the context especially during the decision-making phase; 2) Implementation in a step-wise fashion to ease the change; 3) Making learning an explicit aspect of the planning process e.g. by including ensuring that evaluation takes place; 4) Allowing time for iteration of the decision process; 5) Encouraging diffusion of lessons learned 145 xi LIST OF BOXES Box 3-1 Local governance 39 Box 3-2 Financing local water management infrastructure 40 Box 5-1 Conditional drivers in the CVWU story 75 Box 5-2 Population growth and estimated infrastructure costs in Kelowna 90 Box 5-3 Status of water resources and demand in SEKID 1 05 xii ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS I first and foremost would like to thank the interviewees for finding the time to provide me with invaluable information that forms the basis of this thesis. They are alphabetically: Neil Banera, Barry Beardsell, Richard Bullock, Rick Corbick, A l Cotsworth, Dale Danalenko, Colin Day, Ken Day, Don Degen, Dr. W.F. Hyslop, Erik Jackson, Gunter Jaschinsky, Toby Pike, Tara Janine Nyvall, Robert Hobson, Hank Markgraf, Margaret Martin, Wayne McGrath, Ted Osborn, Alan Porter, Gary Posthill, Sharon Shepherd, Mike Schleppe, Gary Schnierer, Mike Stamhuis, David Stirling, Ted Van der Gulik and Bruce Wilson. To my supervisor, Hadi Dowlatabadi, who has more faith in me than I have in myself. Thank you for inspiration, invaluable constructive criticism, depth of insight and intelligence, friendship and support which began on my first day at UBC. To James Tansey for your intelligent comments, support and friendship. To Neil Adger for finding the time to participate in my defence as my external examiner. Thank you to Stewart Cohen, Tina Neale and team for supporting this project proposal and contributing during its initiation and preliminary phases of development as part of the project "Expanding the dialogue on climate change and water management in the Okanagan Basin, BC". As well as to the Climate Change Action Fund, Government of Canada, for the grant that supported me during 2002-2003 (project A463/433, principal investigators - Stewart Cohen, Denise Neilsen, Scott Smith). Finally, I wish to express my gratitude to The Centre for Integrated Study of the Human Dimensions of Global Change, Carnegie Mellon University, for financing the completion of this thesis. CHAPTER 1. INTRODUCTION 1 .1 FOCUS, SCOPE AND SIGNIFICANCE Quality and availability of water resources in the Okanagan Region, British Columbia, are under increasing pressure from population growth, tourism, agricultural and forestry practises and now climate change. Population is now 320,000 and is expected to reach 500,000 in the next 30 years. Although agriculture land-use is not expanding, farming still represents 80% of water consumption in the region. Climate change is expected to result in a 2.5-5 C increase in temperature by 2080 with repercussions for the Basin's hydrology and water consumption behaviour (Cohen and Neale 2003). How to effectively adapt to these pressures, especially under the added stress of climate change, is a key challenge and a question that is pertinent to local and provincial decision-makers. Through a participatory and stakeholder dialogue approach, Cohen & Kularni (2001) developed a list of potential water management adaptation options to cope with climate change in the Okanagan, ranging from structural to institutional to demand-side management practises. This study is a component of the second phase of the aforementioned project, entitled "Expanding the dialogue on climate change and water management in the Okanagan Basin" (Cohen & Neale 2003). It compliments the identification of adaptation strategies with a detailed look at the implications and challenges of the actual act of adapting in the local context. Modern human-induced global environmental change, especially climate change, has become a field of much adaptation research (Moran 2000). Driven by the knowledge that climate change is inevitable regardless of mitigation efforts, a plethora of research has ensued on how we should adapt, what strategies are available and what will be the net cost if adaptation is pursued. Researchers are increasingly recognising that in order to ascertain what appropriate and effective adaptation is, studies of actual process of adaptation would be useful. This would entail examining how, when, why, and under what conditions adaptations actually occur in economic and social systems as well as consideration of social, behavioural and other obstacles to adaptation. In contrast to much climate-related literature, the focus on the actual process of adaptation has led this study to view climate stimuli as one among many drivers for change that a local authority will face. Exploring adaptation from this starting point emphasizes that many factors i.e. other environmental pressures, socio-economic and political issues will ultimately constrain, impede or encourage effective adaptation and will influence the development of adaptation approaches and policy now - and in the future. As Pielke (1998) writes, regardless of climate change, adaptive measures are needed because societal developments in themselves will increase vulnerability to environmental stress. Demand-side management practises are on the increase in the Okanagan while there is a general push toward a shift from local to regional administration of water supply. Additionally, costs of expanding supply are rising, upland supplies and sites for new reservoir development are limited while license capacity is dwindling (Obedkoff 1994). As conditions near a threshold, such as saturation of supply expansion opportunities, alternative forms of 1 management will need to be implemented. Considering this backdrop, an attempt was made to select cases representing locally novel, non-structural, demand-side management approaches in the region, specifically: domestic metering in Kelowna, irrigation metering in SEKID, wastewater reclamation in Vernon and institutional change i.e. amalgamation of separate water utilities in Greater Vernon. The latter three cases also represent local "early adopters", or first movers, of innovative management practises. Using climate change adaptation theory as a framework, this study looks at the historical development, from initiation to completion and beyond, of these four water management practises in the Okanagan. Although the study primarily focuses on the overall adaptation process; outcome or effectiveness of each adaptation is outlined; adaptive capacity is explored i.e. the key enabling factors that encourage adaptation; and the role of learning in the adaptation process is briefly considered. It is hoped that this study will contribute to the general body of theory on adaptation by highlighting key challenges and implications of implementing specific adaptation options, including the role of learning in the adaptation process, and what constitutes adaptive capacity. Finally, it is hoped that by identifying best practises and key local challenges this study will inform the discussion on how to adapt to climate change in the Okanagan Basin. 1.2 STUDY OBJECTIVES Primary objectives: Adaptation process: To explore the adaptation process from a theoretical standpoint i.e. adaptation stages, characteristics or properties. Context and adaptive capacity: To identify the intricate contextual nature of adaptation and thereby identify what conditions facilitate or impede adaptation in each case i.e. adaptive capacity. Review relevant adaptation theory: Review recent theoretical literature on the meaning and process of adaptation as used in climate change literature. Draw on some non-climate change adaptation theory to broaden the discussion. Supporting objectives: Adaptation effectiveness: To qualitatively assess the effectiveness of each case study management option i.e. was the implementation process efficient? Were the expected objectives achieved? What were the consequences of each approach? Learning: To carry out a cursory exploration of learning in each case study. Did learning occur? Through what means did learning take place? What was learned? 2 1.3 RESEARCH FRAMEWORK This research has been structured using a modified version of Smit, Burton, et al (2000) framework presented below (Figure 1-1). Local authorities are the predefined systems chosen for analysis. Analysis centres on drivers (WHY), management process and adaptive capacity (HOW) and effectiveness of each strategy (OUTCOME) as well as learning and context. Figure 1-1 Research Framework WHY? :••Multiple'stresses affecting supply and demand of water resources e.g. population, tourism, forestry, agriculture, climatic change WHO? Local authorities (water management practices) W H A T I S A D A P T A T I O N ? HOW ? \\ hat factors influence the lype and extenl of response to multiple stresses? What are the decision-making and implementation characteristics? What conditions, allow for effective "adaptation''? OUTCOME AND EVALUATION? What is the outcome? How effective is the management strategy in meeting expected objectives? Are current ^ evolving management practices to 'non-climate' related Stresses adequateto ensure a viable water supply in the Okanagan under a changing climate? Socio-political, economic and environmental forces and conditions 3 1.4 PART OF A MULTIDISCIPLINARY PROJECT This study was initially a component of an interdisciplinary project entitled "Expanding the dialogue on water management and climate change in the Okanagan" conducted between 2002-2004. The interdisciplinary project is a collaborative effort headed by Dr. Stewart Cohen of Environment Canada, and Dr. Denise Nielsen and Dr. Scott Smith of the Pacific Agri-Food Research Centre in Summerland. The project also involves researchers from the University of British Columbia, as well as water management officials from the City of Summerland and the BC Ministry of Water, Land and Air Protection. The project is a follow-up to a preliminary study undertaken in 2001, which identified that climate change may pose significant added stress to the hydrological cycle in the Okanagan (Cohen & Kulkarni 2001). This study contributes to the component of the Okanagan project that was exploring feasible management approaches for augmenting water supply and/or reducing water consumption. It was part of a three-pronged research proposal exploring: Who is vulnerable to climate change in the region? How does adaptation occur? How good is the adaptation? (Shepherd, Neale et al. 2003a). Initial results of this research were used to inform stakeholder dialogue sessions during later 2003 and early 2004 on climate change and water management in the region. 4 CHAPTER 2. ADAPTATION AND LEARNING THEORY 2.1 INTRODUCTION TO THE CONCEPT OF "ADAPTATION" The theory of adaptation, or adaptive theory, spans many disciplines, originating in the biological sciences as a component of evolution. Broad social science disciplines such as physical anthropology, cultural anthropology, sociology, geography and business management use the term to describe the interaction of humans with their environment, specifically how humans cope or change in response to external (or internal) pressures. Scale (e.g. local versus global, short versus long time-scales) and entity of change (e.g. culture, social structures, institutions versus management systems) are the distinguishing factors between disciplines. Adaptation at one scale or dimension will inevitably influence that at another. In the dictionary, adaptation means: "I: the act or process of adapting: the state of being adapted 2: adjustment to environmental conditions: as b) modification of an organism or its parts that makes it more fit for existence under the conditions of its environment. " To adapt means: "to make fit (as for a specific or new use or situation) often by modification. " Ulijaszek and Huss-Ashmoore (1997) collected a list of four definitions of adaptation in the biological anthropology literature (Table 2-1). Table 2-1 Definitions of human adaptation in biological anthropology Definitions of human adaptation '; The process of modifying to suit conditions. A modification in an organism or population that occurs as a consequence of the introduction of an environmental threat, which renders this organism or population better able to cope in the new conditions. The process whereby a state of adaptedness was achieved. The change by which organisms surmount the challenges to life. Classical adaptive theory has roots in biological sciences, where adaptation is described in terms of evolution, adaptedness and "best fit". Adaptation is achieved through the evolutionary process of natural selection, resulting in the survival and reproductive success of a given population. Evolution describes a gradual, unplanned process of change that hinges on novelty creation and selective retention. In evolutionary terms, selection pressure itself gives the process direction, in other words the process isn't directed in any pre-defined way. Dobzhansky (1972) considered adaptation to be both the process by which a state of adaptedness is achieved, but also the strategy (in this case an adaptive trait e.g. sickle-cell anaemia) that contributed to achieving adaptedness. In evolutionary terms, the selected adaptation was assumed to be the most appropriate under the given circumstances (i.e. optimal fitness) was achieved in any given environment. Additionally, it was presumed that the environment determined the outcome. Attributes of adaptation (simplistically genetic change) could be predicted by the attributes of the environment. Modern day adaptive theory views adaptation as a highly inefficient process with multiple equilibria; any system will end up some place less than optimal. Far from being deterministic current thoughts view adaptation as highly path dependent. How adaptation occurs in the present environment is influenced by the history of getting there, the history of the adaptation process itself and the history of the contextual features of the present environment. Many other terms are loosely associated with adaptation, and are usually used interchangeably or overlap significantly. Adjustment, coping, learning, transformation are some terms used in change literature, some of which are discussed in the following sections. In essence they all represent forms or modes of adaptation. Adjustment represents incremental steps that individually don't result in significant change; it represents change that stays constrained by the status quo. Coping means buffering or robustness; toleration of pressures or threats under the status quo. Learning involves change through the acquisition, creation and use of knowledge; in essence it encompasses process that transforms information into action. It can either be behavioural or cognitive in nature. In essence, learning implicitly assumes that outcome represents improvement over past experience. Transformation implies a fundamental change in underlying composition or structure of a system; often used to mean significant change. Adaptation theory in the field of environmental science (i.e. human-environment interaction) emerged from the hazards literature (Meyer, Butzer et al. 1998). Terms such as sensitivity and vulnerability were coined to describe the degree to which a system could be affected and harmed. Resilience pertained to the system's ability to both buffer pressure and adapt effectively when necessary. Ultimately the goal of adaptation was to strengthen a system's resilience by increasing its adaptive capacity. How well a system adapted depended on many different factors but basically signal characteristics (i.e. degree of flooding, drought, etc.), the environmental context and the structure of human systems. Climate change has adopted hazard terminology to frame the issue of adapting to climate change impacts. Adaptation is being used to distinguish global "mitigation " policy (preventing the phenomenon), from multi-level "adaptation " policy (coping with impacts). The former involves taking action to alleviate the global stress of climate change (i.e. reduce the extent of climate change) by minimising greenhouse gas emissions, while the latter encompasses any "coping" strategy whether it be behavioural change or modifying the environment to protect against climate change impacts. The IPCC defines adaptation as meaning: "adjustment in ecological, social, or economic systems in response to actual or expected climate stimuli and their effects or impacts. This term refers to changes in processes, practices, or structures to moderate or offset potential damages or to take advantage of opportunities associated with changes in climate. It involves adjustments to reduce the vulnerability of communities, regions, or activities to climate change and variability" (Smit and Pilifosova 2001). Although not extensively used, one definition of adaptation in a more general resource management context is "adjustment of a management strategy based on an improved understanding of the enterprise or a perceived change in its environment" (Williams 2003). 6 The following is a review of the concept of adaptation primarily in climate change literature, but also drawing from other disciplines to add richness. Climate change adaptation theory has been informed by many theoretical disciplines. 2.2 ADAPTATION PROCESS: MODES, STRUCTURE AND CONTEXT 2.2.1 Mode of behaviour/Nature of adaptation Various modes or generic forms of adaptation are identified in general adaptation literature. "Natural" adaptation refers to the genetic evolutionary sense (i.e. unconscious change), in contrast to "wilful" or "active" adaptation in the human behavioural dimension referring to adaptation driven by conscious thought. Dubos (1968) interpreted adaptation to also mean tolerance; in other words "lack of action" is a mechanism by which humans cope with change, as long as the consequences of inaction aren't fatal. This is also termed "passive adaptation" in climate change literature, contrasting with reactive (spontaneous) or proactive (anticipatory) adaptation (Burton, Smith et al. 1998). Toulmin (1981, p.21-22) provides a breakdown of four "modes" of adaptation that take place simultaneously in human systems: 1. Calculative, conscious or rational adaptation (i.e. planned adaptation): human beings make a choice between different alternative courses of action with a specific objective in mind, and in order to maximise gains and minimise losses. 2. Homeostatic, autonomic or feedback adaptation: responding functionally to maintain status quo. 3. Developmental, motivational or progressive adaptation (i.e. learning): adapting means developing the ability to cope effectively. 4. Evolutionary, populational or selective adaptation: although primarily genetic and physiological interpretation of adaptation, it also occurs in terms of behaviour and culture. Variants (e.g. genetic or cultural traits) emerge as dominant over other variants in order to meet demands imposed by environmental (internal and external) pressure1. "Adapting means evolving novel features, which first appear without conscious foresight and subsequently establish themselves selectively — being fitter or more apt" (p.22). These normative modes aren't necessarily fully reflective of reality, aren't mutually exclusive (can occur simultaneously) and can take place at different social and temporal scales. For example, our ability for rational thinking is limited by physiological as well as mental capacities. Bounded rationality means that our ability to adapt is based on our limited and uncertain knowledge of what we need to adapt to and what adaptation would be most effective. Both developmental and homeostatic adaptation can involve rational approaches and pertains mainly to 1 This is similar to the idea of "memes" coined by Dawkins (1976). A "meme" is a rule of behaviour or information that can be learned and passed on which is subject to a cultural variation of natural selection. individual or organisational modes, while evolutionary adaptation describes change in populations or at a societal scale. 2.2.1.1 Autonomous versus planned A primary distinction in climate change literature is made between autonomous versus planned or policy-related modes of adaptation. In a broad sense, autonomous adaptation is interpreted as spontaneous adaptation (adaptation that may be expected to occur by itself) in contrast to adaptation which requires conscious intervention or preparation, which is referred to as planned adaptation (Burton, Smith et al. 1998). The function of the planned-autonomous dichotomy is primarily to separate between adaptation driven by non-climate factors and adaptation that occurs with direct climate-change policy intervention. The usefulness of this distinction is questionable when attribution of the cause of an adaptation is uncertain i.e. what motivated a farmer to switch crops - climate change or a governmental subsidy or both? Additionally, planned adaptation can be influenced by many non-climate factors e.g. state of the economy. Autonomous adaptation is sometimes referred to as adaptation by the private sector (i.e. farmers or business), as opposed to adaptation in the public domain (policy-making) (Bryant, Smit et al. 2000; Burton, Huq et al. 2002). Again such a distinction is unrealistic. Sensibly, Paavola & Adger (2002) argue that individual adaptation is not autonomous adaptation: "That is, adapting individuals are constrained by institutions and individual and collective responses of others. They are also facilitated by networks and social capital, which are collective goods in the context of resource use and decision-making" (p.8). Autonomous adaptation is generally considered by definition reactive, while planned adaptation can be both reactive and pro-active. 2.2.2 Adaptation structure and context 2.2.2.1 Adaptation: a stimuli-response process Change process has been explored and developed in many disciplines, especially planning or decision-making theory, and organisational change theory. Whether it is termed adaptation, development or transformation change processes are all versions of the same theme; a stimuli-response process. Although the essential ingredients are similar, no framework fits all. Particulars of change process differ because the agent of change differs (i.e. system versus organisation), the topic of interest differs (i.e. ecosystem versus business management), and the purpose differs (e.g. whether the model is meant to be normative, descriptive or prescriptive). A significant criticism of change models is that they tend to be presented as linear and rational in nature. Increasingly, researchers recognise that human behaviour isn't wholly rational and processes not mechanistic. This criticism is also present in climate change research. 2.2.2.2 Adaptation in climate change literature There is increasing recognition that in order to ascertain what appropriate and effective adaptation is, research needs to examine the how, when, why, and under what conditions adaptations actually occur in economic and social systems, and the obstacles to adaptation (Rosenzweig and Parry 1994; Smithers and Smit 1997; Kane and Yohe 8 2000; Burton, Huq et al. 2002). Additionally, recognising the contextual, multi-dimensional and multi-scale nature of the adaptation process is essential (Risbey, Kandlikar et al. 1999; Bryant, Smit et al. 2000). Few studies in the climate change literature on adaptation attempted to define adaptation process or explored what constitutes the steps in an adaptation process. Amongst studies observing process, many focus on identifying drivers, responses or outcomes rather than the interaction of stages or the process between stages. Three different frameworks within climate change literature encompass the essential constituent parts of the adaptation process: Smit, Burton et al (2000), Risbey, Kandlikar et al (1999) and Klein, Nicholls et al (1999). The first represents an analytical framework for studying adaptation, the second is a prescriptive planning model and the third portrays adaptation as a decision-making process. The adaptation framework by Smit, Burton et al (2000) highlights the relationship and interaction between the stimuli, the system, the response/outcome and evaluation (Figure 2-1). Although it reflects a process between these four components, its primary purpose has been to define the "types" of adaptation that exist. In other words, distinctions determined by stimuli and system characteristics, the type of adaptation strategies selected and whether the adaptation in question fulfils predefined objectives. In that sense, it is a static representation of the adaptation process: "A rigorous description of any adaptation would specify the system of interest (who or what adapts?), the climate-related stimulus (adaptation to what?), and the processes and forms involved (how does adaptation occur?)... the additional step of evaluation to judge the merit ofpotential adaptations (how good is the adaptation?) " (p. 204). Its main caveat is that non-climate forces are under-represented, depicted as secondary to climate stimuli. 9 Figure 2-1 Smit, Burton et al's (2000) framework of adaptation i What is A daptation ? • Adaptation to What? 1 CLIMATE-RELATED ' STIMULI ! • Phenomena 1 • Time/Space Scales i Who or What Adapts? SYSTEM • Definition • Characteristics _ 0 How Good is the Adaptation? EVALUATION • Criteria • Principles The prescriptive model of adaptation to climate change by Klein, Nicholls et al (1999) respresents so-called "planned" adaptation i.e. adaptation that is purposeful and predefined before action takes place (Figure 2-2). They concluded that IPCC technical guidelines on assessing climate change impacts focussed primarily on implementation, and that as coastal adaptation is actually a more complex and iterative process with a series of policy cycles, an adaptation framework should incorporate four steps: 1) Information and awareness; 2) Planning and design; 3) Implementation; and 4) Monitoring and evaluation. Non-CHmate Forces and Conditions How does Adaptation Occur? TYPES • Processes • Outcomes 10 Figure 2-2 Conceptual framework showing, in shaded area, iterative steps involved in planned coastal adaptation to climate variability and change. .Alligation Climate Variability Exisiiitg Management Practices t Impacts Oilier Stresses Climate Orange i Information',' Awarcness Planning, Design Implementation' Monitoring; Evaluation Policy Criieria Coastal Development Objectives Adaptation Scale, context and decision-making were considered in the research by Risbey, Kandlikar et al (1999); a study of agricultural community adaptation to climate variability in Australia. In order to explore process, adaptation (described as a decision-making process) was broken down into four components or stages: (1) signal detection; (2) evaluation; (3) decision and response; and (4) feedback (Table 2-2). In contrast to Smit's framework, Risbey's model emphasizes the continuous process-nature of adaptation, and the role of human agency and choice. For example, the characteristics of the signal or stimuli aren't the determining factors of adaptation; but rather the value-based process of signal detection i.e. when is a signal a signal and not noise? Additionally, it was recognized that many decision processes at different scales and with different agendas are occurring simultaneously, each influencing the other through time. However, the framework does short-shift to the actual decision-process, its emphasis is on system response. Table 2-2 Key stages in the adaptation process as presented by Risbey, Kandliar et al (1999 P-139) Stage N Description Signal detection: For any decision-maker, the manner and form of adaptation will depend on how signal and noise are defined. That is, what is adapted to (signal) and what is ignored (noise). Decision-makers with an operational focus on different temporal and spatial scales will tend to define signal in terms of processes they can observe at their characteristic scales of attention. Adaptation is conditional on detecting a recognizable signal: no detected signal, no response. Evaluation: After signal detection the next stage is evaluation. The detected signal is interpreted and the foreseeable consequences or impacts of it are evaluated by the system controller; be they individual farmers or larger bodies such as wheat boards and government agencies. Decision and Response: The third stage is the response: an observable change in the behaviour or performance of the system. The response is the result of a decision. A variety of different decision making 11 styles (risk aversion, satisficing) have been observed among farming communities. Feedback: The final stage is feedback: a monitoring of the outcomes of decisions to assess whether they are as expected. If the adaptation is effective, it can be added to a repertoire of adaptive options. If it doesn't work, one needs to evaluate what went wrong and why. Following is a description of specific aspects of an adaptation process discussed in the literature. 2.2.3 Aspects of the adaptation process 2.2.3.1 What drives adaptation? The stimuli of interest in climate change literature are the characteristics of gradual climate shifts and climate variability. Frequency, magnitude, periodicity, etc. are all considered aspects that will influence the type of adaptation that follows. Non-climate stimuli such as economic (micro and macro) fluctuations, socio-political circumstances, institutional conditions and other environmental forces are recognised as additional drivers. The question is, what is the relative importance of various stimuli in driving adaptation: is adaptation driven primarily by one dominant stimulus, or by many stimuli simultaneously? How can one ensure that adaptation to non-climate factors aids adaptation to future climate change i.e. is mutually beneficial or win-win in character? What drives adaptation is not only about the character of the signal but also the choice of signal a human system decides to adapt to. Signal detection i.e. distinguishing factors of concern from background noise, will ultimately determine what is adapted to and what isn't. Detection is not only a matter of having the capacity to detect i.e. the technical means, but also one of perception. Judgment as to whether the signal calls for action, but also whether the decision-maker perceives its constituency as vulnerable to that signal. As Lorenzoni, Jordan et al. (2000) puts it: "Ultimately, however, what is or is not vulnerable is a matter of subjective judgement. If actors do not perceive themselves to be vulnerable they will not respond [to a potential signal] " (p. 154). 2.2.3.2 Who adapts? Adaptation occurs at all human scales from the individual to the international. Adaptation can be executed by private enterprises, individuals, governmental bodies or other organisations. The institutional agent that adapts will influence adaptation at other institutional scales (e.g. a new government policy will trickle down to encourage or constrain local activities). Who decides that adaptation is required isn't necessarily the same party that needs to adapt or is impacted by the decision to implement a new strategy. Mendelsohn (2000) distinguishes between adaptations based on who benefits: the individual or the collective. Private adaptation is where benefits accrue to the individual (i.e. the farmer), while joint adaptation is where benefits accrue to multiple individuals (i.e. a local authority). Each actor will perceive the need for change and what is considered appropriate change differently. According to Paavola and Adger (2002) who decides will lead to differing impacts and thus is a question of justice i.e. procedural 12 justice: "Inaction at higher levels delegates the responsibility for adaptation to lower levels, and higher-level responses influence alternatives that are available at lower levels... The choice of the levels and timings of responses influences [:] what alternatives exist and what their implications are for the adapting units... distribute the costs and benefits of adaptive responses in particular ways... includes a particular set of decision-making procedures, with attendant implications for procedural justice. " (p. 10). They identify three key questions that determine whether justice is considered in the adaptation process: 1) Whose interests are taken into account in planning and decisions related to adaptation, and how? 2) Who can participate in planning and decisions related to adaptation, and how? 3) How much influence do different parties have on plans and decisions, and on what basis? Risbey, Kandlikar et al. (1999) propose that institutions at different scales respond with different types of decisions i.e. tactical, strategic, and structural decisions, depending on the signal scale:. Tactical decisions represent those made by local institutions to short-term signals (those over seasons); strategic decisions are those that are made by local-regional bodies to medium-term signals (those over years); and finally, structural decisions are those that are made by national (and higher) decision-makers to long-term signals (those over decades). 2.2.3.3 What is the temporal nature of adaptation? Adaptation is also described in terms of time scale. Distinction between reactive and proactive adaptation is based on when the response occurs in relation to the event i.e. timing. Adaptation can occur before, during or after an event. The former occurs in response to an event or series of events, whereas the latter is anticipatory in nature. Proactive adaptation often occurs in light of greater uncertainty (as the event has yet to be experienced), and is precautionary in nature (Smithers and Smit 1997). Fankhauser and Tol (1997) argue that reactive adaptation is the most common approach. The behavioural reactive/pro-active dichotomy is simplistic. Firstly, reactive adaptation can occur immediately after an event occurs, or after a lag period. Secondly, reactive adaptation can lead to a proactive stance towards future similar events. Thirdly, proactive adaptation could be years in advance or immediately prior an impending disaster. Proative adaptation is deemed the more effective approach because it anticipates the event and is precautionary in nature i.e. if effective it will minimize the impact of the pressure. However, reactive adaptation isn't by definition ad hoc. It can be rational and justified to postpone adaptive responses and to take action when information on alternatives has become available or has improved (Paavola and Adger 2002). Finally, if the signal is continuous in nature; adaptation is then more about when one reacts at what magnitude of pressure (if it is cumulative in nature). In such a case, appropriate incremental steps for adaptation is the issue. Moving with the pressure is referred to as gradual or step-wise adaptation (Burton, Smith et al. 1998). Finally, it is likely that proactive, reactive and gradual adaptation will be complimentary and any adaptation will incorporate some element of each type. Adaptation is also distinguished by the temporal nature of the outcome i.e. does the adaptation result in fundamental long-term change or a temporary modification? Burton, Kates et al. (1993) consider "short-term adjustments" not to be adaptation; adaptation is rather a change in behaviour, institutional structure or policy that has long-term implications. However, incremental, short-term adjustments might ultimately lead to significant change. 13 2.2.3.4 What strategies are selected? There are many types of adaptation measures that can be implemented to cope with stress and change. Measures can be implemented at different scales by different institutions. Realistically, which option is the most appropriate depends entirely on context: available resources, perceptions, type of stress, geographical location... as well as issues of values and judgement. Prescriptive criteria for selecting appropriate adaptations ultimately emphasise a need to identify "win-win" strategies: strategies that fulfill multiple objectives. Burton, Kates et al. (1993) provide a commonly used typology of eight categories. The type of measure varies according to whether it is the user, the product/system or the environment that changes, whether impacts are borne, shared, modified or prevented, and whether the measure requires behavioural change (Table 2-3). This typology has some problems. Firstly, "change use" can be interpreted as a method to prevent effects. Secondly, "research" isn't an adaptation in itself but a method to advance an adaptation process. "Education, or public awareness raising" can be considered an adaptation but ultimately the aim is to use education to change behaviour - this then would fall under "prevent effects". Table 2-3 Generic types of adaptation measures (Burton, Kates et al. 1993) Type of adaptation measure Description* Bear losses Occurs when those affected have no capacity to respond, or costs of alternative options are too high. Share losses When a wider community shares losses e.g. insurance pools or use of public funds after a disaster. Modify the threat Take action to reduce the magnitude of stimulus e.g. climate change mitigation, flood control works Prevent effects Implement activities that counter impacts (reduce sensitivity to stimulus) e.g. modify behaviour. ' Change use • -y . Pertains to how we use environmental resources e.g. substituting crops, changing water sources e.g. surface to ground, to avoid feeling the impact Change location Move to a less exposed or sensitive area. Research Advance adaptation through research. Education Change behaviour or perceptions through educational activities. Identifying available and appropriate measures has been a key focus in resource management, including water resource management (Cohen and Kulkarni 2001; Bryant, Smit et al. 2000; de Loe & Kreutzwiser 2000). Common distinctions in water management are socio-behavioural (e.g. demand-side management), versus structural adaptations (i.e. supply-side management) (Cohen and Kulkarni 2001). Ivey, Smithers et al. (2001) identified five generic areas of management measures in the literature: planning, demand management, supply management, data 14 management, and public involvement. They also emphasized that adaptation measures can be "institutional (e.g., bylaws), technological, structural (e.g., reservoirs), or behavioral in nature; they can be adopted by private or public agencies, at local, regional, provincial, national, or international levels " (p. 1). What measures are appropriate? When? Ivey, Smithers et al. (2001) cited five characteristics of successful adaptation activities: 1) Anticipatory: proactive measures initiated prior to "an event"; 2) Flexible: effective under different water regimes; 3) "No regrets": justified under existing hydrological conditions; 4) Implementable: resources should exist; 5) Responsive: consistent with many of a community's other goals e.g. environmental issues such as improvements in air quality, de Loe, Kreutswiser et al. (2001) proposed eight factors that should be used to screen measures for use in the near term: "no regrets", reversibility, minimize environmental impacts, cost effectiveness, equity, reduce vulnerability, ease of implementation (feasibility) and effectiveness. Paavola and Adger (2002) point out that what strategy is selected can influence flexibility in strategy selection in the future. They distinguish between those adaptation strategies that are supplementary and those that are complimentary: if alternatives are supplementary, one alternative may compromise the ability to implement other alternatives; if complimentary, one alternative may increase opportunities for the implementation of other alternatives. 2.2.3.5 Decision-making Integral to the adaptation process is the act of decision-making. A classic decision-making paradigm is that of the rationalist actor (Jaeger, Renn et al. 1998). Rationalism underpins key methods of decision analysis used today such as cost-benefit analysis, an example of a class of optimizing procedures. From a rationalist perspective, a decision-maker can objectively select from a set of possible actions based on his/her preferences. If incompatible desires or values are present (which is most certainly the case) these can be described quantitatively and thus a rational choice can be made. Rationalism has been thoroughly criticized. Firstly, many factors limit human ability to make rational choices. Secondly, different desires and values can be incommensurable i.e. no single metric can be used, and therefore how does one balance the equation? Thirdly, decision-making is a political process where perceptions and values bound option choice and selection. Normative models of bounded rationality and satisficing try to incorporate these shortcomings (March 1994). Bounded rationality acknowledges that rational behaviour is based on uncertainty and human limitations. The concept of "satisficing" recognises that humans do not have the time or capacity to maximize and therefore take the first option that fulfills the minimum requirement: "...organisations adapt well enough to satisfice, they do not, in general, optimise" (Simon 1957). Additionally, underlying values such as political leanings will shape alternatives considered and selected in a decision-making process. Decision-making is in itself a process. Simon's (1977) three-part descriptive model is an example of decision-making based on bounded rationality (Figure 2-3). It comprises three components: Intelligence - identifying the 15 need for a decision; design - developing the problem domain and alternatives; choice - selecting the most appropriate course of action. Figure 2-3 Simon's Model of Decision Process Intelligence Design Choice Risk management is also underpinned by rationalist thinking. Objective risk assessment portrays risk as purely a series of probabilities that can be ordered according to risk significance. However, it is clear that preferences and perception plays a key role in estimation of risk. In terms of risk preference, people can either act as risk seekers or they can be risk averse. Events that have the same magnitude and probability of occurrence aren't necessarily going to be viewed as equally risky. Psychometric factors such as dread and familiarity were discovered to influence people's estimation of risk (Slovic, 1987). Additionally, it was discovered that decision-making under uncertainty is characterised by heuristics and biases (Tversky & Kahneman 1974). In other words, our estimation of risk is influenced by factors such as availability of information i.e. memory recall. 2.2.4 Adaptation models in related theoretical disciplines 2.2.4.1 Adaptation in Global Environmental Change research: an example Fernandez, Archer et al. (2002) developed an adaptation framework describing human agency in the degradation and recovery of social-ecological systems in terms of desertification. This framework encompasses the important steps from each of the three models above: 1) Signal detection; 2) Signal attribution (evaluation); 3) Option selection (planning and decision); 4) Implementation; 5) Monitoring and evaluation; and 6) Feedback. Limited ability to detect, imperfect knowledge, changing values of decision-makers and limited option choice are factors that shape and constrain human agency. As with Risbey, Kandlikar et al. (1999) it is recognised that different components of a social system are capable of responding at different time-scales. 2.2.4.2 A dapta tion in resource management: Panarchy A founding theory of adaptive change in resource management circles is that developed by Gunderson and Holling (2002). Their four-phase model of adaptive change with roots in ecology. Although initially used to describe ecosystem dynamics, this model is being explored for its potential to reflect the nature of change in socio-economic systems. Fundamental to the concept are the notions of episodic change, temporal and spatial scale, and multiple equilibria. Change is considered neither continuous nor gradual nor chaotic but episodic, comprising periods of slow accumulation with sudden releases and reorganization. Change at one scale can influence resilience or change at another but each scale has a unique set of attributes. Finally, change isn't about maintaining homeostasis but shifting between equilibria. Additionally, change is a shift between stable and unstable states. 16 Four-phases have been identified to describe adaptive change: release, reorganization, exploitation and conservation (Figure 2-4). Release is viewed as the "creative destruction" process that triggers change. Disturbance to the system is usually considered the trigger of release. Reorganisation is the stage of instability where opportunity for innovation and restructuring can take place. This instability sets the stage for the third phase of exploitation. A system in flux is exposed to exploitation by opportunists, and thus open to entrepreneurial activity. The new order is then, with time, conserved (cast in iron). The episodic nature of change is represented by the different rates of change between each phase. Movement between release, reorganization and exploitation is fast, while accumulation and reconfiguration between exploitation and conservation is slow. Achieving a new stable (and rigid) state takes time. Figure 2-4 Simplified diagram showing the four stages in the panarchy adaptive change model (Gunderson and Holling 2002) Implicit to this process are three elements: potential available for change, connectedness between controlling agents and resilience (i.e. degree of vulnerability to be harmed). According to Gunderson and Holling (2002), these three system properties, in reference to regional development and ecosystem management studies, "seem to shape the future responses of the ecosystems, agencies and people " (p.32). Potential for change is greatest during reorganization while connectedness is low. The greater the connectedness, during conservation, the lower the resilience due to inevitable rigidity. This model already provides a keen structure for describing and exploring system change. The interaction of adaptive change between scales has been termed panarchy. Its final component incorporates the issue of time and spatial scale. Change at one level will ultimately influence change at another. Or alternatively, stability at one level will influence stability at another. Remember and revolt are the two terms used to explain two specific interactions between the phases at different scales. Accumulated potential (remember) during the conservation phase can be 17 drawn upon by smaller scale systems to facilitate renewal. Release at a lower scale can cascade upwards to cause release at another (revolt). 2.2.4.3 Organisational change as adaptation Lewin (1951) socio-psychological model of planned change has acted as a fundamental premise for the development of both prescriptive (planned) and descriptive (analytical) models of organisational change. It contains three broad metaphorical steps describing the change process: unfreezing i.e. reducing forces that are maintaining the status quo, moving i.e. development of new behaviours, values and attitudes, and refreezing i.e. creation of new quasi-stationary equilibria. In this model, new forces, pressures or tensions are required to stimulate a social system to change. Many organizational change theorists drew on Lewin's three phase model in an attempt to describe the activities necessary to manage organizational change process. Planning models for examining and implementation of change fall under the broad category of "organizational development". They tend to be prescriptive in nature, involving identification of the problem and setting of problem priorities. Kimberly, Miles et al. (1980) identified 11 such models of planned organizational change. Each contain an initial step (unfreezing) that drives the change described as opportunity or moderate stress; idea generation; need for change; pressures; evaluation; and problem definition. Search, screen, and evaluation of alternatives, and problem exploration represent "moving". Some of the models end with implementation, while others acknowledge the need for evaluation, adjustment to changing conditions or iteration. Organisational change is also termed "organizational transformation". Fletcher (1990) suggests "organizational change is no longer seen as a simple, compartmentalized process. It is not viewed as a single act, but as a set of complex and dynamic interactions that transform the organisation and the individuals involved into new social configurations" (p.4). Transformation is considered a profound fundamental, irreversible, change in action and thought. Initiation of transformation comes about through a crisis, stimulus or conditions of disequibrium. Experimentation, discovery, transformation and awaking/reordering describe the "movement". Finally, reformulation, integration and stabilisation represent occlusion of the transformation. Feedback or evaluation is not presented as an integral part of a transformational process. Organisational development seems to follow a much more rationalist approach to change than organizational transformation. Pettigrew (1987) criticizes many change models as mechanistic and rational. In his view, change emerges from organizations in complex and haphazard ways. He proposes when researching organizational change, that context or what he termed 'embeddedness' and temporal dimensions are key to understanding the change process. 18 2.3 ADAPTIVE CAPACITY 2.3.1 General definition of adaptive capacity Adaptation is the act of adapting (the decisions that are made, its evolution from initiation to implementation) while adaptive capacity defines the conditions that allow (or prevent) adaptation to occur. Ulijaszek and Huss-Ashmoore (1997) collected several definitions of adaptability in ecological anthropology (Table 2-4). Key words from this list are: ability, capacity, plasticity, improvement and interaction. Although not highlighted by Ulijaszek and Huss-Ashmoore (1997), these words suggest that adaptability is not about process or outcome but initial system conditions that enable human systems to respond. Adaptive capacity is the condition that determines a system's level of adaptability. However, it is not a static entity; adaptive capacity is constantly changing as human systems develop and evolve. Therefore, there is adaptive capacity prior to the event that triggers adaptation, but there is also the capacity that emerges from the adaptation process itself. In contrast to adaptive capacity, coping capacity is considered the capacity of a system to absorb shock, in other words its robustness, up until a perceived threshold. Table 2-4 Some general definitions of adaptability in ecological anthropology collected by Ulijaszek and Huss-Ashmoore (1997) Definitions of adaptability The ability to adapt. The capacity of the individual to respond to changes in the environment in ways which facilitate survival. The interaction of nature and nurture on physiological, morphological, and developmental characters of human populations The plasticity of human response to any environment, including physiological, behavioural, and cultural adjustments to environmental change. Response to a genetic system to the environment, producing a viable phenotype and improving some function of the individual or population. The ability to respond adaptively to environmental change. 2.3.2 Properties of an adaptive system - adaptability and resilience Fundamental capacity for a human system to adapt can be described in terms of system properties, which define the degree to which a system is sensitive to, responds or rebounds to shocks or stresses (see Smithers and Smit (1997) for a more comprehensive overview of system conditions). Stability, resilience, robustness and flexibility (amongst others) are such examples. Each property defines how a system generally responds/copes with a stress. Stability refers to the degree to which a system stays unchanged (does not move or be modified) in response to a shock. The ability of a system to rebound or recover after a shock is its resilience2. Robustness refers to strength; or ability not 2 Current definitions of resilience, focus on the magnitude of disturbance that a system can absorb before it moves to a new state i.e. adapts, rather than just the ability to rebound (Holling, 1995). 19 to be influenced (similar to stability). Flexibility encompasses the suppleness of a system to change (the generic form of adaptability). Not surprisingly, flexibility is considered an important factor in the ability of an entity to adapt (Burton, Smith et al. 1998). An adaptive system primarily needs to be flexible; the assumption being that a flexible system is better able to cope with stress i.e. less vulnerable, than an unchanging one i.e. stable or robust system. Resilience is another system property that is increasingly being considered as a necessary prerequisite (or outcome of adaptation) to cope with environmental change. Resilience is used not so much to mean the ability to rebound but rather as an all-encompassing term. To illustrate Folke, Carpenter et al. (2002) define resilience for socio-ecological systems as a combination of: "(i) the magnitude of shock that the system can absorb and remain within a given state; (ii) the degree to which the system is capable of self-organization; and (iii) the degree to which the system can build capacity for learning and adaptation " (p.438). In other words, an adaptive system needs to be able to absorb shock but simultaneously be flexible enough to change when the coping threshold is reached3. Three general characteristics are suggested as necessary features to enable social systems to be resilient: the ability to buffer disturbance, the capability to self-organise and the capacity for learning and adaptation (Tompkins and Adger 2003). An adaptive system is one that is both robust and flexible i.e. resilient; therefore building adaptive capacity (see below) is about ensuring the emergence of these two properties. 2.3.3 Components of adaptive capacity Most general definitions of adaptive capacity focus on "objective" resource capacity, although they encompass ethical or psychological components such as issues of equity and risk perception. Adaptive capacity in climate change literature is: "the ability of a system to adjust to climate change. General adaptive capacity for example, can be seen as a function of wealth; population characteristics, such as demographic structure, education and health; organisational arrangements and institutions; and access to technology, and equity... More specific adaptive capacity relates to the specialised training, research, and institutions that are required as inputs to climate adaptation measures and policy" (Smit and Pilifosova 2001; Burton, Huq et al. 2002). Yohe and Tol (2002) go further than providing a definition and develop an equation that estimates adaptive capacity based on 8 determinants: technology, resources, institutional set-up, human capital, social capital, risk sharing, information management and public risk perception. Each determinant has a 'feasibility factor' (i.e. reflecting strengths and weaknesses of each determinant to actually affect adaptation), and an 'efficacy factor' (i.e. ability of each option to reduce a system's exposure or sensitivity to an external stress). In other words, each factor contributing to adaptive capacity as a whole has a relative strength for inducing change but also in reducing vulnerability. However, each determinant is not mutually exclusive from the others. How one impacts another; whether in combination they negate, compliment or enhance capacity is another question. 3 Although there may be objective thresholds e.g. when water levels reach a certain level, defining what thresholds should be acted upon are susceptible to human perception. Additionally, proactive adaptation assumes that action occurs before a threshold is reached. In other words, shock is avoided and needs not to be absorbed prior to adaptation. 20 Lorenzoni, Jordan et al. (2000) distinguishes between subjective and objective adaptive capacity qualities. Subjective qualities are considered as "self-perception of stakeholders with regard to their ability to respond to challenges arising from environmental/climate impacts. Arguably the simple perception that something needs to be done in an organisation to respond to a particular threat is as, if not more, important than the presence of a particular threat" (p. 150). Burton, Huq et al. (2002) echoes this sentiment: "Adaptation depends upon the capacity of systems to adapt, and also on the will or intent to deploy adaptive capacity to reduce vulnerability. The mere existence of capacity is not itself a guarantee that it will be used" (p. 150). Objective qualities on the other hand fit more closely to Yohe and Tol (2002) determinants of adaptive capacity. These qualities "relate to its management (e.g. availability of information about change, the capacity to plan, its overall capital intensity), capabilities (financial, organisational, skills to manage change) and structure (flexible or rigid) - these will pre-determine adaptive capacity" (Lorenzoni, Jordan et al. 2000 p. 150). Financial constraints, legal constraints and short time-horizons were identified as key barriers to adaptation, while risk-aversion, proactive behaviour and long-term horizons were features defining organisations as having high adaptive capacity. Adger (2001) and Tompkins and Adger (2003) highlight the significance of social capital (collective action) as a prerequisite for an adaptive system. Adger (2001) argues that social capital4, plays a primary role in coping and recovery, especially through instigating social learning. Determinants of adaptive capacity are generally multi-scale in nature. As Tompkins and Adger (2003) describe it, adaptive capacity is about the interaction between different scales of human organisation 'institutional structures; individual behaviour and lifestyles; micro level private sector behaviour; and national macro-economic conditions' (p. 5). Therefore, adaptive capacity of any given system (e.g. local authorities), is influenced by behaviour and conditions at other scales. An initial presumption would be that adaptive capacity is primarily influenced top-down (i.e. national regulations hindering local flexibility). However, local conditions, values, etc. could influence the degree of creativity in senior government e.g. to what extent are regulatory practices shaped by local perceptions? Yohe and Tol (2002) emphasize that systems can cope with short periods of change and variability by virtue of some innate resilience (coping capacity). Adger (2001) suggests that systems have a latent ability to cope in times of stress. Identifying what is needed and building adaptive capacity outside this experienced "coping range" is thus the challenge in environmental change research (Tompkins and Adger 2003). Finally, adaptive capacity is relative to the change required. Depending on the threat and the strategy selected, needed capacities will differ. 2.3.4 Barriers and maladaptation Essentially, barriers to adaptation are deficiencies in adaptive capacity. Lack of resources whether it is financial, technological or human; insufficient social capital; poor management; weak institutional structures - all pose challenges to effective adaptation. In organisational theory, factors inhibiting adaptive behaviour include: avoidance of uncertainty (i.e. lack of response because of uncertainty), political fragmentation, programmed operations, organisational ideologies and lack of awareness of the need to adapt to name some. Such inefficiencies, lack of 4'Features of social organisation such as trust, norms and networks that can improve efficiency of society by facilitating co-ordinated actions.' (Putnam et al, 1995, p. 167) 21 subjective capacity and resource gaps can lead either to no adaptation (i.e. adaptation as tolerance), or to inappropriate adaptation. Maladaptation is a term used in climate literature to generally mean adaptation that is detrimental because climate impacts have not been considered during problem definition (Smit & Pilifosova 2001). In other words, initial conditions can be misdirecting because information about climate change hasn't been accessed. Maladaptation increases a system's vulnerability (Burton, Smith et al. 1998). Actions designed to sustain viability of individuals while hindering long term adaptation of the system are also referred to as maladaptations (Smithers and Smit 1997). 2.4 OUTCOME OF ADAPTATION: REDUCING VULNERABILITY Adaptation is primarily the mechanism to reduce vulnerability. Vulnerability5 is the system characteristic climate change policy makers use to denote the degree to which a system is susceptible to environmental change i.e. how much damage will be wrought by a shock or stress. It is defined as a product of three components: exposure6, sensitivity7, and adaptive capacity8 (Smit and Pilifosova 2001). Human activities and groups are "sensitive to climate to the degree that they can be affected by it, and vulnerable to the degree that they can be harmed. Sensitivity refers to the elasticity between different processes or states, vulnerability to the potential for negative outcomes or consequences" (Meyer, Butzer et al. 1998). Therefore, vulnerability can be reduced in three ways: 1) Reduce exposure i.e. through mitigation strategies, 2) Reduce sensitivity e.g. switching crops or modifying water resource systems (in general changing the nature of the system), 3) Increasing adaptive capacity e.g. financial opportunity or technical know-how. Adaptation response can either reduce sensitivity or increase adaptive capacity (or both).9 Tompkins and Adger (2003) suggest building resilience should be the purpose of adaptation: "building resilience, which involves increasing the ability of a system (social and ecological) to withstand shocks and surprises and to revitalise itself if damaged, offers the prospect of a sustainable response [to climate change]" (p.3). In other words, resilience is about ensuring both robustness and adaptability. Thus the objective of adaptation is to develop a system that can absorb shock if need be (i.e. high coping capacity), but at the same time is flexible once a threshold has been reached or change is considered necessary i.e. high adaptive capacity. 5 There is both pre-adaptation vulnerability and post-adaptation vulnerability. IPCC uses vulnerability as the state prior to adaptation. 6 Exposure refers to the characteristics and magnitude of climate variations. 7 Sensitivity is the degree to which a region is at risk i.e. adversely or beneficially affected, of being impacted by climate change. 8 Adger (1999) stresses that vulnerability in the climate change context emphasises physical sensitivity rather than social sensitivity/vulnerability. The social component is encompassed in the idea of "adaptive capacity"; however, as a means to prevent damage rather than as a system component vulnerable to change. Such factors as poverty, inequality, entitlement and access to resources define social vulnerability and the capacity to act. 22 2.5 LEARNING AND ITS RELATIONSHIP TO ADAPTATION 2.5.1 The concept of organisational learning The general dictionary definition of 'to learn' is: "to come to be able; or to come to realize". Simply put, learning is a process through which individuals, or other entities such as organisations, increase understanding and enable action. Usually depicted as a stimuli-response relationship, learning involves processing information, knowledge creation, storage (through memory) and the application of the knowledge in some form. In essence it involves the conversion of knowledge into action. Although organisational learning theory is primarily applied to the business setting, and to business management, it has been applied to other institutional entities such as public authorities (examples are Haas 1990; Paquet 1999; Haas and McCabe 2001). There are two dominant approaches in organisational learning theory: socio-cognitive and behavioural (Yeo 2002). Socio-cognitive emphasises learning as cognition. At the level of organisation, cognitive learning would pertain to processes and changes in values, attitudes, or the culture of an organisation. Behaviouralist theory is more concerned with learning as outcome; emphasis lies with the manifestation of understanding into behavourial change. Improved performance, for example reduction in production cost per unit output, indicates that learning has occurred. Distinguishing between the two can be difficult as it can be argued that behaviour is the outcome of cognitive learning. However, individual learning could occur without active manifestation. Ideas are often generated that are never acted upon. There is dispute as to whether an organisation can as such "learn". March and Olsen's (1976) learning model reconciles this discussion by describing organisational learning as a dynamic between the individual, the organisation and their environment (Figure 2-5). Organisations develop knowledge through their members but at the same time individuals in an organisation are socialised into organisational beliefs. At the level of the organisation, procedures and rules act as memory and changes in such routines constitute learning (Cyert and March 1963). Learning is viewed as adaptive behaviour over time. In other words, organisations that learn constantly modify their procedures and behaviour to adjust to their changing, internal or external, environment. Figure 2-5 March and Olsen (1976) model of organisational learning Individual action Organisational action Individual beliefs ft Environment What are the specific steps in the learning process? External environmental change, or internal organisational experience, drives or triggers a learning cycle (Henriksson 1999). Following detection of errors (either in an 23 organisation's fit to their environment or inefficiencies within the organisation), learning involves various steps. Generally what is involved is some form of exploration to identify possible solutions, experimentation and then integration into the organisational system. Argyris and Schon (1978) identify the learning cycle to include: detection and correction of errors, repeated testing, construction and reconstruction of knowledge. Hedberg (1981) generalises four levels of a stimuli-response learning cycle: 1 Selection of signals; 2 Interpretation of signals; 3 Storage i.e. collection of response; 4 Assemblage i.e. application of responses. In addition, unlearning is necessary for reconstruction of knowledge to occur (Hedberg 1981). Figure 2-6 provides a schematic of the learning cycle by Berkhout, Hertin et al. (2004) which covers the generic key stages. Figure 2-6 Key stages in the learning process as presented by Berkhout, Hertin et al. (2004) External signal Feedback and iteration Signal recognition and interpretation Knowledge articulation and codification Experimentation and search Learning is often viewed as a static shift between one condition of learning to another. Michael (1995) advocates that under conditions of constant uncertainty learning must be a continuous process that in itself encourages learning. He describes learning as a process embedded in policy formation that involves four steps: (1) learning to re-perceive or reinterpret a situation; (2) learning how to apply that re-perception to the formulation of policy and the specification of action; (3) learning how to implement those policies and intended action, (4) learning how to keep the earlier requirements alive and open to continual revision. Learning isn't only about understanding but learning how to learn: "learning, then, means learning content and, just as important, learning how to learn to attain these learning requirements' (Michael 1995). This view is also applicable to a purely organisational learning perspective. Dramatic change isn't necessarily the main outcome of learning. Different levels of learning have been identified in the literature. Generally, a dichotomy between substantial versus superficial learning is made. Argyris and Schon (1978) distinguish between single versus double loop learning; the former refers to solving problems within a current conceptual framework, while the latter refers to re-examining the framework itself. In other words, in single-loop learning the entity of change remains the same, but actions are adjusted to either maintain status quo or make slight improvements. Double-loop learning goes deeper and reflects radical change, where underlying structures and 24 values shift form as a result of learning. In essence a paradigm shift. What constitutes good learning doesn't seem to be explicitly discussed. Ultimately, if learning results in relevant improvement or efficiencies then it is good learning. Learning also occurs between organisations. Organisations in this context are viewed as systems of knowledge, and learning is achieved through transfer of technologies, products and processes (i.e. transfer of something already learned). Innovation diffusion describes the learning curve involved in this transfer of knowledge. Early adopters are the initiators of diffusion, and depending on the level of risk an organisation is willing to take (and depending on their needs), other organisations will incorporate the new knowledge sooner or later. However, diffusion of knowledge isn't necessarily the same as learning. Unless the 'knowledge' transferred is perfect knowledge, the receiver would try and "improve" the product in some way (e.g. avoid the pitfalls that previous organisations have experienced). This process would constitute learning. Diffusion is simply the mechanism by which learning is spread. 2.5.2 Social learning: learning in policy-making As social learning research employs theory from a large body of different theoretical disciplines, this description is a brief introduction. According to Parson and Clark (1995), most studies of social learning related to policy-making focus on learning by decision-makers i.e. individual learning, or the role of policy experts. Here the concept of social learning is understood as learning by social aggregates, or learning that requires a system to learn as opposed to its constituent parts. Social learning is also viewed as individual learning that is socially conditioned. The former is concerned with how society, or a system learns, while the latter focuses on social determinants or constraints of learning. Of course, as depicted in March and Olsen (1976) diagram above, learning is an interaction between individuals and their environment. Adaptations directed by public bodies (as opposed to private enterprises) implicitly involve social learning because generally such decision making constitutes an interplay between stakeholders (whether through a democratic process or not) striving to reach consensus, or at least some sort of acceptance or equilibrium. Dewey (1927) highlighted the tensions involved in social learning: the roles of the individual and society in the creation and validation of knowledge, and the relationship between the decision-makers and public (Parson and Clark 1995). Dewey (1927) proposed that knowledge is validated when it helps an actor settle a problem, and that the resulting "settledness" indicates that social learning has occurred (even if only temporary). This of course doesn't recognise that some issues might never reach a state of settledness. Therefore, do continued situations of conflict indicate that social learning has not occurred? Assuming that societal values, norms and myths regulate social processes (Michael 1995), social learning would require shifts in these integrated societal characteristics. Knowledge would function as an instrument for such change. 25 2.5.3 Learning in Climate Change literature Learning has been applied to climate change in various contexts: Adger (2001) identified social capital as a prerequisite of learning, Pielke (1998) mentions that a portfolio of adaptation responses will allow for experiential learning, and Haas and McCabe (2001) analysed the development of climate change as an issue in the context of learning by international institutions. Explicit application of organisational learning theory to the climate change context was carried out by Berkhout, Hertin et al. (2004). They viewed adaptation to climate change as a learning process, studying how businesses are considering climate change and will respond to this additional stimulus. 2.6 LEARNING AND ADAPTATION: COMPLIMENTARY CONCEPTS Both learning and adaptation represent forms of change, or at least it is assumed that each process ultimately results in change. They are both adaptive processes. But whether the terms mean the same or not, or whether one is a subset of the other, is somewhat confusing. One distinction is that made by Haas (1990) between passive adaptation (i.e. incremental change that maintains or adjusts the status quo), verses active learning (i.e. learning that results in radical structural change). This difference, however, is identified separately in each theoretical discipline: Argyris and Schon (1978) single versus double-loop learning, and in climate change literature adaptation isn't necessarily viewed as incremental change but also encompasses radical change Burton, Kates et al. (1993). If not in type of adaptive change, how do the two concepts differ and compliment? Adaptation, at least in climate change circles, emphasises response, action and management. Learning on the other hand emphasises understanding and knowledge creation and transfer. Confusion stems from the fact that any form of response usually involves information or knowledge, and learning can result in action. During an adaptation process learning is integral (i.e. decisions are made based on the exploration and evaluation of options), and behaviour changes according to the success or failure of implementation (figure). Arguably learning occurs at every stage of an adaptation process; learning at each stage accumulates and contributes to final learning as system response (Figure 2-7). What is important is to acknowledge in an adaptation process, that knowledge is a crucial component of the decision-making process; whether individual knowledge or knowledge generated by studies or direct experience. Another distinction refers to diffusion of the experience. Adaptation is viewed as system change involving many agents at different scales but it doesn't ask the question - did one adaptation contribute to adaptation elsewhere? This is probably where the greatest difference lies. Learning relates not only to internal organisational change but diffusion of knowledge horizontally i.e. same generic entities, and vertically i.e. agents at different scales. In essence, effective adaptation at a societal scale would have to involve learning between key agents of change. 26 Figure 2-7 Combining adaptation and learning embedded in context Signal detection and attribution Adapta t ion Signal recognition and interpretation Feedback Search u Lean } Knowledge articulation j & codification ( Experimentation Decision process: Option selection Monitoring, outcome & evaluation Adaptat ion Implementation CHAPTER 3. STUDY AREA: OKANAGAN REGION 3.1 THE OKANAGAN: AN INTRODUCTION The Okanagan Basin is located in the south-central region of British Columbia. Its distinctive feature is the Okanagan Lake, which is connected to five smaller main stem lakes via the Okanagan River. The basin is 160 km in length and encompasses 8200 km 2 of land, mainly farming and forest, surrounding the Okanagan Lake and River. The basin sits in the rain shadow of the coastal mountains and has a dry continental climate. With an average of only 300 mm precipitation per year falling mostly during the winter, the Okanagan is vulnerable to drought episodes. Virtually all runoff originates from winter snowpacks at higher elevations. The Okanagan river basin has become an important economic region in British Columbia because of its location, favourable climate, geographical attributes and a strong resource base. According to 2001 census data, total population is approximately 320,000; Kelowna being the largest city with circa 100,000 people. Between 1986-1998 Central Okanagan Regional District (CORD) was the fastest growing RD in BC with an increase of 66.9% while North Okanagan Regional District (NORD) grew by 39.1%, exceeding the overall provincial increase of 38.9% (Bish and Clemens 1999). The region attracts over one million tourists a year mainly during the summer months. Tourism is a key tertiary industry while main primary industries are forestry and agriculture, specifically vineyards and fruit orchards. The Okanagan accounts for 95% of vineyards and 90% of the fruit orchards in British Columbia. Agricultural activities still account for around 70% of water demand, rising to 85% in some areas during the summer months. Agricultural dominance in water use is slowly diminishing because of population growth concurrent with relatively little agricultural expansion. Local authorities are still the primary decision-makers of water management in the Okanagan. Three regional districts, 11 municipalities and 40 improvement districts all provide water to customers within their respective jurisdictions. Historically ensuring adequate supply to meet user demand has been achieved through supply-side management approaches. Most of the tributaries of the Okanagan River are regulated to some degree. Upland supplies and sites for new reservoir development are increasingly limited. As for the Okanagan River and main-stem lakes, these are heavily regulated with dams on Kalamalka, Okanagan, Skaha and Vaseaux Lakes to control water flows in order to provide for both consumptive needs and flood control. Demand-side management and other efficiency policies and practices are on the rise, especially as a means to curb high domestic per capita water demand. 28 3.2 INSTITUTIONAL FRAMEWORK FOR WATER MANAGEMENT IN THE O K A N A G A N 1 0 The Okanagan watershed is no different to most watersheds in that its management is multi-scale in nature, involving the interaction of multiple levels of government, businesses and non-governmental advocacy organizations with sometimes competing agendas. 3.2.1 Division of responsibility between provinces and federal government Authority to manage and regulate water supply, quality and consumption in the Okanagan Basin is divided between four levels of government: federal, provincial, regional and local. Division of responsibility between federal and provincial agencies for regulating inland waters is not completely clear-cut and is often shared. Under the Constitution Act 1867, provinces own both surface and groundwater resources, while water on federal lands (e.g. National Parks), in the territories and on Indian Reserves falls under federal jurisdiction. Regulating boundary and transboundary waters (water flow), such as the Okanagan River, is defined under the International River Improvements Act and is a Federal responsibility. However, on-the-ground regulation is limited primarily to areas that have potential for significant economic impact such as navigation and fisheries (Table 3-1). Much of the regulation protecting water sources is discretionary e.g. Canadian water quality guidelines are voluntary and non-binding (Boyd 2003). Table 3-1 Overview of federal department regulatory responsibilities regarding inland waters Authorities :* Key guidelines, policies, acts and regulations General Inter-departmental Federal Water Policy (1987): comprehensive blueprint for addressing Canadian water problems. The Inquiry into Federal Water Policy concluded "Canada's water problems are.not related to inadequate supply at all but to degraded water quality and to disrupted flow regimes." (Pearse, Bertrand et al. 1987) Canada Water Act (1972): allowed for Federal-Provincial co-operation on river basin management. The Okanagan River Basin Study (OBS) conceived in 1972 was the first such project. Drinking water quality Health Canada: has published water quality guidelines for Canadian drinking water since 1968. Guidelines for Canadian Drinking Water Quality (GCDWQ) Ambient water quality Environment Canada: role is to aid protection of water sources through establishing nationally consistent standards of ambient water quality and Canadian Environmental Protection Act (1999): "respecting pollution prevention and the protection of the environment and human health in order to contribute to sustainable development." Specifically applicable to water management issues, the Act 1 0 Much of this text has been extracted and modified from its original in Shepherd, Neale et al. (2003b) 29 restrictions on pollution discharges. stipulates the federal government's role in monitoring air, land and water pollution; establishment of pollution prevention plans for specific substances if deemed necessary, and preventing pollution of international (i.e. non- Canadian) waters from Canadian sources. It is a pollution permit system i.e. allowed to pollute if permitted (case-by-case). Canada Water Act R.S., c.5 (1st Supp.), s. 1 (Part II) specifies the prohibition of polluting any waters that have been designated a water quality management area either through a federal provincial agreement where water assessment is deemed of federal interest, or "where the water quality management of any inter-jurisdictional waters has become a matter of urgent national concern." Canadian Council of Ministers (Water Quality Task Force): forum for facilitating federal, provincial and territorial collaboration on environmental priorities of national concern, including water quality. Canadian Environmental Quality Guidelines. Fisheries and Oceans Canada (FOC) Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada (AFFC) Fisheries Act (1985): prohibits deposit of "deleterious" substances. Water conservation S W . - ' Inter-departmental Federal Water Policy (1987): "to promote the wise and efficient management and use of water" (Pearse, Bertrand et al. 1987). Environment Canada Municipal Water Use Database and Water Efficiency Experiences Database in 1999 (in conjunction with Canadian Water and Wastewater Association (CWWA)) Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada (AFFC) Agricultural and Rural Development Act (1985) R.S. Sec. 7 c.A-3: "the development and conservation of water supplies for soil improvement and conservation in the province." C C M E National Action Plan to encourage Municipal Water Use Efficiency (1994). With goal "to achieve more efficient use of water in Canadian municipalities in order to save money and energy, delay or reduce expansion of existing water and wastewater systems, and conserve water." •("„-": . .-F s^h and HaMtat M a n a g e m e n t ; - x v ; Fisheries and Oceans Canada (FOC) Fisheries Act (1985) s. 35, ss. 35 (1 & 2): "no person shall carry on any work or undertaking that results in the harmful alteration, disruption or destruction of fish habitat." However, the Minister of FOC is authorized to allow, with regulation, actions that can affect fish habitat (Boyd 2003). Habitat Management Policy of Fisheries and Oceans Canada: "Protect fish habitats by administering the Fisheries Act and incorporating fish habitat protection requirements into land and 30 water use activities and projects."" Canadian Environmental Assessment Act. More specifically, regulatory activities include: reviewing proposed works or activities ("referrals") that may affect fish habitat; conducting environmental assessments of major projects; conducting compliance and enforcement activities, including monitoring and advising on potential violations; enforcing the pollution prevention provisions of the Fisheries Act; developing appropriate regulations, policies and guidelines'2. Salmonid Enhancement Program: Initiated in 1977, its aim was to reverse the decline in salmonids through establishment of hatcheries and spawning grounds. Environment Canada Canadian Environmental Assessment Act Joint projects, financing and decision-making between federal and provincial bodies varies from year to year, and has previously related to inter-provincial water issues, agriculture, significant national water issues, and health. The Canada Water Act defines provisions for formal consultation and agreements between the Federal government and provinces for water resource matters such as the develop and implement plans for water management, conduct research, collect data and establish inventories. 3.2.2 Provincial regulation Provincial ministries are the key regulatory bodies governing a wide-range of water-related issues: water pollution, flow regulation, watershed management, etc. In British Columbia, a wide range of ministries are involved in regulating and managing inland waters in BC (Table 3-2). Some key provincial water policy issues and developments are outlined below. Table 3-2 Key provincial ministries and their regulatory responsibilities related to water Ministries and their responsibilities Key policies, Acts and regulations . .. i \ . Water allocation and licensing Ministry of Sustainable Resource Management (MSRM): responsible for administering water allocation functions. Land and Water BC (LWBC - a provincial crown corporation): administration of water license applications. Water Act RSBC 1996 (effective 1909): defines a water licensing system specifically pertaining to surface water. No laws exist to regulate groundwater allocation (see section 3.2.2.1). ' Ambient water quality ' '" ' x http://www.dfo-mpo.gc.ca/canwaters-eauxcan/aboutus-anotresujet/habitat-info/index_e.asp " http://www.dfo-mpo.gc.ca/canwaters-eauxcan/aboutus-anotresujet/habitat-info/index_e.asp 31 Ministry of Water Land and Air Protection (MWLAP): responsible for developing water quality guidelines based on C C M E criteria, establishing standards, monitoring, and ensuring compliance and enforcement to protect surface and ground water quality. Environment Management Act, effective 2004: pertains to the management, protection and enhancement of the environment, including: planning, research and investigation; development of policies; planning, design, construction, operation and maintenance of undertakings for the management, protection or enhancement of the environment; providing information to the public; preparing and publishing policies, strategies, objectives, guidelines and standards. Municipal Sewage Regulation, effective 1999: regulation governing all aspects of municipal wastewater management including wastewater reclamation. Water Regulation B.C., effective 1988: pertains to the regulation of works impacting on water systems e.g. impacts on water quality or habitat. Environmental Assessment Act, effective 1995: requires environmental assessments to be completed before large projects are commenced, including large groundwater withdrawals Ministry of Forests (MF): administration of the FRPA other than designation of community watersheds (see above). Forest and Range Practices Act (FRPA) in effect in 2005: specifically riparian management to reduce impacts on stream and lake quality. Drinking water quality... Ministry of Health Planning (MHP): lead ministry for administering the Drinking Water Protection Act and related regulations. Safe Drinking Water Regulation, effective 1992: pertains only to water purveyors responsibility to ensure that water quality meets standards regarding fecal coliform, E. coli and total coliform presence. Drinking Water Protection Act enacted 2003: provides officers broad powers to prohibit activities that pose significant risk to drinking water. M W L A P Collaboration with MHP to develop action plan to improve protection of drinking water from ground sources. M S R M : responsible for ensuring that land use plans consider drinking water issues. Forest and Range Practices Act: restrictions on forestry and range practices in community watersheds i.e. pre-designated watersheds that are used for drinking water purposes. Water conservation M W L A P : administering the Water Conservation Strategy. Water Conservation Strategy for BC, 1997: objective being to encourage more water efficiency activities in BC. M A F F Actively involved in encouraging water conservation in the agricultural community. 32 Fish and habitat management M S R M Water Act: although an entire flow (or more) of a stream can be allocated for consumptive uses, a policy was introduced enabling license refusal if considered to pose significant adverse impact on fish populations. Fish Protection Act proposed in 1997: sections 8 to 11 which pertain to fish protection i.e. through ensuring sufficient water, riparian protection and stronger local government powers, have not been enacted. M W L A P The Okanagan Basin Technical Working Group: a tripartite body with representatives from DFO, M W L A P , and ONFC. General objectives for this group are to identify and 'steer' initiatives designed to rebuild fish stocks, including salmon, in the Okanagan River basin in Canada. Fish Protection Act proposed in 1997: section 12 pertains to policy directives regarding protection and enhancement of riparian areas. Riparian Areas Regulation, enacted 2004: "provide protection for the features, functions and conditions that are vital in the natural maintenance of stream health and productivity."13 Okanagan Lake Action Plan: established in 1996 to address physical and biological factors influencing Okanagan Lake and its Kokanee populations. MAFF: responsible for management of commercial inland fisheries Fisheries Act: covers licensing and regulatory control of activities associated with commercial and aquaculture operations. 3.2.2.I Divvying out a scarce resource: water rights and allocation In British Columbia, water rights are governed and regulated under the Water Act, which was first enacted in 1909. Rights to water were initially allocated based on a riparian system, where only riparian landowners had the right to use water flowing through or adjacent to their lands (Wilson 1989). This was considered to be restrictive to the development of agriculture and mining, so a system based on appropriative rights became the dominant water rights approach in British Columbia. Allocation of water resources is carried out through a water licensing system. This system grants the user a legal right to use the resource but not own the resource. Currently, the Water Act and system of water rights only governs surface waters. Although, several policies, statutes and regulations affect the use of groundwater, no license is required to use groundwater resources. Under the current Liberal government, administration of the Water Act is primarily the responsibility of the Ministry of Sustainable Resource Management (MSRM). In 2002, the government established a provincial crown corporation (Land and Water BC - LWBC) in order, amongst other things, to administer water license applications. 1 3 http://wlapwww.gov.bc.ca/habitat/fish_protection_act/riparian/riparian_areas.html 33 Two principles underpin British Columbia's system of water rights: beneficial use and prior appropriation (Scott 1991). Under an appropriative system, water is granted on a "first come, first served" basis, giving priority access to the earliest license holder. This means that in drought conditions holders of the earliest licenses have the right to use their entire allotment before holders of later licenses (Shepherd, Neale et al. 2003b). Water licenses are permanent i.e. never expire and don't require renewal. Additionally, if the license changes hands through the sale or division of land, which the license is appurtenant, the date of precedence does not change. "Beneficial use" is a concept "designed to ensure that efficient use is being made of scarce water resources" (Shepherd, Neale et al. 2003b). As "beneficial use" is not defined in the Water Act, its meaning, and application, is open to interpretation; a freedom given to "engineers and officers" employed by the government. The Act also states that a water license will be suspended or revoked if the licensee does not make beneficial use of the water as outlined in the terms of the license e.g. water isn't being used for a pre-designated purpose, such as irrigation. "Use it or lose it" principle and lack of a transfer system (no incentive to save as can't sell it to others) does not encourage efficient use of the water resource. Up until mid-80s, the water licensing system in British Columbia did not take into account ecological issues or in-stream water uses, such as fisheries. In 1985/6 the Deputy Minister of Environment, Lands and Parks gave authority to the comptroller or regional water manager to refuse or enforce water license conditions if a water allocation decision could significantly affect in-steam uses. Minimum fish flows have been set to 10% of Mean Annual Discharge. For streams with natural flows of 10% M A D , extractive uses should only be allowed for those months where flows are above 60% (GolderAssociates 2003). According to Shepherd, Neale et al (2003b), M S R M and Land and Water BC do not actively oversee water licenses beyond the processing of applications and approvals. Actual consumption or beneficial use is not monitored regularly, although the latter may be taken into consideration when evaluating new license applications. However, since the drought and resulting fires of summer 2003, the BC provincial government, specifically the Ministry of Water, Land and Air Protection, has developed a drought management action plan involving an assessment of supply availability and consumption as well as a review of current water allocation and use policy. 3.2.2.2 Water conserva tion The Water Act in British Columbia is the main regulatory statute that governs water use, and therefore is important in the issue of water conservation. Fundamentally, the Water Act contains few provisions to protect in-stream uses and encourage water conservation. Boyd (2003) concludes that the BC water rights system is "heavily biased toward individual's (or corporation's) right to withdraw water for private gain and against public's common interest in leaving water 'instream' to maintain fisheries, recreational values and integrity of ecosystem " and further claims that "...none of the water rights systems evolved with conservation in mind, largely because of the myth of Canada's endless water supply" (p.47). Although the underlying institutional approach isn't conservation-orientated, water conservation is recognised as a necessary approach to managing water resources efficiently alongside supply management strategies. In July 1997, 34 the Ministry of Environment, Lands and Parks (under the New Democratic Party) finalised a Water Conservation Strategy for British Columbia, which is still being applied today. The objectives of the strategy are (MWLAP 1997): • to demonstrate the need for and benefits of improved water use efficiency measures; • to reinforce the value of British Columbia's water resource; • to present a menu of water use efficiency tools and techniques; • to identify, acknowledge and learn from water use efficiency initiatives in British Columbia; • to guide the development of provincial and local legislation, policies, guidelines and standards to improve water use efficiency; • to engage community leaders, water managers, government agencies, water utilities, suppliers One water conservation method that is regulated is water reclamation. Water reclamation is now viewed by the provincial government as a means to conserve water and reduce the amount of effluent entering the environment. Enacted in 1999, the Municipal Sewage Regulation provides detailed requirements for all uses of treated effluent. Finally, in 1998 BC established the water Conservation Plumbing Regulation BC Reg 294/98 which requires all new construction to install low-flow fixtures. 3.2.2.3 Water quality Water quality became an issue in the early 1990s. In 1989 it was ascertained that the incidence of waterbourne disease was 50% higher than the Canadian average (Legislative Assembly of BC 2000). In response, a BC Committee for Safe Drinking Water released the report "Safe Drinking Water for B C " in 1992. This was subsequently followed by the enactment of the Safe Drinking Water Regulation, which made microbiological standards legally enforceable. In 1996, outbreaks of Cryptosporidium in Kelowna and Cranbrook initiated further action. The Auditor General conducted an audit during 1998/99 to determine whether water resources were being adequately protected. BC has the highest levels of water-borne disease in Canada - Giardia, Cryptosporidium and Toxoplasmosis - 27 outbreaks during the last 18 yrs (Boyd 2003). Partially in response to increasing concerns over water quality, punctuated by the death of seven residents of Walkerton Ontario in 2001, and a need for a more co-ordinated framework for protecting drinking water, the former government endorsed the Drinking Water Protection Act. The current Liberal government finally enacted the Act in spring 2003 in response to positive recommendations by a government appointed Drinking Water Review Panel. Changes include increased basic expectations concerning the assessment of water systems, certifying operators and suppliers, and monitoring and reporting on water quality (MHS & MHP 2003). A fundamental improvement is the emphasis on protecting the water source i.e. protecting drinking water from "source to tap", rather than protecting purely through an end-of-pipe approach. However, the change is considered insignificant as the Act is discretionary rather than providing enforceable, across-the-board, stringent water quality standards (Boyd 2003). BC still only requires testing of 3 of the 158 contaminants identified in the Canadian Water Quality Guidelines. 35 The 1999 Auditor General Report stated that if municipalities, which don't own watersheds nor use filtration had to build filtration plants the total capital cost would be $700 million with annual operating costs of $30 million (Boyd 2003): The action plan for safe drinking water is projected to cost $16 million a year. Although the government is planning to earmark financial resources to partially cover this cost, local authorities that receive benefits will be expected to share in the associated costs (MHS 2002). 3.2.3 Local and regional authorities The Local Government Act RSBC 1996, c. 224 administered by the BC Ministry of Community, Aboriginal and Women's Services (MCAWS), sets out the framework for the local government system in British Columbia. It defines the creation, structure and operation of the three types of local government: regional districts, municipalities and improvement districts, as well as their powers and responsibilities, which differ between the three (Box 3-1). Legislation makes it mandatory for local government to perform certain functions as administrative extensions of the province. Up until 1997, provincial control was increasing: more mandates requiring local authorities to undertake specific functions; expansion of functions but only of those permitted by the province; and increasing supervision of finances and legislative compliance (Bish and Clemens 1999). During 1997-1999 regulatory reforms broadened autonomous power of local authorities (Bish and Clemens 1999). In other words, mandatory functions decreased while voluntary functions increased. Regional Districts (RDs) are the latest form of local government established to provide general-purpose rural governance where it was absent. BC was divided into 29 regional districts in 1965. The Municipal Act was amended in 1989 to enhance powers of the Regional District to provide services. RDs have three roles: provide regional service to municipalities and other local authorities; provide a political framework for inter-municipal and sub-regional service delivery and provide basic services, such as water, to residents of unincorporated areas. Municipal ministry attention over the period 1979 to 1989 was focused on creating a strong foundation of regional district government in the province. Ensuring that regional districts continue to develop as the primary local government for rural areas is a policy that still applies today (MCAWS no date). Municipalities generally provide multiple services to an urban customer base, while improvement districts were established to deliver one or more public services to a community, such as water, fire protection, street lighting, dyking, drainage, garbage collection and parks. Currently there are 271 improvement districts in the province. The majority of these are concentrated in three regions: the Kootenays; the Okanagan Valley; and Vancouver Island. The smallest bodies providing water are Water User Communities - public corporate bodies14. In the Okanagan, an additional body was formed to tackle basin-wide water issues. The inter-regional Okanagan Basin Water Board (OBWB) was established as a vehicle to implement recommendations of the 1969-1974 Okanagan Basin Study. Its establishment was a weak interpretation of the OBS chief recommendation, which proposed that the valley should be represented by one regional district coincident with the watershed. Until now OBWB activities have focused on control of Eurasian water milfoil and funding of liquid waste treatment projects in 1 4 Incorporated under the Water Act RSBC 1996, c. 483. Six or more different licensees, each of whom hold their own license(s), can form a Water User Community. 36 partnership with the provincial government. As the OBWB has achieved its main objectives of reducing phosphorus loading to the lake and controlling milfoil, the role of the OBWB is being questioned and is currently under review. 1 Restructure of local authorities can come about through incorporation i.e. boundary extensions and changes, expansion i.e. through annexing adjacent unincorporated areas, and amalgamation. Incorporation has historically been the result of municipal request (Bish and Clemens 1999). Regional amalgamation, such as the creation of the Capital Regional District in Victoria, has typically been advocated for reasons of efficiency, equity and economic development (Bish and Clemens 1999). 3.2.3.1 Water management by local authorities Of the various functions undertaken by local governments in B.C., water supply is the most frequently provided (Bish & Clemens 1999). Nearly all municipalities provide domestic, commercial and industrial water supply. Most regional districts, many improvement districts and water user communities provide at least partial water supply services, with the latter two often supplying agricultural users. The range of local governments involved in water supply means that a variety of decision-making processes are followed involving to a greater or lessor degree senior government (Bish and Clemens 1999). As identified in previous sections, various statutes are in place to regulate the quality and use of water resources. Suppliers of water must satisfy provincial constraints set by these. If water is drawn from a river or lake, a water license must be obtained from Land and Water BC and annual fees must be paid for water used. The Water Act defines the conditions by which licenses are approved and divvied (section above 3.2.2.1). Water for domestic use must also meet Ministry of Health Planning standards and all new supply facilities must be approved by that ministry. M C A W S may also become involved in decision-making since it makes grants available for facilities meeting its criteria, and M A F F is concerned with agricultural water supply through its own grant programs (Box 3-2). Consulting engineering specialists are usually contracted to carry out planning, design and construction of water supply and sewer systems, although some local governments have at least some of the work done by employees (Bish & Clemens 1999). The operation and maintenance of municipal and regional district systems may be done by contractors or by government employees supplemented by contracted services on a project basis. In terms of liquid waste management, the 1982 Waste Management Act is the central piece of legislation that regulates treatment and disposal. M W L A P is responsible for overseeing enforcement of regulatory provisions. The voluntary Liquid Waste Management Planning (LWMP) process is the core procedure through which M W L A P encourages local governments to plan wastewater treatment and discharge. LWMPs must be consistent with the Ministry's long-term waste management objectives, and when approved by the Ministry, it becomes the instrument that authorises the disposal or reuse of municipal liquid wastes (Bish & Clemens 1999). 37 A municipal or regional water supply, and sewer system, can entail significant capital costs and money may have to be borrowed to finance construction. If so, the decision is subject to a referendum or counter petition, depending on the circumstances. Financial support can also be received from Federal-Provincial grant programs. The ongoing operation and maintenance of the system are usually financed primarily through a combination of special assessments, such as frontage taxes, and user charges for water consumption, service connections, etc (Box 3-2). 3.2.4 Multiple non-governmental organizations In addition to the legally mandated organisations party to water management in the Okanagan Basin, there are several significant non-governmental players at the regional level. These can be divided into four primary topics: protection of fisheries and their habitats, watershed stewardship, support for the local agricultural community and aiding better local water management practices. Some of the most predominant groups include: Okanagan Similkameen Boundary Fisheries Partnership, Community Watershed Round Tables, BC Fruit Growers' Association, Okanagan Valley Tree Fruit Authority, Water Supply Association and BC Water and Waste Association. 38 Box 3-1 Local governance Municipalities: Governance mic ('ouneilstructure ( 'ouneilrole: Election-lot i tig: livliiw s. resolutions: Referenda-Kctiional districts: Governance style Board structure' Role: Representation' I 'olilli. Direct involvement of elected officials;and other citizens through committees, boards and commission Comprises a Mayor and 4. 6. 8. 10 councillors. If population exceeds .M),()(K) Council must comprise of nine members with a quorum of-Council's role includes: consideration and passage of municipal bylaws, budget approvals, appointment of RD Board representatives, appointment of • 5 administrative officials, determination of basic municipal organisation. Every 3 years By simple majority. Decisions must be authorised by bylaw or resolution After the municipal act reform, bylaws authorizing long-term borrowing no longer require a public referendum. Counter-petition processes are now used to ' approveJa^efexpehditures Federations of municipalities and electoral areas Representatives from municipal and electoral areas. Representation for municipal areas comprise^directors appointed from and by municipal councils; and representation for electoral areas comprise directly elected directors. Decisions pertainingto provision of district services, and inter-municipal/sub- . regional concerns such as long term capital financing for municipal members and for the rcgicmalidistrict+ilself. Determined by number of voting units of each eligible municipality and electoral area. A voting.unit is usually set-to match, approximately, the size of the smallest municipalityiNumber of votes determined.by dividing population by voting unit. Number of directors for each political unit i.e. local authority, is determined by dividing the number of votes by the number five. Corporate vote: "One director one vote" used when developing a new service, contracting for a debt, or adopting the annual budget or dealing with matter* of corporate procedure or staffing decisions. Stakeholder vote: Only those directors participating in a service are entitled to vote. Usedfqpdecisions relating'to the mafiagementand operatio'n'ofian-existing ,: Improvement Districts (also known as Water Districts or Irrigation Districts): Elected board of trustees: Generally elected at annual meetings for three-year terms. Those residents permitted to" vote may include all electorsor may be restricted to property owners. Role: Responsible for running district services. OBWB: Water Boat d Role: Representation: Gonsists*ofithree"srepre"sentatives from eachsof the three Regional Districts in the s!!!!^!!«il|liitlll^ Responsible for water management functions identified in the 1969-1974 OBS which pertain to the valley as a whole; currently, the control of Eurasian milfoil. I'lected bv the Regional Boards. 39 Box 3-2 Financing local water management infrastructure i g p l i s a p i i s i i ^ ; Property taxes: key source of general revenue Property taxes i.e. annual levies based on assessed value of land and buildings, have historically been the most important source of general revenue for local governments (Bish and Clemens 1999). Provincial and Federal grants related to water Urban infrastructure For the last 20 years it has been the policy of.the Ministry.responsible for local government affairs to restrict Sewer and Water InlTastructure'Grants to regional districts and municipalities," and "encourage regional districts to work with improvement districts and to make application for capital infrastructure grants to , rehabilitate improvement district water and sewer systems on the assumption that the ownership of the system would shift to the regional district."(MCAW rio date) ;:, -i Provincial grants to local-governments are, of two types: conditional and unconditional: A conditional grant ='-is made for a specific purpose, or.project. Unconditional:grants are funds that can be employed for any purpose to the discretion of the receiving local authority. Since 1994 a series of reductions in unconditional ..grants were made until only smajKmunicipalities and regional districts received them (Bish and Clemens >1999). In 1997, provincial granfs'comprised 6.2% municipal and l:5t"2% of regional revenue (Bish and IplliPlI^ . Historically the ministry responsible for municipal affairs, currently MCAWS, administered conditional .grant programs. Conditional grants have included expansion or upgrading of water and sewage facilities. Costs are often shared equally between the/Federal, provincial and local government. Anexample is Canada's $3 billion Green Plan in 1990 (also available for rural areas). The Green Plan earmarked federally $850 million for "clean air, water and land" and another $350 million for "sustaining our renewable resources" (Gale 1997) Today a"key conditional grant program is the Canada/BC Infrastructure program, which provides funds for green local government infrastructure projects, including water andwastewater systems, and water , . management. More than $800 million is being jointly invested equally by Federal, provincial and local ^governments to aid improvement in'infrastructure developments. Minimum of.75 % of funds will go.to-greerh •local government infrastructure (MSBEDrio'date). The program runs until-2006. One-time'conditional funding opportunities occur sporadically. Currently, in response to the 2003 drought in BC, the Province has pledged $2 million to tackling problem areas as part of.the Provincial Drought Action Plan (LWBC no date-, Agricultural infrastructure Most agricultural water is supplied through Irrigation Districts. Over the past 40 years, Federal and ^Provincial governments.have jointly funded the upgrading-and expansion of irrigation supply systems',in BC. Key programs are: Agricultural Rehabilitation and Development Act (ARDA) 1961-1966 which introduced irrigation, drainage, and flood control infrastructure to targeted rural regions-in B.C. (Golder Associates 2003); the $60 million Agriculture and Rural Development Subsidiary Agreement (ARDSA I) 1977rl982;.. v and A R D S A II (Agr'i-F,ood Regional Development SuBsidiary Agreement) implemented'between 1985-1990. "Currently/the federal'governmeht has set aside $60 million in aNational Water Supply,Expansion Program over four years to assist priority agricultural water supply problems in Canada, of which BC will receive a ishare (GoldeE Associates 2003). Capital financing Besides grants, over the past 25 years municipalities have had the means to obtain loans that can coyer up to 75% of water infrastructure expansion costs (Kerr Wood Leidal Associates Ltd. 1990). The Municipal Finance Authority Act took advantage of the •emergence of regional districts and mandated that all municipalities had toborrow through their regional districts. The Municipal Finance Authority (MFA) provides long-term capital borrowing, pooled leasing and short-term investment pooling services for regional districts and municipalities. These^sefvices provide substantial financial benefits for local governments. In ^December-1999, improvement districts "gained-access to the pooled'leasing and short term investment pool IseipicisS^S 40 Box 3-2: Financing local water management infrastructure (continued) User charges and other revenue sources Special assessments such as local improvement taxes, sales of services and license fees, permit fees, fines, etc. constitute an additional source of revenue. In 1997, these other sources comprised 41% of municipal, 40.6 % of regional district and 57.3 percent of improvement district revenues (Bish and Clemens 1999). Water rates are an example of this form of revenue. There is a concern that available water supply will not meet increasing demand in the Okanagan and therefore could become a limiting factor for growth and development. Exact data on water consumption in the Okanagan is not available. Licensed water provides an indication of how demand has been increasing and what are the major uses. Figure 3-1 shows that total consumptive licensed water is at ~500 million m 3 annually, with 65% licensed to irrigation or irrigation local authorities and 33% to waterworks. Population growth, including the influx of tourists mainly during the summer and related economic activity in the region is a key pressure on the resource. Although agricultural activity in terms of acreage seems relatively stable, changes in dominant land-uses and irrigation techniques may influence future levels of water demand for irrigation purposes. Water quality concerns, both in terms of ecosystem health and potability, are a direct result of increased economic activity in the region i.e. increased urbanisation, changes in logging practises, recreational activities, intensification of agriculture. Compounding the problem is the threat of climate change and its impacts on both supply availability and demand Figure 3-1 Trends in and dominant water uses in the Okanagan Watershed based on licensed demand (not actual consumption). Source: LWBC (no date-b) 3.3 WATER SUPPLY AND DEMAND IN THE OKANAGAN pressures. Main licensed water uses in the Okanagan 6% O Other • Irrigation • Irrigation Local Auth • Waterworks (Other) • Waterworks Local Auth 46% 41 Water license approval for top water uses 1871-2004 250 CO E 200 nsed nsed in c 150 <D o O — (mil 100 E (mil =J 50 O > 0 Irrigation Irrigation Local Auth Waterworks (Other) •Waterworks Local Auth Year Irrigation Local Authority: Water used for irrigation by a local authority. Waterworks Local Authority: Water conveyed to >5 dwellings by a "Local Authority". Irrigation: Water used on cultivated lands and hay meadows to nourish crops. Waterworks (other): Water conveyed to >5 dwellings by an organisation other than a "Local Authority". Other: Miscellaneous uses of water e.g. institutions, bottling, camps, etc. 3.3.1 Water supply: approaching peak capacity In 1992 the Okanagan River Basin's water supply potential was estimated under the then current water-use conditions and Okanagan Lake operational procedures15. According to the study, it was recommended that a maximum of 63,000 dam3/annum'6 (63,000,000 cubic meters) water was available for licensing in the Okanagan Basin (Obedkoff 1994). Since that study 23 million m 3 has been licensed, of which 17 million m 3 is consumptive use and 6 million m3represents non-consumptive uses. Water license applications currently being reviewed represent another 187 million m 3, although only 210,000 m 3 represents consumptive uses (LWBC no date-b). The number of streams with water withdrawal restrictions also reflects concern over inadequate future supply. In 2003, 186 out of 301 streams were designated as "fully recorded" (insufficient water to grant further licenses), 56 were designated as "refused no water", 41 were designated "possibly water shortage" and the remainder with some limited use (e.g. withdrawal during freshet only)(LWBC no date-c). Three-quarters of streams flowing into Okanagan Lake have been negatively impacted by withdrawals for irrigation (Boyd 2003). As streams reach their absolute maximum and demand increases, supply pressure will shift from easily accessible stream watersheds to the Okanagan Lake proper. 1 5 The criteria were: 1) inflows corresponding to 1929-1931 historical drought adjusted to reflect current consumptive use; 2) minimum Okanagan Lake elevation of 340.4m, 3) releases from the Okanagan Lake to meet downstream consumptive use and minimum dilution and flow requirements. 1 6 Model minimum lake elevation was estimated at 341.32m. The minimum operating lake elevation is 340.40. There is 314,000 dam3 of emergency storage between lake elevations 341.32 and 340.40. During the worst drought year, 1929-31, 124,490 dam3 was used/released (i.e. lake elevation dropped by 0.37m from 341.32 to 340.95). Therefore 314,000- 124,490 damili vrs gives 63,000 dam3/annum or (340.95 - 340.40m x lOOOmm/m x 341 km2)/3yrs. 42 Declining water quality is another factor of concern on future water availability for potable uses and in-stream uses, such as recreation. There have been several incidences of higher than acceptable levels of water pathogenic cysts in the Okanagan, such as the 1986 Giardia outbreak in the City of Penticton, the 1996 Cryptosporidium outbreak in Kelowna, and the closure of B X Creek in 2000 due to higher than acceptable levels of Cryptosporidium. In terms of recreational pressures, eradicating the invasive aquatic plant milfoil has been a policy goal since the 1970s. The presence of milfoil was attributed to increases in nutrient loadings to Okanagan Lake from municipal treatment facilities. Increasing costs of securing adequate supply to meet demands is a challenge to providing necessary supply, treatment and distribution facilities. Costs of expanding supply are rising as upland supplies and sites for new reservoir development are increasingly limited (Kerr Wood Leidal Associates Ltd 1990). The requirements of the updated provincial drinking water regulations that came into force in 2003 are more stringent than ever before. As demand rises distribution costs can become exorbitant due to needs to update water main infrastructure. Ultimately as pressure grows (including climate change) water prices will likely go up to curb use and create revenue to cover costs of maintenance and improvement. Significant climate variability such as intra-decadal variations adds to the question of supply adequacy. The 1929-30 three-year drought is cited as the worst drought that has hit the Okanagan. The recent drought in 2003 was so severe that the provincial Liberals instigated a Drought Management Action Plan (de Vries 2004). For some streams, flow conditions were the lowest recorded in 50 years and some were unprecedented (LWBC 2003). A post-drought survey indicated that some of the water purveyors in the southern part of the province are generally experiencing water supply problems, including "lack of available volume, elevated rates of use, decreased water quality and increased expenditures" (LWBC 2003). The Central Okanagan is the most affected, with approximately half of the population serviced by systems with below normal water supplies. Whether such a drought episode can be partially or fully attributed to climate change, climate change still poses a future pressure. Climate change and variability could potentially result in increases in demand, a modified water cycle and/or reduced supply. However, recent trends suggest that the basin is getting warmer and wetter, with frost-free days having increased by approximately 3.1 days per decade during the 20 t h century (Cohen & Kulkarni 2001). In spite of increased water usage in the Okanagan basin, net inflow or streamflow has increased over the last 50-100 years by 0.3% to 0.5% per year, due largely to the increase in precipitation (Obedkoff 1994). In a study assessing climate change in the Okanagan, it was estimated that temperatures relative to a 1961-90 baseline could increase by 1.5 to 4 degrees Celsius during the winter and 2 to 4 degrees Celsius during the summer by the 2050s (Cohen & Neale 2003). Such an increase in temperature is likely to result in a longer and warmer growing season. Although an increase in winter precipitation was estimated in the order of 5-25%, summer precipitation estimates varied from no change to a 35 percent decrease (Taylor, Barton et al. 2003). 43 Impacts to the hydrological regime and crop water demand were also explored in the same study. General hydrological response to the climate scenarios consistently predicted an early onset of the spring freshet, a tendency towards a more rain dominated hydrograph and considerable reductions in annual and freshet flow volumes (Merrit and Younes 2003). However, depending on the models used, flow either peaked over a short period of time, or entered the system in a more even distribution17. A confined elevated flow in spring would pose difficulties for water purveyors to store and then distribute during a longer summer (and growing) season. While this challenge would be lacking with a more evenly distributed output, smaller freshet volumes may potentially make it difficult for managers to store sufficient volumes of water to maintain consumption and downstream flow requirements. 3.3.2 Water demand: population growth the future pressure 3.3.2.1 Population growth, tourism and per capita demand Based on provincial census data, population in the Okanagan totalled almost 320,000 people in 2001. The 1970 Okanagan Basin Study estimated that total population would reach 290,000 by 2020 (Canada-British Columbia ConsultativeBoard 1974). Actual growth significantly outstripped expectations at that time. Since the early 1990s, yearly growth rates have ranged between 0.6 to 4.6 with an average of 2.1% (Westland Resource Group 2003). It is estimated that based on a 2% growth rate, population will approach 500,000 in the next 30 years (Westland Resource Group 2003). Although 2% is comparatively low for BC; between 1996-2001 BC's provincial population growth rate was 4.9% (StatsCan no date). Visitation to the Okanagan region is also increasing. In 1970, it was estimated that 861,200 people visited the Okanagan region (1974)18. During the year 1995-1996 over 4.8 million visitors travelled to South Thompson-Okanagan representing 16% of all B.C. visitors. The most frequented area was Kelowna/Central Okanagan (55% of all tourists visiting this region) while, not surprisingly, the dry summer months between June - September were the most popular months to visit. Per capita residential water consumption (inside and outside use) ranges in the Okanagan between the low-end of 400 1/c/d (litres per capita per day) in Vernon to the high end of 800 1/c/d in the District of Summerland. Both from a Canadian and international perspective average per capita household water consumption in the Okanagan is high. Average household consumption in British Columbia is ~450 1/c/d, the third highest in Canada (Gous 2003). Other than the US, average Canadian household water consumption in 1996 was higher than all other cited OECD countries at 326 1/d/c. A l l other countries except Australia (268), Greece (200) and Italy (213) had a daily per capita household water consumption lower than 200 litres (OECD 1999b). 1 7 The two scenarios are a result of the application of two different climate change models: the UK's Hadley Centre model (HadCM3), and the Australian model from the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organization. 1 8 The 1970 data is only for the Okanagan Basin study area (which is smaller than the three regional districts together). The 1995/1996 data represents South-Thompson Okanagan region which encompasses a region slightly larger than the three regional districts. 44 As exact consumption levels in the region are not available for the majority of users, it is difficult to calculate accurately actual current use let alone future demand. Assuming the low end of 400 1/c/d is achievable for all municipalities, providing water to 500,000 people in 30 years time would represent 73 million cubic meters annually; an increase of 26 million cubic meters from today (another 180,000 people). Although there is great potential to reduce domestic consumption still further in some municipalities in the Okanagan, whether such efficiencies will counterbalance population growth and changes in demographics needs to be determined. 3.3.2.2 Potential impact of land use change and irrigation on water demand Agriculture is a main driver of the Okanagan region's economy. According to BC Stats, in 2001 gross agricultural receipts in the Okanagan Region totalled $263 million. The Okanagan also accounts for 95% of vineyards and 90% of the fruit orchards in British Columbia. Agricultural activities still account for around 70% of water demand, rising to 85% in some areas during the summer months. Farm numbers, total acreage and irrigated acreage within the three regional districts of the Okanagan have stayed relatively stable since 1970s (Figure 3-2). According to provincial census data, total irrigated land area increased only by 5.7% to 63,321 acres (25,625 hectares) between 1971-1996. But the increase was mainly in N . Okanagan, outweighing the decline in C. Okanagan and O. Similkameen. Crop profiles differ between the three districts (Neilsen, Koch et al. 2004b). In the north, pasture/forage and field crops predominate with apples as the major horticultural crop. More complex crop profiles exist in the central and southern parts of the basin, such as cherries, peaches, apricots and wine grapes. In the past few years there has been a major expansion in the wine grape industry, particularly in the Oliver/Osoyoos region in southern Okanagan. According to agricultural census data, changes in cropland, improved pasture and unimproved pasture has changed little since 1970s. The effect of crop type on potential water demand was illustrated by a study carried out by Neilsen, Koch et al. (2004b). Based on data between 1961-90 historic period it was estimated that the largest total amount of water was required for pasture and the least for grapes (44%). Crops such as apple and cherry required 78% and 87% respectively of the amount needed for pasture. 45 Figure 3-2 Farmland acreage 1 9 in the Okanagan Region between 1976-2001. Source: Statistics Canada, Census of Agriculture. Total area of farmland in the Okanagan 250 i - - , 200 o -IS ioo o 0 I , , , , 1 1971 1976 1981 1986 1991 1996 Central Okanagan RD -9- N.orth Okanagan RD -_r- O.kanagan Simflkameen RD Earlier reports estimating demand trends show irrigation demand increasing at 0.7% per year (AgroDev Canadalnc. 1994). Whether this trend will continue is uncertain. Besides extent of irrigated land area and crop type, implementation of more efficient irrigation methods amongst other factors will influence future demand for agricultural purposes (see section 3.3.3 below). 3.3.2.3 Potential impact of climate change on demand In addition to the impact on supply, climate change will have an effect on demand patterns. In terms of domestic demand, increases due to hotter weather are expected specifically in terms of outdoor water use. According to a case study of water demand in Penticton by Neilsen, Koch et al. (2004a), climate change could account for 9-18% increase in water demand from 2001 to the 2050s depending on the scenario. The low end of 9% is equivalent to an acceleration of the 70-year population growth effect by 11 years for low population growth, 7 years for medium growth, and 4 years for high growth. In other words, relative contribution of climate change is small when compared to rising demand even when compared to the lowest rate of population increase forecast today. Neilsen, Koch et al (2004b) estimated that total water consumption for agricultural purposes was 200 million m 3 increasing to 225-324 million m 3 over the next century under different climate change scenarios. Currently, licensed Total acearage includes both improved and unimproved land. Betweem 1971-86 unimproved land accounted for between 20-50% of total farmland in the Okanagan Region as a whole. 46 annual agricultural demand is 322 million m 3. Increase in demand was attributed to a lengthened growing season by 30-35% for all crops, and greater evapotranspiration. Due to differences in supply capability and crop profdes, vulnerability to climate change impacts will differ between local authorities in the region. In an earlier report, data indicated that crop water demand by 2070-2090 could exceed current licensed allotments for certain water purveyors in the region (Cohen & Kulkarni 2001). 3.3.3 Non-structural management practices in the Okanagan Physical changes to water systems have historically been the dominant water management approach for ensuring adequate supply. Non-structural practices are less prevalent but as easily accessible and affordable water sources are harnessed in the Okanagan, alternative management approaches are being sought. Efficiencies in supply management can be achieved through implementation of methods such as telemetry systems that automate control of supply at the intake, synchronizing water provision with demand. What is of interest here are those methods that generally come under the term demand-side management (DSM); methods that control, directly or indirectly, water consumption. These can be technological, financial, educational or institutional in nature. Significant water efficiencies at affordable costs can be achieved (MLWAP 1997). Additionally, such measures result in less environmental impacts or conflict with other interests (e.g. maintenance of flows for fisheries) relative to supply-side approaches 3.3.3.1 Municipal demand-side management in the Okanagan Up until the 1990s, demand-side management was hardly present. Several municipalities implemented metering in the 1960s such as Coldstream and Penticton, while Vernon implemented 100% wastewater reclamation in the early 1970s. Another surge in interest in DSM began in the early 1990s probably due to increased interest in these methods of water resource management in the provincial government. Now municipal demand-management practices in the Okanagan range from educational activities to xeriscaping (Table 3-3). A l l municipalities in the Okanagan partake in some level of campaigning to increase public awareness of water issues and to encourage users to curb water use. The two largest cities in the Okanagan, Kelowna and Vernon, have invested significant funds to reduce consumption. Metering with price-structure changes resulted in a 24.5% decrease in water consumption in Kelowna, while retrofits were expected to reduce consumption by 10%. A water saving factor of 20% is considered achievable from the implementation of meters, although efficiencies higher than this are feasible (Kerr Wood Leidal Associates Ltd. 1990). In terms of cost, conservation measures can achieve the same results as expanding municipal water infrastructure for as little as 1/5 of the cost (Boyd 2003). However, from a cursory study of the costs of different potential measures in the Okanagan, demand-side and supply-side approaches could incur similar costs depending on the approach (Shepherd, McNeill et al. 2003). 47 Table 3-3 Information collected through telephone calls with local authorities and documentation review during summer 2002. Conservation measure / Armstrong a .r, 2 c w = E _= <_,-*' v. c o 6 > 1 u C3 O 13 ! u •a a i—1 s .CO 00 ' O — > •5.-•si O O >. : . O " c c o o c. • •J ' Summerland Metering: ' Residential © © © © © © © © © © © © Metering: Commercial Industrial © © © © © © © © © © © © Metering: Agricultural ® © © © © © © © © © © © . Rate Structure (domestic) V FR V V FR V FR FR FR FR V FR , Reclaimed waste ; water © © © - © © © © © © © © © Free and rebate low-How fixture installation © © © © © © © © Voluntary low-flow fixture installation © © © © © © © © © 1 oilet-relrofn rebate program © © © © © ® © © © Xerioscaping © © © © © © © © © © © © Sprinkling scheduling bylaw/restrictions -© © © © © © © © © Low-flow fixtures in new construction bvlaw © © © © © © © © © Bylaw on wasteful use of water © © © © © © © © © © © © © Irrigation flow control \ahes © © Leak detection svslem © © © © © © Automated water supply control © © Educational projects © © © © © © © © © © © © © Shaded cells = no data gathered V = Volumetric rate FR = Flat Rate An approach with significant potential for influencing water demand in the Okanagan, and Canada, is water pricing. Water prices for residential use in Canada are creeping upwards increasing 2.9% between 86-96 but remain the lowest in OECD. In 1997, 52% of municipalities with a population of over 10,000 charged their residential customers by some sort of volumetric system; up 4% since 1991 (OECD 1999b). As the table above indicates, almost half of the municipalities in the Okanagan meter their residential customers with a constant unit charge. Prices range from SO.21 per m3 in Rutland (for consumption below 30,000 gallons) to $0.70 per m3 in Vernon (Table 3-4). In British Columbia, average rates are ~$1.00/m3, the third lowest in Canada (the highest is $3.50/m3 in the Northern Territories) (Gous 2003). Table 3-4 Volumetric water prices for domestic use in four local authorities in the Okanagan. ( ity/l)isirkt Kale l\pe RateJCANS ,'<f ' ' Y'' • ;;* Pciilicton Basic Monthly Charge $9.40/month Variable $0.81 per 100 cubic feet (approx. $0.286m3) Vernon Basic Monthly Charge $24.93/quarter($8.31 per month) Variable $0.70/m3 Rutland Basic Monthly Charge $31.20/quarter ($10.40/month Next 30,000 gallons (assuming US gallons = 113.56m3) $0.80 per thousand gallons (approx 0.213/m3) Next 72,000 gallons $1.00 per thousand gallons (approx. $0.264/m3) Thereafter $1.15 per thousand gallons ($0.3038/m3) Kelowna Basic Monthly Charge $7.60 .. .... Variable $0.225/m3 3.3.3.2 Agricultural efficiency mechanisms Several methods for improving agricultural water use efficiency exist categorized as physical, economic and operational approaches (Kerr Wood Leidal Associates Ltd. 1990). Physical options include irrigation equipment such as drip/trickle irrigation systems, improvements to fields and delivery systems. Economic methods comprise changing water pricing structures from flat rates to volumetric rates. Operational approaches include methods such as metering and scheduling which aim to determine optimum irrigation time and quantity of water needed. Such methods have minimal application in the Okanagan. In a study of demand management of irrigation district water supplies, total annual water use for irrigation purposes in 1990 was estimated to be 77,000 acre-ft (94,978,103 m3). Of the 40,000 acres of irrigated area included in the study, sprinkler irrigation was the dominant technique accounting for about 80 % of the total, while drip/trickle and volume guns each accounted for 10% (Kerr Wood Leidal Associates Ltd. 1990). As of today, only one Irrigation District has implemented agricultural metering (South East Kelowna Irrigation District - SEKID), and another (Summerland) is considering its application. SEKID is one of the first local authorities to implement metering of irrigation connections in British Columbia. Traditionally, 49 agricultural water use has been heavily subsidised in British Columbia. Volumetric pricing is rare and flat rates generally generate insufficient revenue (OECD 1999a). Potential savings from conversion from sprinkler to drip/trickle irrigation could be as high as 35% (Kerr Wood Leidal Associates Ltd. 1990). The same study estimated that 50% of the existing irrigated area in the Okanagan could potentially be converted to drip/trickle irrigation. Savings from the implementation of metering and more efficient irrigation techniques is considered significant. Universal metering of irrigation services and a conversion to drip/trickle irrigation within the 20 irrigation districts and three municipalities was estimated to be 28,000 ac-ft (34,537,492m3). SEKID experienced a use reduction of between 5-23% as a result of the metering and scheduling program (Nyvall and Van der Gulik 2000). Savings depended partly on farmer response to metering and participation in the scheduling program. A US study observed that a 10% increase in price may result in a 6-7% reduction in water use (Kerr Wood Leidal Associates Ltd. 1990). 3.3.4 Balancing supply and demand Combining population growth, seasonal tourist pressures, increased efficiencies in consumption, changes in agricultural land use, and the further uncertainty of climate change impacts - to say the least - makes the question of balancing future supply and demand challenging. What is obvious is that urban use is becoming more dominant, efficiencies are being implemented and in some areas of the Okanagan agricultural land use is changing toward less water intensive crops (e.g. grapes). Based on the calculation by Obedkoff (1994) that no more than an additional 63 million cubic meters should be licensed annually (post 1994), servicing growing demand will require compromise elsewhere. Additionally, physical access to supply, cost and environmental impacts could hinder supply expansion or use of Okanagan Lake proper. Finally, managing water resource user needs and conflicts are already a challenge. If the magnitude of drought episodes worsens or they become more frequent, or absolute supply diminishes, development could be hindered and conflicts between different user-groups increase. 50 C H A P T E R 4. M E T H O D O L O G Y 4.1 GENERAL APPROACH The study approach chosen entailed the selection and subsequent analysis of four local authority cases of "adaptation" through a semi-structured interview process and supporting documentation. A case-by-case approach was chosen because it provides the means to achieve a thorough and detailed understanding of adaptation dynamics, which is the objective of this study. A semi-structured interview approach was selected as this allows for flexibility within a specified boundary (on the part of the interviewer) and room for greater expression and freedom albeit with guidance (on the part of the interviewee). Where possible documentation e.g. Council minutes, water management studies, etc. was collected as reference and validation material to support facts gathered during the interview process as well as to ensure accuracy of case-study time-lines. Following is an explanation of the three components of the methodology in more detail: case-study selection, interview process and analysis, and documentation research. 4 .2 SELECTION OF CASE STUDIES 4.2.1 Selection criteria Cases selected represented water management practises implemented by local authorities in the Okanagan Basin. Local authorities were the chosen organisational system because they represent key decision-making bodies for water resource management. Although the role of regional and provincial agencies were, where relevant, included in the analysis. An attempt was made to select cases that fulfilled all the following four criteria (Table 4-1). Criteria 1: "Early adopters" potentially representing adaptive and forward-thinking examples of management; Criteria 2: Alternative or complimentary approaches to (traditionally) purely supply-side management e.g. demand-side management approaches; Criteria 3: Approaches impacting the two major water consumers in the region, domestic and agriculture. Criteria 4: Accessible data on process, outcomes and effectiveness. 4.2.2 Method of selection An overview of alternative management strategies being practised in the Okanagan was accomplished through informal conversations with municipal water managers as well as perusal of the Water Efficiency Experiences Database20 and the Water Use Efficiency Catalogue of British Columbia2 1. Initially six different broad types of management strategies were identified: 1) metering domestic water use, 2) metering irrigation water use, 3) reclaimed wastewater, 4) water saving devices; 5) educational campaigns, and finally 6) institutional restructuring. Of these, four strategies within four different localities were selected: Accessible via the web at: http://www.cwwa.ca/water.htm 2 1 Accessible via the web at: http://wlapwww.gov.bc.ca/wat/wamr/wat_use_catalogue/toc.html 51 Case 1: Water reclamation in Vernon Case 2: Amalgamation of separate water utilities in Greater Vernon Case 3: Domestic metering with constant unit charge in Kelowna 2 2 Case 4: Metering of agricultural irrigation in South East Kelowna Irrigation District (SEKID)' Table 4-1 Overview of selected cases of adaptations in water management. V E R N O N ( ; w v i K K LOW IN A SKKII) Authority type Municipality Municipalities, Water Districts and a Regional District Municipality Water District Location North Okanagan Regional District North Okanagan Regional District Central Okanagan Regional District Within Kelowna municipality Strategy Water reclamation Utility amalgamation Metering: CUC Metering (and scheduling) Criteria 1 Yes 1 Yes 2 No 3 Yes 4 Criteria 2 Yes Yes 5 Yes Yes Criteria 3 Agriculture (potentially domestic)6 Domestic/Agriculture Domestic Agriculture Criteria 4 Yes Yes Yes Yes Analysed time-line 1969-2003 1969-2003 1987-2000 1987 -2003 1 Vernon was the first municipality in the region to implement water reclamation and commit to applying on land 100% of its effluent. It is also renowned for its environmental and forward-thinking approach to wastewater management. The City of Armstrong has since implemented a 100% water reclamation program. 2 Greater Vernon Water Utility represents the only amalgamation of water administration in the region. There are other examples in BC, such as in the Fraser Valley. 3 Kelowna does not fulfil this criterion. Three other municipalities in the region have implemented metering: Coldstream, Penticton and Vernon. The first two were not chosen as implementation occurred many years ago and data on effectiveness was unavailable. Vernon was not selected as it is already featured as a case study. A fourth option was available which was not identified in my initial review of potential cases: Rutland Waterworks (an Irrigation District). In retrospect this would have been a more favourable choice. Kelowna does represent an "early adopter" as regards to its activities resulting from the metering program i.e. reducing peak demand (or outside urban water use) which features in the write-up. 4 SEKID represents the only Irrigation District in the Okanagan and possibly BC that has implemented agricultural irrigation metering. 5 changes include both supply-side and demand-side management approaches. 6 Water reclamation in Vernon represents an agricultural water management approach as it provides an alternative supply to freshwater for irrigation. However, it has the potential for being a domestic approach if used for urban irrigation. 7 Limits to data accessibility. There was a fee for using information beyond directly accessible Council Minutes in Vernon. Data was only gathered with limited success for Kelowna due to lack of co-operation. This metering project was carrier out along with an educational campaign and programs to install water saving devices. This project also involved irrigation scheduling. 4.3 INTERVIEW PROCESS AND ANALYSIS 4.3.1 Interviewees The interview process selected was a key informant approach. Key decision-makers in the relevant local authority, and/or important actors of participating stakeholder groups, were selected for each case study from primary participating committees and recommendation from key individuals (usually the water manager of the local authority). In general, interviewees were water managers, stewardship coordinators, municipal councilors/irrigation district board members and, in some cases, water users (e.g. farmers). Each interviewee was initially approached by letter and subsequently by phone. 4.3.2 Interview process Interviews were semi-structured, providing ample leeway for interviewees to express their own opinions and thoughts about the particular project being studied. A sample interview questionnaire can be viewed in Appendix 1. A l l questionnaires included a preamble and contained the following question subsections: The role of the interviewee/organisation Initial idea, circumstances and reactions The decision-making process Implementation (application of the decision) Required resources (what was needed for its implementation) Outcomes, hurdles, and successes (barriers and enabling factors) Looking back (what has been learned) The future 28 individuals were interviewed of 39 that were approached. 4 directly turned down the invitation, 2 individuals referred me to others they considered better suited to answering my questions and for the remaining 5, interview times could not be organised during the three visits to the Okanagan. In other words 72% of individuals approached were interviewed (Table 4-2). Of the 28 interviews all but three were face-to-face; the three were carried out by phone. A l l interviews were recorded and subsequently transcribed, and notes were taken during the interviews. Four interviews were undertaken by my colleague at the time, Tina Neale2 4, while two were with her assistance i.e. note-taking. Interview duration was between 45 minutes and 2 hours. 22 of the interviews were carried out during two trips to the Okanagan: 14-17 January and 4-8 February 2003. The remaining 6 interviews were carried out intermittently during spring 2003. Research Co-ordinator of the Environment Canada project "Expanding the Dialogue on Water Management and Climate Change in the Okanagan". 53 Table 4-2 Interviews conducted Case Interviewees approached Interviewees accepted Interviewee'-codes Relow na— domestic water metering 7 5 in total: 3 representatives of the Board (including a former chair of the Okanagan Basin Water Board- OBWB) Water manager Representative of the Kelowna Joint Water Commission Kl-5 Vernon— water reclamation 7 4 in total: Water manager Former water manager Technician Former Mayor of Vernon VI-4 <;\\vi!--establishing a region-wide :. authority 12 7 in total: Representative of the Technical Steering Committee 3 representatives from the Services Commission Representative of the Consultants working on the Master Water Plan Representative of the Master Water Plan Review Panel Representative of the Water Stewardship Committee Gl-7 SEKID— metering agricultural irrigation 15 12 in total: Water manager (initial scoping interview) 5 representatives of the Board (former and current) 2 co-operating growers 2 representatives of MAFF 1 representative of Land and Water BC Fieldman (representative of BC Fruit Packers Association) Sl-12 4 Cases 39 individuals approached 28 interviews -4.3.3 Interview analysis Interview texts were inserted into the program ATLASTI for analysis. Texts were coded according to 15 primary codes presented below: Advantages: The advantages of the approach taken; both indirect and direct, but also other outcomes of the project process in general. Opinions as to why the approach should be chosen (its positive characteristics). 54 Advice - keys to success/done differently: Advice from the interviewee about keys to success or factors they would have changed in order to have avoided conflict or made implementation a smoother process. Strategies they would have changed in order to be more effective. Authority attitudes: Covers attitudes, perceptions, values and philosophies of those employed/elected in the local authority regarding the water management strategy and approach under study. Background/story: Specific facts e.g. events and decisions made, from initial idea through implementation to final evaluation. Conflict avoidance/resolution: Mechanisms, approaches and tools to resolve or avoid (reduce potential for) conflict between stakeholders. Customer attitudes: Covers attitudes, perceptions, values and philosophies of the primary water users (but from the perspective of the interviewees!). Decision-making/politics: Who was involved in the decision-making process, who drove the initiative and political considerations e.g. satisfying the electorate, the distribution of "power". Disadvantages: Trade-offs (what had to be given up if anything? Or what compromises were made?) and negative aspects of the approach taken. Drivers: Circumstances and motivational factors that forced the authority to make a decision about adopting the particular approach (and related procedural activities) in question. Enabling factors: Factors that aided the adoption e.g. the people, political will, awareness, access to resources, etc. This contrasts with "drivers" in that they are factors that "allowed" the adoption to happen e.g. that metering was chosen rather than an alternative (what drove the process from decision to action). Future/knock-on effects: What will the authority do now - expand the project or leave it as it is? Obstacles/Barriers: Factors that would have prevented the strategy from being selected/going ahead in the first place (barriers) and factors that impeded or simply made harder the implementation process e.g. resources, attitudes, etc (obstacles). Options: What other management options did the authority consider? Why weren't these selected? Resources: Financial and human resources required to complete implementation. Roles and responsibilities: What the roles/responsibilities are of the authority in question but also opinions of who should do (have done) what. 4.3.4 Interviewee feedback To ensure factual integrity, acknowledge the role of the interviewees in this study and as a further source of data, each results section was sent to the relevant interviewees for review. Each interviewee was asked how they would like to be acknowledged, to comment on the factual accuracy of the results and my interpretation of their story, and state again any lessons learned. Corrections to accuracy were incorporated into the presentation of the results while 55 comments on story interpretation are presented in Appendix 3 (and incorporated into the results where relevant). In all, 9 interviewees responded: 3 from SEKID and 2 each from the other cases. 4.4 COLLECTION AND USE OF OTHER INFORMATION SOURCES Information from interviewees was, where possible, cross-referenced with documented sources to ensure validity and accuracy. Types of documents acquired included: Council minutes, management plans, annual reports, case study reports, presentation material, database output, consultant reports, and Provincial Ministry reports. Documents are referenced in the body of this study where applicable. A summary of relevant Council or Board minutes from each study is presented in Appendices 4-6. No summary is present for Kelowna as accessed minutes were minimal. 56 C H A P T E R 5. C A S E S T U D Y R E S U L T S A N D A N A L Y S I S The following sections provide an in-depth description of each case story followed by a discussion of key aspects of the adaptation process, an overview of management approach effectiveness and a brief look at learning. Discussion of Adaptation Process for each case is presented according to key codes: Drivers, Enabling Factors, Attitudes, Barriers, Obstacles and Conflict resolution. These have been chosen because they encompass much of the other coded information. Discussion of effectiveness provides an overview of objectives of each adaptation and whether implementation successfully achieved these objectives. Finally, a brief discussion of learning in terms of internal organizational reflection and diffusion of experience is provided. A summary table of coded interviewee comments for each case is given in Appendix 2 as well as additional comments received during follow-up in Appendix 3. Summaries of Council/Board minutes are provided in Appendices 4-6. 5.1 CASE STUDY 1: V E R N O N - WATER RECLAMATION 5.1.1 Actors A range of actors were involved in the evolution of water reclamation in the City of Vernon. Key organisations/groups involved in the decision-making process over the course of the time-line included: 1. The City of Vernon City of Vernon Council Vernon Utility Management i.e. Engineering and Public Works Department 2. Spray Irrigation Advisory Committee (SIAC) 3. Environmental groups Save Our Lakes environmental citizen group (S.O.L) 4. Okanagan Indian Bands 5. Provincial government Ministry of Environment, Waste Management Branch (or equivalent during later governments) Ministry of Forests Various consultants and research organisations e.g. UBC 5.1.2 Time-line In 1969 the BC Provincial and Federal government established the Canada-British Columbia Okanagan Basin Agreement to develop: "a comprehensive framework plan for the development and management of water resources for the social betterment and economic growth of the Okanagan community" (Symonds 2001). Between 1969-1974 the Okanagan Basin Study was undertaken, looking at a wide range of water management issues: water quality, water quantity, use, impacts, etc. In 1970, the Eurasion Milfoil, an intrusive aquatic weed, was observed for the first time ever in B.C. located in the Okanagan Lake around Vernon (Davies, Gow et al. 1996). Eurasion water-milfoil growth in Vernon Arm of Okanagan Lake had been a source of public concern since the beginning of the 1970s. 57 Beach areas along the shores of Vernon Arm were subject to increasing populations of milfoil, occupying an area of about 100 acres (Wilson and Wan 1975). In 1971, a five-year pilot project to explore the effectiveness and possible side effects of water reclamation (i.e. also called spray irrigation or land application of wastewater) was initiated. Due to good timing and relevance of the pilot project, the Federal-Provincial Okanagan Basin Study initiated a more comprehensive two-year study of spray irrigation collaborating with Vernon to compliment their study. The Federal-Provincial Okanagan Basin Agreement Study concluded in 1974 that the main source of phosphorus was effluent discharge from the main cities: Kelowna, Vernon and Penticton (along with other sources such as septic tanks), and assumed that phosphorus removal would limit milfoil expansion25 (Haughton, Giles et al. 1974). Two obvious options were available to alleviate this problem: upgrade to tertiary treatment or effluent spray irrigation. After a successful pilot project, full-scale water reclamation was implemented in Vernon in 1977 after receiving a permit from the Ministry of Environment, Land and Parks (MELP) to cease discharge into the lake and implement spray irrigation. Two project supervisors (Dick Vest and Erik Jackson) left MELP in January 1977 and were hired by the City of Vernon to oversee the project. Concurrently, Vernon's sewage treatment plant was upgraded with the addition of a new headworks, clarifier, trickling filter, digester, chlorine room and other works. Initially, production of wastewater exceeded application, so the City of Vernon embarked on the implementation of a Rapid Infiltration Program26 to dispose of "un-used" treated effluent in 1983. Although it was a successful project (in that it removed phosphorus to the appropriate legal standard), one year later (after 160 million gallons) the applied reclaimed water broke out below the basins. Subsequent charges and suits were laid against the City, and the then Ministry of Environment administered a stop order. Consequently, during 1983-1984 the sewage treatment facility was upgraded to tertiary status, to include chemical removal of phosphorus for use in the event of an emergency discharge to the lake. Only minimal discharge into Vernon Creek occurred during 1984 and 1985 mainly due to high precipitation in 1983 - 26.7% higher than the average yearly precipitation for the previous 60 years (Jackson 1985; Jackson 1986). In order to increase efficiency of the wastewater irrigation program, a turf grass program commenced on 340 acres of City leased and owned land. The Liquid Waste Management Plan, which was being drafted during the early 1980's, was approved by the Ministry of Environment in November 1985. Out of 15 alternative options, the City of Vernon selected that which entailed the construction of a deep-lake outfall into Okanagan Lake to discharge excess effluent not used on the Commonage area (main spray irrigation area)27. Further work toward expanding the spray irrigation program was also being pursued at this point, specifically in the form of a five-year Forest Irrigation pilot project to explore its effectiveness i.e. uptake of effluent nutrients. The report also recognised that improving treatment of municipal wastewater was an essential step to maintaining the general water quality of Okanagan Lake. 2 6 This entailed the establishment of 3 basins in an irrigation field area with sandy soils; the objective being to flood the basins and use the ground to remove phosphorus. 2 7 The outfall pipe was sized in order to provide the ability to discharge 100% of the effluent from the treatment plant in the year 2021 assuming a population of 90,000 people (see Minutes of the Regular Meeting of Council, February 2n d, 1987). 58 Following the election of Mayor Clark in December 1986, a citizen environmental lobby group, Save Our Lakes (S.O.L.), was formed in protest against the City Council's 1985 decision to construct a deep-lake outfall. Throughout early 1987, the group called for an immediate stop to the construction of a deep-lake outfall pipe; a greater focus on expansion of the spray irrigation program e.g. through forest land utilisation, or construction of a new reservoir; and, a public referendum on the deep lake outfall option (see Minutes of the Regular Meeting of Council, 1987: January 19 th, February 2 n d , February 16th, March 16th, March 30 t h, May 11th) In response, the City pursued the following actions: • Attempt to expand spray irrigation in the District of Spallumcheen, and find funding for such expansion from the Waste Management Branch of the Ministry of Environment; even though Spallumcheen had earlier implemented a bylaw prohibiting spray irrigation on their lands (Minutes of the Regular Meeting of Council, June 22 n d, 1987). • Reworded the LWMP to reiterate the City's strong support of spray irrigation (Minutes of the Regular Meeting of Council, August 17th, 1987). • Negotiations with Armstrong to increase storage reservoir for sharing purposes (Minutes of the Regular Meeting of Council, August 4 t h, 1987). • In September 1987, established a Spray Irrigation Advisory Committee to develop a long-term spray irrigation plan to make better agricultural use of the spray irrigation program. Growing pressure to improve the spray irrigation program also came from the Provincial Government, requesting that high rate application be avoided, and that suitable and beneficial uses for the effluent be prioritised (The Corporation of the City of Vernon, 1987). In an effort to avoid discharging effluent into Vernon Creek, the City had been operating the spray irrigation system at application rates that were at the upper end of acceptable agricultural rates. Dissatisfied with the Council's response, S.O.L initiated a court action against the City of Vernon, which resulted in a decree by the B.C. Supreme Court that the outfall could only be used as an emergency option for discharging effluent. Although in September 1988 the Ministry of Environment, Waste Management Branch formally required that the City return to a silviculture/ agricultural focus (i.e. a reduction in application rate), SIAC proposed a Wildland Renovation approach to effluent discharge i.e. disposing of effluent on "wildland" areas (see Minutes of the Regular Meeting of Council, September 12th and September 26 t h, 1988). During this time, the consultant Associated Engineering had been hired to explore different options and costs of expanding the spray irrigation program. Providing treated effluent to Predator Ridge Golf Resort was considered the most appropriate action although it would only allow an application of 125 litres per second (see Minutes of the Regular Meeting of Council, March 12 lh, 1990). By August 1990, the Ministry had turned down the Wildland Renovation Prototype (Minutes of the Regular Meeting of Council, August 27 t h, 1990), although this did not stop discussions about the prototype's possible implementation. 59 In fall 1990, a new Mayor, Mr McGrath, was elected. Under the new mayor, another advisory committee on spray irrigation was established, and more significantly, a review of the Liquid Waste Management Plan approved in 1995 commenced. Under the new Council, spray irrigation was prioritised and relations with S.O.L were improved. In 1992, the City entered into partnership with S.O.L, as the lead partner, under the Environmental Partners Agreement (a fund) to investigate the utilisation of the wildland renovation prototype. At this time, Vernon also endorsed the concept of universal metering (the main purpose being to reduce wastewater production). Finally, the Renovation Project began in August 1993. Dayton and Knight consulting was contracted to update the City's Liquid Waste Management Plan in early 1994. As an image spin, the Sewage Treatment Plant was renamed the Water Reclamation Plant at the end of that year. By 1997, the first stage of the LWMP was ready for public comment. A public meeting was held in June 1997 to discuss: 1) Location of the Water Reclamation Plant and, 2) Ultimate fate of effluent. Following the meeting, the Council accepted in principle Alternative 5 over the next 20-year period, which included applying effluent to Predatory Ridge Golf Resort and Coldstream (Minutes of the Regular Meeting of Council, June 23 r d, 1997). Treated effluent levels in the reservoir reached critical levels in late 1997, due to poor i.e. wet weather conditions, and in August of that year it was advised by the Vernon engineer that a discharge into the Okanagan Lake may be required and that prior to discharge, tertiary treatment works would be activated to remove 90% phosphorus. The first ever discharge into the lake occurred early 1998, and lasted over 88 days. Coldstream opposed their inclusion in the LWMP advising Vernon that they would proceed with their own plan and would not provide Vernon with irrigable lands (Minutes of the Regular Meeting of Council, March 30 t h, 1998). A seventh alternative excluding Coldstream was developed (Minutes of the Regular Meeting of Council, July 6 t h, 1998). The new L W M P was approved in April 1999. Its core concept was developing a dual water system, so that reclaimed water could be used during the summer time for outside urban irrigation (as well as for agricultural use), consequently reducing the amount of potable quality water used for outside purposes. However, after the election of a new Council and Mayor in 1999, the LWMP was again revised. A dual system was scratched in favour of an upgrade of the existing tertiary sewage system to a Biological Nutrient Removal (BNR) system. Although there was some opposition to the new LWMP within Council, it was minimal. Construction of the new plant was still underway in late 2003. 5.1.3 The adaptation process 5.1.3.1 Drivers The seemingly obvious signal was the observation of milfoil in Okanagan Lake around Vernon and the call from the Federal-Provincial study to reduce input of phosphorus into the Okanagan Lake as a means to restrict the aquatic pest's growth. This meant that Vernon had to act. "Initially the motivating factor was the environment. There was a lot of weed growth in the Okanagan Lake, milfoil weed, and although not concluded that that was the sole reason for reclamation, there was no question that a major source of nutrients, eutrophication of the lakes, came from sewage effluent discharged from Armstrong, Kelowna, Vernon, Penticton and some 60 septic tank effluent that would migrate into the lake. So objective was to reduce the amount of effluent going into the lake and one of those options was to ensure that none of the effluent went in. Dave McKay's philosophy that those nutrients that would cause eutrophication in the lakes would also be considered as fertiliser for land-based crops. The effluent was looked upon as a resource out of place. When used on land, as it is right now, not only provides necessary water but also provides nutrients." V4 However, the drive to reduce phosphorus loads to the lake doesn't answer why Vernon chose water reclamation, while Penticton and Kelowna chose advanced tertiary sewage treatment. According to the interviewees, the real driver was internal, more specifically, Vernon's civil engineer at the time who encouraged the local politicians to go with reclamation - a recycling approach. "Politics were very much for it and Dave McKay was a very powerful force - when he spoke up politicians listened. He was an exceptional person - that is why the whole program is known as the David S. McKay Environmental Centre. " V3 So, was the driver environmental i.e. reuse and avoid direct discharge? There were contradictions between the interviewees regarding the attitude toward reclamation. One interviewee implied that the municipality initially saw reclamation simply as a method o f dumping', while another suggested that reclamation was seen as an environmentally preferred option as it reuses a waste product. "In the past the program was treated as a wastewater disposal problem getting rid of water that nobody wanted." V2 "Tribute to Dave McKay, saw benefits of beneficial reuse and taking phosphorus and using it on land - that same vision not seen by other cities. " V3 This contradiction is likely to be a time issue. Initially the driver was environmental i.e. reduce negative impacts on Okanagan Lake water quality and use the concept of "recycling". However, due to difficulties in finding adequate sources of land for "beneficial use" and some wet weather during the 1980s,-alternative "quick fix" methods of disposal28 were sought to maintain a 100% disposal target and avoid discharge into the lake (see Minutes of the Regular Meeting of Council, January 4 t h, 1983). Additionally, if dumping was the initial objective, why not go for tertiary treatment, which is a "dumping" process? Water reclamation was not necessarily the cheapest option, so cost didn't seem to be a factor in selecting water reclamation. "Don't know why decision was made. Certainly is not the least cost solution as incur significant pumping costs because of the elevation we have to pump it to. " V2 It also wasn't driven by a water shortage issue. Based on Okanagan Basin Water Study, it was noted in 1987 that the City had enough water for its present consumption and growth to last to the year 2021 (see Minutes of the Regular Meeting of Council, February 2 n d , 1987). Finally, the role of the Ministry of Environment has to be considered. Were they motivators of the project or simply supporters? As this quote exemplifies, there were many different factors that contributed to the selection of water reclamation as the option of choice: "When Vernon first started water reclamation, tertiary treatment wasn V that common at the time. There was some phosphorus reduction treatment processes but nitrogen - one of the two main Specifically a process called "Rapid Infiltration", which is the application of treated effluent to suitable land (but not necessarily farmland) at higher rates than would otherwise be applied. 61 nutrients attributable to eutrophication of the lakes - was considered difficult to remove...Mayor of the day (Stewart Fleming) was a strong supporter of the water reclamation concept and was able to get financing from senior levels of government to carry out full-scale project in 1977. Public accepted the process and in fact strongly supported it as recognised the deteriorating effect the effluent was having on the lake. " V4 5.1.3.2 Options Two initial primary options for Vernon were tertiary treatment and water reclamation (or spray irrigation). The 1974 OBS evaluation of sewage treatment in the Okanagan recommended three possible approaches to water treatment in Vernon: renovation of the Sewage Treatment Plant, new Sewage Treatment Plant and spray irrigation. The cost of secondary treatment achieved by the latter two options was considered the same, while tertiary treatment through land application was considered a much cheaper option29 (1974 study). After implementing a water reclamation process, the option discussion shifted to answering the question - how are we going to reclaim 100% of the wastewater? Various approaches were pursued over the 30-year period, namely: • Beneficial use i.e. agricultural irrigation - Commonage, Golf courses, National Department of Defense lands, possible expansion into Spallumcheen and the District of Coldstream • Rapid Infiltration • Silviculture (forestry) • Wildland Renovation Many options were considered each time the Liquid Waste Management Plan was reviewed e.g. 15 different options for wastewater disposal had been outlined in the'Waste Management Plan, Stage II report (Minutes of the Regular Meeting of Council, June 10th, 1985). 5.1.3.3 Enabling factors Several enabling factors were identified by interviewees that ensured the implementation and continuation of the project. Openness and encouragement from Council was one such factor, along with citizen concern that discharging to the lake was environmentally detrimental. "Combination offactors: staff City Council which agreed with staff recommendations, citizens being forward thinking. When announced in 1998 that we were going to discharge into Okanagan Lake the community rose up big time as it was seen as very regressive even though the quality was high. This City has always been very progressive in its environmental concerns. Good to have a Council who was lead by a Mayor who saw and understood the benefits. Openness to new ideas that could be implemented. " V3 The success of the pilot study was another (see Minutes of the Regular Meeting of Council, August 7 t h, 1972). If there had been any serious problems or uncertainties in the viability of reclamation, Vernon would unlikely have gone ahead. The benefits of water reclamation were also enabling factors for the continuation of reclamation: farmers witnessed the positive outcomes i.e. increased yields, while some citizens saw reclamation as a way of maintaining the 'pristine' quality of Okanagan Lake system i.e. averting direct discharge (although there is general agreement that discharge to the lake of highly treated water has had no discernable negative environmental impacts). However, land costs for spray irrigation were not included in this calculation. 62 Finally, initial external interest and continued support from the Ministry of Environment, in exploring water reclamation as an alternative also aided its implementation (Oldham 1973). 5.1.3.4 Changing authority attitudes The political attitudes toward reclamation shifted with new Mayors and Council members, and changing circumstances. Although maintaining the 100% reuse policy seemed a constant target over the thirty years; how much should be done to provide opportunity (if necessary) for discharge into the lake, and to what extent reclamation was "beneficial" were two sticky points. Although the initial intent was to reuse effluent beneficially, finding appropriate lands and willing farmers were constant barriers. As a result the Council of 1985, and until 1990, supported the need to build a deep-lake outfall to discharge excess effluent. Of the various options available for developing a Liquid Waste Management Plan, the Council at this time chose one where: Commonage lands would continue to be utilized to their maximum potential, while excess effluent would be tertiary treated and pumped into the Okanagan Lake. Additionally, it was felt that this approach was flexible enough to incorporate Coldstream or Spallumcheen at a later date, and was considered by the consultants to meet environmental, socio-political and financial requirements (Minutes of the Regular Meeting of Council, June 10 lh, 1985). One interviewee considered this decision a result of a lack of political will. "Generally lack of political will to see the program succeed and it was a simplistic solution to forget the whole water reclamation program and apply a higher level of treatment (remove more nutrients)." V4 Mayor Clark, at her inaugural address in 1986, reiterated that water reclamation was still a priority as long as feasible and practical: "Vernon is in fact the leader in the Province in the area of planning for present and future waste disposal. She further advised that Vernon is the only City of its size committed to [100%] land application of effluent for as long as is feasible and practical" (see Inaugural Meeting of Council, December 8 t h, 1986). However, they held the stance that the Commonage area could not meet long term spray irrigation needs and therefore it was considered necessary "by the City and the Waste Management Branch of the Provincial Government to construct a long outfall pipe to meet emergency needs for disposal of tertiary wastewater of the Greater Vernon area in the future and.. .no other proven alternative solution has been found at this time" (see Minutes of the Regular Meeting of Council, January 19 th, 1987). This Council's stance altered slightly with pressure from the Save Our Lakes citizen environmental group, who were strongly opposed to the deep-lake outfall. By mid-June, Council started to make changes that emphasised Vernon's commitment to spray irrigation. The provincial government supported Vernon's many attempts to effectively dispose of its wastewater, however, eventually it reiterated its initial opposition to any form of rapid land "dumping" of reclaimed water, and would only tolerate "beneficial" use approaches: "In an effort to avoid discharging effluent to Vernon Creek, the City has operated the existing spray irrigation system on a non-agricultural basis. A turf grass has been used to maximize effluent disposal. As a result the agricultural value of the land has been ignored. The Waste Management Branch and the B.C. Land Commission have tolerated this use, but have indicated once the long 63 deep outfall is in place the spray irrigation scheme must be operated to its full agricultural/silvicultural potential. This was the original intent of the spray irrigation program; and this concept remains valid today" (Minutes of Regular Meeting of Council, 1987, p.l). Although SIAC and S.O.L supported a Wildland Renovation approach (another non-agricultural means of disposal) as an option for expansion, Council was adamant not to implement a non-irrigative method of disposal firstly because the province wouldn't allow it and secondly to maintain commitment to "productive irrigation methods" (Minutes of the Regular Meeting of Council, August 29 t h, 1988). A new Council and Mayor, elected in late 1990 partially on the basis of strong support for spray irrigation, initiated a review of the Liquid Waste Management Plan to find an alternative secure option to lake discharge. They were opposed to the deep-lake outfall and committed to 100% land application regardless of increased wastewater production, including Wildland Renovation as an option. For the LWMP, a bold approach of urban irrigation use of effluent was selected (dual system), avoiding any need for further treatment upgrades. The approved 1999 LWMP did not envision high application rates or a need to find "new" land to irrigate. This decision was driven by economic reasons as well: "Initially as I said the motivating factor was environmental, but it evolved into being economical. This plan in 1999 showed that it was more economical to stick with water reclamation rather than go to full treatment with nutrient removal and discharge into the lake. Economic benefit is two-fold: 1. Don't have to treat the effluent to the same level as don't want to remove nutrients if it is to be usedfor growing crops; 2. By using reclaimed water during the summer time for outside irrigation, reduce amount of high quality water required, and reduce peak demand. " V4 However, the new Council and Mayor of 1999 overturned the previous Council's decision, selecting instead for a Biological Nutrient Treatment upgrade. Motivation for this upgrade is viewed differently by the interviewees. The new BNR plant is considered either as an emergency only option i.e. only in cases where discharge is necessary, and therefore reclamation is still the priority option (but would take the pressure off achieving 100% reclamation), versus a move to redirect the City away from reclamation30. As of December 2003, agreements with farmers to use land for spray irrigation are being renewed for only 1 year instead of the former 3 year terms (the end of the agreements will thus coincide with the completion of the new BNR plant) "Council and Mayor took the environment to heart and backed up operations, they were not interested in half measures and chose the BAT (Best Available Technology) plant. "VI "If going to continue to apply water beneficially to land we do not need a BNR facility. The new city Council's position was that we don't have to activate that portion of the plant and can continue to irrigate and have phosphorus in the wastewater. However, the facility will be there at such time we run out of available land. Reluctantly feel that the city's long-term plan is to phase out reclaimed water. At that point will be easy to activate BNR and commence discharging into the lake. "Vi "Although subsequent politicians did not implement the 1999 LWMP, it was NOT because of any substantiated evidence to contradict the 1999 Plan. "V4 Although the latter opinion contradicts the Greater Vernon Water Utility's general interest in expanding reclamation throughout the valley as a potential agricultural water source. 64 5.1.3.5 Barriers and obstacles The potential barriers to implementing reclamation were political, physical and attitudinal. Political in that if politicians at the time had not been open to the non-conventional approach of reclamation it would not have gone ahead. Additionally, the political cycle impeded the development of a consistent policy toward water reclamation; with each new Council and Mayor (as well as changing external circumstances) spray irrigation was given a different level of priority and focus. The provincial government constrained the activities of Vernon, ensuring that water reclamation was implemented appropriately i.e. beneficial use, as opposed to a more general "dumping" approach. Although this was a positive stance, it put Vernon in a struggling position to find viable options for land application. Physical limitations regarding viable land for application of reclaimed water has been a constant obstacle, and could ultimately be a significant barrier to achieving 100% reuse (and could still be as population grows). For example, both Spallumcheen and Coldstream were reluctant to participate (e.g. Minutes of the Regular Meeting of Council, March 30 t h, 1998). Sensitivity of the system to weather was ultimately the main cause of discharges to the lake in the early 1980s and in 1998, and could be a significant barrier to utilisation of 100% produced wastewater in the future. Quality of effluent was also problematic in terms of it application on public lands e.g. National Department of Defence land (see Minutes of the Regular Meeting of Council, August 7 , h, 1984). Farmers' perceptions e.g. Spallumcheen farmers putting up signs saying "No Vernon sewage wanted on this prime farmland", added to the difficultly of finding suitable land, while public concerns over the health impacts of spray irrigation forced Vernon to establish buffer zones around residential areas. Attitudes (those of politicians, users and residents) have also been constant obstacles throughout the reclamation project in a unique way; there are those for and those against reclamation. It was recognised by Vernon municipality that as water reclamation is highly weather-dependent, and therefore unreliable, and suitable land was limited, a back-up plan was required i.e. discharge to the lake or some form of intense land application. Those for reclamation saw direct discharge as 'polluting' the pristine condition of the Okanagan Lake system, while those for discharge saw water reclamation as a health hazard (and the water returns to the lake anyway). S.O.L was a strong lobby pushing toward land application without any emergency backup. Users of reclaimed water gained significant benefits from its use. In order to ensure participation, Vernon implemented incentives to initially hook users because they needed suitable land to apply the water. "Participation rate would have been much less if we hadn't have provided all the freebees. Even though some farms wouldn't be able to survive without the reclaimed water." VI The incentives were basically - free equipment, free installation, free water (the exact incentives varied from user to user). Consequently, Vernon municipality was "held hostage" by users. According to the interviewees, farmers took advantage of Vernon's weak and needy position. "Have been held hostage by the users because needed them to use the water. Otherwise the reservoir would fill up and we would be in a bad situation. "V2 The final hurdle in implementing water reclamation was cost. Initial capital costs were covered by Provincial funds with support from the Okanagan Basin Water Board, while Federal-Provincial borrowing were necessary to support the implementation of the Liquid Waste Management Plans (e.g. Minutes of the Regular Meeting of Council, June 65 10 th, 1985). According to Mayor Clark, the provincial government was reluctant to fund 100% land application as lake discharge was a suitable and safe alternative: "the Ministry of Environment (has) indicated that they will not help fund 100% land application for Vernon or any other community in the Valley because they are confident that tertiaiy treated effluent is not harmful to Okanagan Lake " (Minutes of the Regular Meeting of Council, February 2 n d , 1987). Taxpayers covered operational and debt costs, running in the order of $3 million annually. According to one interviewee, sewer bills have been within the top 10% in the region. Costs have been high due to the extensive piping network required to distribute the treated wastewater, pumping, maintenance/repair and personnel. "We have pretty much max 'ed out in terms of water use where we have the main lines. Key decision in the future will be how they (the council) see this program expanding. Do they see it expanding; do they see the focus changing? I see the city being less and less willing to foot the bill." V2 "Costs money to get to more land. However the benefits will be such that more suitable land will be found. Just have to go further a field. "VI It was suggested that one cause of some of the problems with reclamation along the way, was the objective of reclaiming 100% treated wastewater. This resulted in the need to implement rapid infiltration, pressure to over irrigate and forced Vernon to provide extraordinary incentives. "City should not have committed to 100% because too difficult to reach this target all the time especially with a growing population and therefore a growing production of wastewater. " VI On the other had, this 100% objective put Vernon on the map of environmentally forward-thinking municipalities. <'' "Successful in reclaiming 100%, a record that is unmatched in BC and most likely all of Canada. "V3 5.1.3.6 Conflict resolution/a voidance There were many conflicting opinions during the history of spray irrigation in Vernon: between the City and farmers, between the City and citizens against lake discharge, between the City and citizens against water reclamation, between the City and provincial government. Various methods to resolve conflict through compromise were sought and applied. Initial conflict between Vernon and farmers occurred when Vernon sought agreement with Spallumcheen to apply reclaimed water on their farmland. This fell through, due to farmer perceptions, so the only solution was to find alternative land and farmers that were willing to co-operate. In other words, the conflict was never really resolved. The Commonage area - which became the main area for application - had less suitable land but farmers were eager to participate; eagerness stemmed from their previous experience of the pilot test that showed positive results (better production) and because it was a dry-land area. Significant incentives further ensured farmer, and other, participation. "As a result the city chose less desirable land in the commonage area. Very much more positive because there had never been an irrigation program using freshwater. Excited because could increase yields and some are still on the program today. Very impressed with the results. " V3 In order to avoid or reduce conflict with residents concerned by health issues, buffer zones were established around those residential areas bordering fields to which reclaimed water was being applied. When the National Department 66 of Defence complained about the use of reclaimed water on playing fields, studies on health impacts were carried out to assuage fears. The significant, and legal, battle between S.O.L and the Council was resolved through Council's attempt to strengthen their commitment to spray irrigation. Legal arbitration was the other method of conflict resolution; with S.O.L partially winning their case against the deep lake outfall. However, the deadlock only really dissolved when a former member of S.O.L became Mayor, resulting in renewed dedication at a political level for water reclamation. Resolving disagreement between the provincial government and Vernon, for example, regarding the Wildland Renovation Prototype, and the reversion to a "beneficial use" approach seemed to occur through political negotiation and discussion (e.g. Minutes of the Regular Meeting of Council, August 27 t h, 1990). According to one interviewee, convincing the province to change the 1985 L W M P was no easy objective and required significant political intervention. "Major hurdle during the 1990s was to get the provincial government to agree to it [update of LWMP]. But once they came on Board — through political manoeuvring — they became our greatest supporters. " V4 5.1.4 Effectiveness 5.1.4.1 What interviewees said about success and failure? An overview of the pros and cons of the water reclamation as specified by the interviewees is given in Table 5-1. Water reclamation resulted in community and environmental benefits i.e. cost savings to users and expanded irrigation, and diversion of effluent from the lake and water-use efficiency. However, it was also a long-winded struggle due to political and public issues and perceptions. Additionally, uncertainties e.g. possible health/contamination implications, unreliability i.e. weather dependency, and production-user balance i.e. finding new sources of disposal while effluent levels increased, made water reclamation a difficult approach to control and manage effectively. The key indicator that represented success was the reuse of 100% of effluent (for beneficial purposes) as an alternative to tertiary treatment and discharge to the lake. Table 5-1 Summary of advantages and disadvantages mentioned by interviewees Advantages Disadvantages f Expansion of irrigated areas Displacement of freshwater Local community benefits Reputation Avert discharge into the lake - environmental benefits Gaining benefits from a waste - efficient More economical: reduced treatment and reduced use of high quality water. Cost savings for users i.e. avoid fertiliser costs Costs Contentious politically Public perception Uncertainties - off-speck impacts, liabilities Unreliable - weather dependent Difficult to control use - as dependent on farmers Limited land base i.e. use - production balance Initial health issues i.e. quality of reclaimed water 67 5.1.4.2 Maintaining 100%application From its initiation, the objective of the spray irrigation program was to reuse 100% of effluent to avoid discharge into the lake. As Figure 5-1 shows, reclamation of wastewater exceeded wastewater production for the first time in 1985. After this period, depending on levels of production, weather and land availability, application fluctuated. Since 1980, total effluent production amounts to 94,186,552 m3 (76,358 ac.ft) while total reclaimed water amounts to 90,436,650 m3 (73,319 ac.ft). In other words since its inception 96% of wastewater produced has been reused. However, taking into account the 'start-up' phase up until 1985, total wastewater production from 1985 was 76,485,052 m3 (62,007 ac.ft.) while total reclaimed water reached 78,316,350 (63,493) i.e. 102%31. In other words, excluding the initial implementation phase, the objective of 100% has been reached since 1985. Figure 5-1 Annual flow from the Water Reclamation Plant (W.R.P) i.e. wastewater production compared with annual water reclaimed from 1980 to 2002. Annual W.R.P flow compared with reuse Year N1 •Annual W.R.P. Flow •Annual Reclaimed Water Use However, as the fluctuations in the graph verify, maintaining 100%) application on a yearly basis is difficult. Interviewees identified weather as the main causal factor in affecting reclaimed water use, along with land availability amongst other things. Factors identified as contributing to the large increase in volume in 1985 were: 1) " It is possible that reclaimed water exceeds production if there was a residual amount of water in the reservoir (which can hold up to 2-years of effluent) prior 1985. 68 additional land in the Commonage area, 2) favourable weather, 3) better operational procedures, and 4) established turf grass fields (Jackson 1986). 5.1.4.3 Avoiding discharge into the lake Part of the goal of water reclamation was to avoid discharge to the lake. Discharge occurred only on three occasions since the project's inception: two relatively insignificant discharges to Vernon Creek in 1984 and 1985, and the 88-day discharge using the deep-lake outfall in early 1998. A question remains regarding the extent of run-off from spray irrigation that directly enters the lake and recharge of the lake from groundwater sources (receiving filtered reclaimed water) as indirect inputs from water reclamation practises to the lake. 5.1.4.4 Other benefits Other measures of effectiveness include the beneficial use of wastewater, the effectiveness of nutrient removal compared with direct tertiary treatment, as an alternative water source and cost effectiveness. Lack of data means that it is not possible to comment on how 'beneficial' the use of wastewater has been in Vernon. According to the initial pilot studies, water reclamation results in similar removal of phosphorus as tertiary methods. In terms of using wastewater as supplementary water supply, the Greater Vernon Water Utility has identified Vernon's reclamation program as an important non-potable water supply. Finally, evaluating the cost effectiveness of the project is beyond the scope of this study; the complexity of the project means that attribution i.e. identifying what was part of the project costs, would be difficult. 5.1.5 Learning 5.1.5.1 Information sources and learning means Two knowledge-generating processes contributed to decision-making prior to the implementation of water reclamation in Vernon: the OBS and a pilot study to determine its effectiveness (i.e. removal of various substances, especially phosphorus). Due to constant concern over lack of suitable land for application, pilot projects were implemented repeatedly post "initial implementation" to test alternative possibilities: the Rapid Infiltration Project, Forest Demonstration Project and Wild Land Renovation Prototype. During this process, the Ministry and City employees were major contributors of information to the maintenance of water reclamation. Wastewater production and use were also continually monitored. Another learning activity was the voluntary Liquid Waste Management Plan process. Between 1970 and 2003, Vernon undertook three LWMP reviews: 1985, 1999 and 2001/2002. Consultancies such as Dayton & Knight were key providers of expertise. Each LWMP, carried out by different political representatives, consisted of an evaluation of status quo and assessment of alternative options to inform decision-makers. 5.1.5.2 Learning to implement: Interviewee reflections Retrospective comments regarding how implementation could have been improved centred on the relationship between the municipality and public, specifically that: costs and benefits should have been equally shared by 69 municipality and users; price of wastewater should have reflected its real value; and citizens as well as politicians needed to be on board. 5.1.5.3 Diffusion of learning: Evaluation and feedback The future of water reclamation in Vernon seems uncertain. Although much has been learned about the problems of implementation, a variety of perceptions regarding land application, both for i.e. environmentally sound and principled, and against i.e. possible environmental and health impacts, are still present. The fact that LWMPs were changed at each review suggests that no social consensus regarding wastewater treatment and discharge has as yet been achieved in Vernon. It was clear, however, that decision-makers came to understand that wastewater was a valuable resource that should not be exploited but used and priced appropriately. It has to be noted however that lessons were not always learned along this bumpy path. After the Rapid Infiltration Project, City of Vernon should have learned that wastewater application at high-end rates would be a risky proposal. However, the Wild Land Renovation Prototype met with similar problems i.e. the provincial government would not accept non-beneficial land application. Diffusion of knowledge and learning generated from the Vernon experience did take place vertically and horizontally. Participation of the provincial government was significant throughout, contributing to provincial wastewater policies. The City of Armstrong, which is of close proximity to Vernon, implemented water reclamation in 1991 following a formal request from the Ministry of Water, Land and Air Protection to protect their waterways. Armstrong did contact Vernon representatives for advice. Whether through cumulative learning their experience was less fraught with conflict is the question. 70 5.2 CASE STUDY 2: G V W U - ESTABLISHING A VALLEY-WIDE AUTHORITY 5.2.1 Actors The co-operating partners in forming the Greater Vernon Water Utility (and accompanying governing body) included: 1. City of Vernon 2. District of Coldstream 3. Parts of Electoral Areas B, C, and D (for which water services were initially provided by the Vernon Irrigation District (VID)) 4. Spallumcheen (more as an observer as would only be a receiver of bulk water supply under contract) Other key actors influencing the regionalisation process included the North Okanagan Regional District (NORD) and various provincial ministries, especially the environmental and municipal ministries. Representatives of the Councils of each local authority i.e. Vernon and Coldstream, along with Directors of Electoral Areas (representatives of the VID/NOWA) formed the initial decision-making body, the Interim Regional Water Authority (IRWA), supported by authority water management representatives which formed the Implementation Plan Technical Committee (which later became the Technical Steering Committee). 5.2.2 Time-line It was during the 1970's that discussions began about establishing a region-wide authority to manage water resources not only in the Greater Vernon area but the whole of the Okanagan Basin. Provincial policy was (and still is) driving toward greater regionalisation of water resource administration. A 1974 report concluded that water resource management in the Greater Vernon area would be more effective under one administrative and governing body (Associated Engineering 1989). Then in 1988, Associated Engineering was hired to write a report on each authority's water system i.e. City of Vernon, District of Coldstream and Vernon Irrigation District and a report on a theoretical regional approach. The reports were reasonably conclusive: a regional approach to water management would offer advantages in terms of long-term economics, future water quality issues and optimization of existing supplies. At that time, based on discussions with the Water Management Branch, licenses beyond current capacity would not be available. Additionally, it was noted that improved treatment would be necessary in the future on most of the supply sources (Associated Engineering 1989). Subsequently, an Interim Regional Water Authority (IRWA) was established to continue the discussion of amalgamating into one water utility. It was agreed by the IRWA that once established "the role of the Regional Water Authority (or Regional Water Commission) would be to plan, treat, and supply water to the City of Vernon, and District of Coldstream for distribution within its boundaries, to distribute to the customers outside of the 71 municipal boundaries, and to distribute water to the agricultural users within the two municipalities" (IRWA Minutes, July 9 t h 1991). The Ministry of Municipal Affairs allocated $250,000 toward the development of a regional authority in June 1993. This was followed by an IRWA agreement in principle to "place all bulk water supply assets and licences under one authority" (IRWA Minutes, June 10th 1993). A special meeting was arranged in May 1994, attended by the Councils of the City of Vernon and District of Coldstream, V.I.D Trustees, Regional District Board Members, Minister of Municipal Affairs and staff to discuss the final composition of a Memorandum of Understanding for a regional authority (IRWA Minutes, May 3 r d 1994). The Memorandum of Understanding for the North Okanagan Water Authority (a temporary regional body) was subsequently signed on May 6, 1994, along with the dissolution of VID, its assets transferred to the North Okanagan Regional District. Thus the Interim Regional Water Authority became the North Okanagan Water Authority (NOWA). As part of the agreement, an Implementation Plan (IP) had to be prepared before the end of 1997. The MoU represented a commitment to the concept of regionalisation, while the objective of the IP was to identify, by consensus, a regional water supply management structure (KWLG&S Associated Joint Venture 1996). By mid-1996, NOWA agreed that: 1) Model D i.e. pooling of all supply assets32, be selected as the best management model for NOWA; 2) Final development of the Implementation Plan be based on Model D and focus on steps for transition; 3) Immediate priorities for transition: preparation of a Short Term Water Quality Improvement Program for early resolution of customer water source conversion and preparation of a Master Plan for Regional Water Supply; 4) Voting structure and representation on the NOWA Committee be re-evaluated (NOWA Minutes, July 3 r d 1996). This new composition changed the distribution of power of different parties within NOWA. Governance i.e. political control, became a controversial issue in December 1997, when it was emphasised by the Technical Committee that Vernon literally had veto power over any financial implications at the Regional Board level 3 3. According to the Vernon representative on the NOWA Commission at the time, the "City Council's participation in the Regional Water Commission was, and is, contingent on Vernon Council's veto of Commission initiatives at the Participating Directors weighted vote level" (NOWA Minutes, January 15th 1998). The IP was essentially put on hold as a consequence. An Ad Hoc committee was formed in 1999 to seriously look at governance issues related to the regional water utility model (Stamhuis, Cotsworth et al. pers. comm.). Renewed interest in the formation of a regional water supply at the political level, following 1999 elections, kick-started the commencement of discussions in early 2000. B X Municipalities would enter into a Master Water Supply Agreement with NOWA. N O W A would become the single utility responsible for the management of bulk supply. NORD would assume ownership of all water licenses and supply facilities and provide full supply operations (through NOWA). The municipalities would continue to be responsible for distribution and N O W A would transfer its distribution assets, within municipal boundaries, to the respective municipalities. No 'exchange of funds' would occur (KWLG&S Associated Joint Venture 1996). 3 3 Although N O W A would be able to influence budgetary decisions, the authority to make financial decisions remained with the North Okanagan Regional Board. Voting at the Board level is based on a 'participating directors' weighted vote. Vernon holds 12 out of 20 such votes thereby giving it veto power i.e. ability to veto initiatives and direction of the N O W A Commission. 72 Creek, which represented 15% of Vernon's drinking water supply, was closed during this time due to high levels of Cryptosporidium. Finally, in September 2000 a modified implementation plan was signed off (NOWA Minutes, September 21 s t 2000) and in November 2000 work on the Master Water Plan was initiated (NOWA Minutes, November 2 n d 2000). Although NOWA representation changed to a five-member formula based on a "one member - one vote basis", while the management Model D i.e. pooled supply assets but retain individual authority over distribution, was retained (Associated Engineering 2000). Due to financial structural constraints34, the governance and management structure was once again modified in mid-2001 resulting in the establishment of the Greater Vernon Water Utility, responsible for both supply and distribution of water to domestic and irrigation customers. The Greater Vernon Services Commission35 comprising 3 representatives from Vernon, 2 from Coldstream, 1 from each Electoral Area A and B and an agricultural representative, became the final governing body. 5.2.3 The adaptation process 5.2.3.1 Common drivers Concrete commitment to a regional approach took place 20 years (1994) after the initial 1974 study recommending this option as the most effective to balance future supply and demand needs. The signing of the MoU was the first real indication that the main participants were seriously considering regionalisation. Key socio-economic and environmental drivers at this point were different for each party involved but interviewees identified some common environmental and socio-economic drivers (Box 5-1). "Need" was coming to a head for all three parties: need to update infrastructure, need for aesthetically pleasing and safe water, and need to supply a growing population. There was also a sense that some form of amalgamation was necessary because it was conclusively more cost-effective, and more effective in solving joint and authority-specific issues. These drivers were reiterated in the 2002 Master Water Plan, which specified three key environmental and socio-economic reasons for a regional approach: domestic water quality, increasing water demand and an aging water system. More specifically: • Increasing risk of pathogenic cysts such as Cryptosporidium and Giardia outbreaks was becoming more apparent with recent incidents in Penticton and finally Walkerton in 2000. Population was estimated to triple from the current 2002 figure of approx. 42,000 to approximately 121,000 over the next 40 years. • Domestic demand was expected to more than double from 8,8 Billion L to 20 Billion L over the same period. Irrigation land base is expected not to increase (Associated Engineering 2002a). • As regards available supply, a 1992 Ministry survey estimated that 12,000 ac-ft was available for use in the Kalamalka Lake system of which 9,500 was already licensed, leaving only 2,500 for future growth in demand. Unable to reach consensus over the division of bulk water between distribution utilities (Stamhuis, M . , A. Cotsworth, et al.2003). 3 5 Established in November 2000, the Commission mandate is to deal with matters pertaining to Parks & Recreation, the Greater Vernon Water Utility, the Multi-Use & Performing Arts Centre, Tourism & Economic Development and the Vernon and District Queens Committee. 73 This compares poorly with the 18,000 ac-ft demanded from the five authorities36 to meet future needs (IRWA Minutes, May 3 r d 1994). Significant external institutional drivers identified by the interviewees included the need to fulfill impending stringent water quality standards i.e. the BC Government started to review the drinking water regulations in 1999, which would require more stringent drinking water quality standards and therefore better standards of treatment, and the desire of the provincial government to turn the Greater Vernon area into a "model region". 'From what we understand the provincial government looked on the greater Vernon areas coming together - as a model for other communities for the future.' G5 'Additionally, during the 80-90's Victoria (the then Ministry of Municipal Affairs) was pushing Greater Vernon to become one regional utility. Basically, they would be more financially generous if became one. Victoria lobbied hard - get their act together as a "model region " will get maximum amount of funding.' G4 At a special Board meeting of the Interim Regional Water Authority, the then Minister of Municipal Affairs, Darlene Marzari, stated that "the Ministry of Municipal Affairs is encouraging regional districts and municipalities to think and plan regionally as municipalities cannot do everything" (IRWA Minutes, May 3 r d 1994). In return for becoming a single utility, it was implied by interviewees that the provincial government would ensure availability of generous funding, or at least access to funding would be easier (IRWA Minutes, May 3 r d 1994). 5.2.3.2 Drivers: Vernon Limited license capacity was Vernon's unique primary motivation to accede to relinquishing its control over its water resources. According to the Vernon interviewee, the then Water Rights Branch (WRB) rejected Vernon's application to increase its licensed capacity on Kalamalka Lake (KL), issuing it instead to NORD. Similarly Vernon's application to use Okanagan Lake had not as yet been permitted. This gave Vernon little choice but to participate; with a burgeoning population, current capacity was inadequate, and the only way to access additional water sources was through a regional approach. During a presentation of supply at a 1994 IRWA meeting, it was stated that Vernon had essentially reached their licensed capacity of 4,200 ac-ft while VID still had an unused 2300 ac-ft which would presumably go to the Regional Water Authority once established (IRWA Minutes, May 3 r d 1994). Customer complaints about aesthetically displeasing water quality was also a driving factor i.e. domestic water users formally supplied by VID with Duteau Creek water complained incessantly about water quality i.e. colouring (IRWA Minutes, May 3 r d 1994). 5.2.3.3 Drivers: Coldstream Coldstream's dominant concern seemed to be water quality; specifically, the challenge of providing adequate drinking water under more stringent regulatory demands. Treating all its water independently, or implementing a dual-distribution system i.e. separating irrigation and residential distribution, would be extremely costly. Becoming part of a larger regional body meant: reduced cost of upgrades and treatment, and potentially the ability to implement a dual system, which would provide water quantity and quality security. City of Vernon, VID, District of Coldstream, Oyama Irrigation District and Wood Lake Irrigation District. 74 5.2.3.4 Drivers: VID (agricultural community) V1D provided water services to the rural/agricultural community. Going it alone was strategically and financially problematic. 85% of supply went to irrigation while 15% went to domestic needs. The challenge then was providing high quality/safe water to domestic users without incurring too much cost. Agricultural inclusion in regionalisation was motivated by the need to protect farmers, especially the maintenance of low water rates. 'We have said that we will protect agriculture as far as the rates they are charged, so that they are competitive throughout the entire Okanagan Valley.' G7 'When have a mix of urban and agriculture uses it is more challenging. Got to have a water system that also meets the needs of rural areas both domestic and agricultural use.' G5 Box 5-1 Conditional drivers in the CVWU story Population growth In the City of Vernon annual population growth has occurred at an average rate of 2.7% between 1971-1996. Coldstream has experienced a relatively high growth rate of 4.5% between 1996-1991, reaching 6.5% during the 1970s. The 25-year average between 1966-1996 for Electoral Areas B & C was 3.0%, although it fluctuated between 0.2-6.3% (Associated Engineering 2002d). Over the next 40 years, the serviced population is expected to triple with most growth occurring in Vernon (below). Little or no growth is expected in agricultural areas. , Jurisdiction Projected growth rate for M W P % Population 2001 2011 2021 2031 2041 Vernon 2.0-3.0 30,200 39,700 52,200 67,900 88,200 Coldstream 1.5-3.5 6,600 8,600 11,200 14,800 19,700 E A B 2.0-2.75 2,500 3,200 4,000 5,100 6,500 E A C 2.0-2.75 2,100 2,600 3,700 4,700 6,000 Spallumcheen 1.0-2.0 200 250 300 350 400 E A D 3.0-5.0 50 50 50 100 200 Total - 41,750 54,800 71,850 93,250 121,000 Source: (Associated Engineering 2002d) Water demand- ,,..„,,., „.».,. . . , .. Currently 23 billion litres a year is supplied by the three utilities (NOWA, Coldstream and Vernon). 55% is irrigation use. 31% residential and industrial, 3% commercial and institutional and 11% unmeasured use or ; leakage. Per capita domestic demand has shown a marked decrease in Vernon since the mid-1980s. During the 1990s, per capita water demand declined.by 17% on average and 40% during a maximum (peak) day. In 1992, meters were installed and a metered rate was established in 1994. Data for Coldstream between 1995-1999 indicates noobvidus change in consumption. Reductiohin average total daily waterdemand (based on flow rate and volume data for all supply sources) is also indicated for NOWA as a whole. Domestic annual average is expected to increase from 8,821 to.20,651 ML/yr. Domestic maximum day demand is expected to increase f rom56ML/d to l l3ML/d . 75 NOWA Daily Water Demands, 1980-1999 300 0 I , , , 1 , , , : . , , , , , , _ -O f N ' ^ - V O O O O r N ' ^ s O O O Year Source: Associated Engineering, 2002c As regards agricultural irrigation, the trend is a general reduction in maximum day demand attributed to improved irrigation methods (Associated Engineering 2002b). 2001 total water demand were estimated at 4,902 M L for Vernon, 772 M L for Coldstream and 17,321 M L for NOWA. Average annual total water demand is expected to increase from 22,996 ML/yr to 34,781 ML/yr - a change of approximately 66% between 2001-2041 (Associated Engineering 2002e) Supply availability Major available sources include: Okanagan Lake, Kalamalka Lake, Duteau Creek, Deer (Larch Creek), B X Creek, Coldstream Creek, Groundwater and Reclaimed Wastewater. An overview of existing supply availability and its future use is provided below. Kalamalka Lake and Duteau Creek will be the main sources over the next 40-yr period. Okanagan Lake source may be required near the end of the 40-yr planning period (Associated Engineering 2002a). 7 6 Water source Existing capacity a (ML) Licensees Users Future capacity Annual average expected regional demand coverage in 2041 Kalamalka Lake 8781 M L NOWA, Vernon, Coldstream Domestic Unavailable 43% or 8781 M L domestic demand Duteau Creek 24,922 M L " NOWA, Vernon, Coldstream Domestic & irrigation Potential for expansionf 48%or 11,870 M L domestic demand 92% or 13,052 M L irrigation demand Deer Creek 3,699 NOWA Irrigation Unavailable Supplement supply to Duteau Creek B X Creek 7,637 Vernon Unavailable: to be decommissioned c ? Coldstream Creek 5,769 Coldstream Unavailable: to be decommissioned c ? Groundwat erd ? ? ? Available ? Reclaimed 4900 Vernon & Coldstream Irrigation Increased production to 9300 M L 65% or 9300 M L irrigation demand Okanagan Lake6 ? ? ? ? ? Source: Compiled from Associated Engineering (2002a and 2002e) , , . ' Numbers represent current licensed capacity .except for groundwater and reclaimed water which is actual ^Average annual mnoff is 38,800 M L . During a 1 in 10 year drought, this drops to 14,500 M L . For a 1 in 50 year drought, value drops to 8500 M L . Storage volume in upland lakes is 19,000 M L c Could be used for local irrigation needs. License on Coldstream Creek couldI be transferred to Kalamalka ^Swefp'Springs,:which»supplied irrigation use. Coldstream Valley groundwater will play a role in irrigation supply •-,<•;•. :. c Indications that significant additional water license capacity on Okanagan Lake is available for domestic supply (Associated Engineering, 2002e) r Although this could be limited by minimal flow requirements for fisheries. Water quality - ;* , . , •• • ;v :".' -• Water quality of Okanagan water resources is increasingly affected by multiple activities in the region: ] f agriculture, rangeland, forestry, recreation and urban development. Okanagan Lake water quality is still considered high, although is.at risk. Kalamalka Lake has seen a decrease in quality over the last several decades Significant inflow enters K L from eutrophic Wood Lake: Only two of 39 samples between 1997 and; 1999 had Cryptosporidium cysts above detection limits: The lake is generally in compliance with GCDW.Q . • criteria Pathogenic cysts in Duteau Creek have been found at low ley els in raw water. Turbidity and colour is 77 generally high. Water quality data for Deer Creek from 1998 and 1999 indicate that the lake is prone to algae blooms, turbidity levels and colour are high but no parasites were detected. B X Creek was discontinued as a drinking water sourcein 2001 due to" ihcreased'levels of pathogenic cysts; Coldstream Creek water;quality'is considered good (Associated Engineering 2002f) 5.2.3.5 Enabling factors It took several iterations before the project finally took off. Some factors seemed to have contributed to the initiative finally panning out. Need had to be significantly great to overcome the issue of control (a key barrier was said to be resistance toward giving up autonomous control), or rather a recognition that the need was great enough to act. But this was more a driving force. What enabled the project to go ahead? What tipped the balance other than need? Political leadership was identified as one such enabling factor. Certain 1999 elected officials were said to have greater interest and drive to establish a regional utility thus forcing the discussion back to the table. 'Main factor that enabled some of the political issues to be resolved was the leadership of the two Mayors. They had the interest of the region to heart and not only the interest of the City. Didn't just look at the impacts on the taxpayers but tried to find ways to compromise with other politicians. It was a give and take situation.' G4 Willingness to compromise was another significant requirement that lead the idea to fruition i.e. compromise (or trade-offs) over control represented in the final governance structure is an example. Related to this was the establishment of a governance structure. Time (i.e. 30 years) to adjust to a new structure might have been a necessary factor to move from discussion to action. Financial opportunity; in other words, the ability to secure funding more successfully for impending costly upgrades, was posed as an additional enabling factor. 'It took the 20 years it took for the decision to be made. If I had stood up and talked about water quality concerns 20 years ago they would have burned me at the stake. Couldn't appreciate at that time why it was necessary to have treatment. The Okanagan is not like Alberta or Saskatchewan where water quality was initially of poor quality. They could not perceive there was an issue, whereas industry could. It took thme 20 years, and it also took Walkerton and the other incidences - saw it on TV, got them thinking - had a boil water advisory - got them thinking some more.' G4 5.2.3.6 Options Through a series of meetings with participating authorities and workshops, thirteen conceptual administrative (management) models for regional water supply were initially developed by the Implementation Plan Technical Committee during consultative phase 1 of the Implementation Plan. Four of these models were selected for in-depth analysis (Table 5-2). 78 Table 5-2: Four models initially considered as possible approaches to regionalisation. Model Description Model A Three separate supply utilities relative to facility ownership and operations including NOWA, the City and the District of Coldstream Water license ownership by three agencies NOWA responsible for all aspects of regional water supply planning Model B Same in all respects to Model A , with one exception NOWA contracts separately with both the City and Coldstream to provide supply operations through a tri-party water supply contract Model C Municipalities enter into a master water supply agreement with N O W A NOWA becomes the single utility responsible for bulk supply under the Maximum Day Demand (MDD) NOWA assumes ownership of all water licenses and supply facilities NOWA provides full supply operations Model 1) Same in all aspects to Model C, except responsibility for bulk supply extends to the Instantaneous Peak Demand (IPD) Model D was the selected approach until 2001, after which "Model E" i.e. a single utility responsible for bulk supply and distribution, was finally chosen. "Model E" was considered as one of the aforementioned 13 concepts but was previously discarded as politically unacceptable early in the implementation process. Once the regional concept had been established, options considered concerned concrete water management strategies. Some key discussions being: 1) Combined water system versus separation; 2) Use of reclaimed water; 3) Type, placement, number of treatment facilities; 3) Use and development of water resources. 5.2.3.7 Barriers and obstacles Political attitudes and agendas were significant barriers to amalgamating into one utility. Failure of each step forward e.g. response to 1988 reports and the long-winded Implementation Plan process, was caused by political concerns over who would have control; concerns that one party would dominate, not all interests would be considered or voices heard. A key challenge was trying to balance the needs between urban and agricultural users (through the political representatives) and resolve the differences in benefits to each party e.g. need for separation between domestic and agricultural use, versus Vernon's need for supply security. 'It was shelved [Implementation Plan] because there were issues over governance and control. Issue over X wanting control over all financial decisions and the other participants saying that that was not acceptable. So they were at an impasse.' G2 'Overall if the goal is healthy water and adequate supply to meet growth - then yes everyone will benefit equally. But if you look at Vernon, since it is mostly urban doesn't have the same requirement as Coldstream and Electoral Areas B and C, to separate water into irrigation and 79 potable use then significant benefits from separating so savings on treatment. Higher cost in the rural areas then it is in Vernon. Everyone is benefiting in different ways.' G5 In the view of one interviewee, a lack of recognition that water quality was an impending problem in the late 80's was a significant barrier. Involved consultants saw water quality clearly as an impending problem that should be dealt with immediately, while authority representatives weren't so convince. However, there was political concern over aesthetically poor (tea coloured) Duteau water. 'However with the presentation [Joint Water Study] to the politicians there was not complete buy-in that water quality was an issue. The attitude was that "if it was good enough for my grandparents then it is good enough for me". Didn't believe that treatment would be necessary in 20 years time. Even though the regulatory approach was moving toward a more water quality conscious attitude.' G4 'The Duteau water is dirty - coloured. Have had lots and lots of complaints. That is certainly fine with agriculture but have lots ofpeople who are using it for domestic purposes who live in the rural areas.' G7 Political leadership was claimed by some interviewees to be initially absent; no committed direction meant little will to continue. Obviously, funding could easily be a barrier, although all agreed that the project, in some form, would have had to go ahead without provincial funding. Public and user attitudes are potential problem areas. An impending barrier could be public acceptance. In order to obtain provincial/federal funding from Canada/BC Infrastructure program, G V W U must obtain public consent37 either through a petition or through a referendum. Interestingly the question posed to the public can be about whether or not the public accepts borrowing for the project, not whether or not they accept the project per se. Again, interviewees maintained that the project would go ahead because upgrades are essential. However, some pointed out that if public opinion swings against funding, political support for the project could recede, leaving the amalgamation process in an awkward situation. Public acceptance of rate hikes is crucial to its success. According to interviewees, public opinion hasn't been that favourable. Monthly water rates are likely to double from 2001 at $21 to between $32 and $43 per month in 2007 depending on the injection of senior government funding (Associated Engineering 2002a). The media would typically refer to the plan as a "$96 million" or "$100 million" water plan in reference to total capital costs over its 40-year lifespan. Rural domestic users who have been privileged with using irrigation water for domestic purposes could be significantly impacted in terms of cost, if a dual system is implemented. A key obstacle and discussion between the three parties is how to define irrigation. Should water used by hobby farmers be designated domestic or agricultural use? What about residents with large gardens? 'There are irrigation mains and potable mains in some areas and other areas only have one pipe. Separate water system? Why do I have to pay this exorbitant cost to irrigate my lawn? Go beyond nice lawn, to the 12 apple trees in my backyard. Who is an agriculture user? Can't be based on plot size or present use. Political issues - are you treating everyone fairly?' G3 It is worth noting that acquiring provincial funding for Liquid Waster Management Plans once required public consent but now only entails public participation in the development phase of the liquid waste management plan. The logic behind this shift was that impacts from wastewater discharge affected communities outside the immediate jurisdiction thus any local consent would not be representative of all those affected. 80 Although the agricultural community is considered an important part of Greater Vernon's identity and character, there is a feeling (presented by the interviewees) that farmers have a subsidy-mentality; they expect domestic users to subsidize their water consumption. This is basically a question of who should bear the cost. 'Politically - if there was one divergent agenda it is the protection of the agricultural community and prices of their water. They certainly don't want to pay more but agriculture has always had this subsidy mentality and also not needing to necessarily account for how much water one uses.' G6 'Irrigators think that we have enough water to meet our needs and not concerned about quality so why should we be paying huge extra costs because you want to embark on this regional master plan to deal with domestic needs and health issues. Politicians have recognised that. Costs will be bourne almost entirely by domestic customer pay.' G2 Related to attitudes is how to communicate with the public and users. How to educate and inform the public about such a costly and long-term project is a key challenge. As one interviewee put it - "issues that are not sexy will rarely get public buy-in" (G2). Additionally the nature of a regional plan is complicated, information heavy and politically sensitive. Political attitudes, agendas, level of support and leadership will serve as continuous obstacles (not only initial barriers). As the initiative is collaborative, different or opposing values and concerns (such as perceived public acceptance) will cause constant challenges. Changes in decision-makers - political representatives - through elections will provide interesting hurdles in the future, as it is a long-term project. As one person said, it needs to be "politician proof (G6) i.e. robust against change. More concrete hurdles include: cost and access to funding; complexity and enormity of the task; public communication; allocation of responsibilities i.e. who will be the customer interface; metering all non-metered domestic customers; the price differentiation between domestic and irrigation water (as aforementioned), and completion of the task before 2006 (as required if senior level funding is received). 5.2.3.8 Conflict resolution Differences between the parties' interests, and need for autonomy, was the main source of conflict that had to be. resolved. Representation on the governing body was changed 4 times following recommendations or to ensure a fair distribution of power based on the management structure chosen (Table 5-3). Although Vernon ultimately attained an informal veto position on the Commission (along with the unchanged veto on the NORD Board), Vernon distribution assets were transferred to the Greater Vernon Water Utility. The final governance structure included the following conditions: • 2/3 majority required for actions to proceed • Vernon had informal veto power (i.e. 1/3 representation so could prevent any motion passing) • A l l motions can be reviewed i.e. brought to the Council of each party member for review before a decision is made • If a motion is defeated and other participants consider it a crucial issue, the defeated parties can go back to their Council for a formal ruling 81 (Stamhuis, Cotsworth et al. 2003 pers. comm.) Potential conflict with the farming community was avoided with the commitment to maintain low water rates for irrigation. Use of expert information erased doubts as to whether water quality was an issue. Finally, in a hope to ensure public consent, a communication and education campaign has been implemented and the vote will be based on borrowing and not on the project. Table 5-3 Change in governance and management structure during the development of the project. 1UW \ (early 1990s) Interim (Mol) NOWA (1'»')-) NOWA (2000)* CJVSC (2001) Weighted votes at NOKD (unchanged) City of Vernon 1 3 3 1 3 12 District of Coldstream 1 2 2 1 2 4 EA B & C 1 2 2 2 2 4 Agricultural community 2 2 2 1 1 -VID 2 2 - - - -lotal 7 11 9 5 8 20 Management structure Agreed in principle to a single water utility Model D.i.e. pool supply assets but distribution assets separate "Model E " i.e. supply and distribution assets pooled under a single authority *This model was proposed but never implemented 5.2.4 Effectiveness 5.2.4.1 Project objectives As stated in the 1994 Memorandum of Understanding, the objective of the Greater Vernon Water Utility (and governing Commission) is: 'to ensure the economical supply and distribution of a sufficient quantity and quality of water in the interests of both the agricultural and non-agricultural users in the Greater Vernon community.' The expected advantages to participants as specified in the 1996 Implementation Plan were: • Increased recognition by the Ministry of Municipal Affairs for obtaining funding and grants; • Increased recognition by the Ministry of Environment relative to water licenses; • Opportunity for greater influence relative to watershed stewardship, and other long-term water quality matters; • A coordinated planning approach to water supply management, with improved water quality and guaranteed supply volumes; • Significant long-term capital savings through economies-of-scale; • Some long-term savings relative to management and operations; • Greater potential for improved customer service; • Increased opportunity for a regional approach to water reuse and water conservation; (KWLG&S Associated Joint Venture 1996 p.3-4) 5.2.4.2 What interviewees said about expected outcomes? Greater efficiency was the key advantage expressed by all interviewees (efficiency in terms of supply, water quality, cost and management). Greater supply efficiency was considered achievable in three ways: pooling of water licenses and sharing of supply sources, which would provide more flexibility and security; through separation of domestic and agricultural distribution which would enable better use of resources i.e. high quality water allocated only for domestic purposes; and, expansion of the reclaimed water program which would provide a valuable alternative water source for agriculture. Improved water quality would be achieved through implementing state-of-the-art facilities while keeping costs down through sharing i.e. one treatment facility for all. 'Awful lot of merit. Going to give people a much higher quality of water. Also by separating irrigation and domestic water. We will be able to use the sources out there more efficiently... We now have those options - take the water that is out there and what is licensed and use it more efficiently. There are two things that a separation system allows us to do: 1. Other sources and use them more efficiently; 2. Excess reclaimed water and look at putting it into irrigation system. A lot of controversy ...But the plan gives us the flexibility.' G2 'Serious look at water quality and hopefully will improve forecasts, consider climate change and direct more $ and resources to managing the water supply better. Currently, decisions regarding release from the various dammed lakes is rough and ready. Hopefully much more sophisticated forecasting techniques will be used e.g. to safeguard downstream fisheries on Duteau. Treatment will be state of the art, reliable, robust, will do a better job ofproviding safe drinking water.' G4 Cost sharing and reducing infrastructure requirements e.g. a single treatment facility, are the factors expected to provide cost effectiveness from integration. 'Logical consequence when look at horrendous costs facing now. Distribution and treatment. Only makes sense to approach the issue in a co-operative way. Commonality of savings.' G3 'Obviously much less expensive to have one treatment plant. Makes more sense to identify 2-3 water sources and only use those water sources and then it becomes much easier to protect. Common savings in infrastructure costs, as long as there is a good plan to follow. Efficiency of a common water system. Made sense with the common flume system and I think it still does today. GC Better organisational management is anticipated through reduced duplication of work, less bureaucracy and staff requirements. 'Planning for long term growth; less bureaucracy - not duplication of several authorities; less in-fighting; ability to hire greater expertise due to greater resources' G7 An additional advantage mentioned by an external consultant to the project was the protection of the agricultural community and fairness: 83 'If one looks at the big picture, the project will not only provide supply of safe water but will also ensure sustained investment in the agricultural community. Down the road the project will benefit everybody. If they all had to go it alone, the agricultural community would have had a hard time, pushed the rates of water up. A separate system ensures that this will not happen. Independent accounting will keep rates low; the other route would have forced the price to rocket.' G4 5.2.4.3 Initial indica tions of project outcomes As the management changes deriving from the establishment of the G V W U and GVSC will not be fully implemented until 2008, actual outcomes of the process cannot be evaluated. What is presented here, are the targets of the projects and some initial indications of its potential advantages. Cost and water rates The total cost of the project has been estimated at $72 million over a six-year period - 2002 to 2008. The two most costly components will be the construction of the Water Treatment facility, estimated at $19.5 million for stage 1, and updating and expanding the area's water mains, estimated at $17 million. Water rates have been proposed to cover the bulk of G V W U expenditures i.e. annual operations and maintenance, existing debt, and new water quality related capital projects (Associated Engineering 2002a). "Low" water consumers currently pay on average $17 a month. This is expected to increase to between $24 and $31 per month depending on the level of senior government funding. Water rates for "high" water consumers will increase from an average of $31 per month to between $47 and $65 (Associated Engineering 2002a). Irrigation water rates will remain a flat annual rate at current levels. Any adjustments will take into consideration the Statement of Principles that irrigation rates "remain competitive within the region" (Associated Engineering 2002c) Supply A clear advantage of amalgamating into one authority will be the ability to share and use more effectively the available water sources (previous Box 5-1). For example, with the implementation of a dual distribution system, higher quality Kalamalka Lake water could solely be used for domestic purposes, while Duteau Creek water could be allocated primarily to irrigation purposes (or alternatively treated to an acceptable level). Water quality The water quality targets of the project are either to maintain current quality standards or to improve on them (Table 5-4). 84 Table 5-4 Summary of Raw Water Quality and Treated Water Goals, AO = Aesthetic Objective, MAC = Maximum Allowable Concentration. Source: (Associated Engineering 2002a p.8-3) Parameter Duteau Creek range Kalamalka Lake range GC DWQ Guideline description Treated Water Target Level Alkalinity (mg/1) 20 to 40 140 to 150 No standard Min 25 mg/1 (as CaC0 3 ) Aluminium (mu/l) 0.100 to 0.150 0.1 mg/1 <0.1 mg/1 Coliform Bacteria N/a N/a < 1 org./lOO ml <0.1 mg/1 Cryptosporidium N/a N/a No standard > 2 log reduction Enteric viruses N/a . N/a No standard 4-log reduction (•iardia (c\sis/1000 1.) 3 to 200 N/a No standard > 3 log reduction (> 2.5 log by clarification/ filtration/UV, 0.5 log by Cl 2) Iron (mg/1) 0.050 to 0.800 < 0.3 mg/1 A O < 0.3 mg/1 Sulphate 6.50 to 6.80 < 200 mg/1 < 200 mg/1 I'll 5.85 to 8.50 6.7 to 9 6.5-8.5 Stable, non-aggressive Temperature,°C ,: < 15 AO < 15 T H M (total) < lOOug/lMAC < 80 u.g/1 IOC 8.0 to 10.2 0.3 to 7 No standard Sufficient to meet T H M & aesthetic targets True Colour ( I C l ) 20 to 130 <5 < 15TCU AO <TCU 100% of time Turbidity (NTU) 0.0 to 14.15 0.50 to 0.54 1.0 N T U M A C (<5 N T U AO) < 0.3 N T U 95% of time, < 1 N T U 100% of time 5.2.5 Learning 5.2.5.1 Learning to implement: Information sources and learning means Initiation of the G V W U process stemmed from the comprehensive basin-wide Okanagan Basin Study that took place between 1969-1974. This study was a learning process in and of itself, sparking many changes throughout the region. Initial assessment of a water utility amalgamation was another learning method which comprised the 85 compilation of four reports by an external consultant outlining the status quo and future needs of each key municipality, along with a joint water study undertaken to explore the comparative advantages and disadvantages of a single agency. Consensus was needed in order for the G V W U idea to manifest. Through the means of discussion, review and negotiation this was finally achieved. The Implementation Plan procedure, headed by a three-party consultancy consortium, was the main instrument that guided this process: 1) Phase 1: Meetings and workshops with key actors to flesh out a list of alternatives; 2) Phase 2: Selection and further analysis of dominant models; 3) Phase 3: Development of an implementation plan. Finally, only through putting the selected model to the test (conceptually) were its shortcomings realised. 5.2.5.2 Learning to implement: Interviewee reflections G V W U process involved several partners whose interests were at stake. A single authority with a new governance, management and infrastructural configuration was formed. This in itself required reorganization where each authority had to give up autonomy and flexibility to partake in the vision. Interviewees reflected on what was required to achieve this consensus. Essentially, each partner had to see benefits for themselves in order to trust participation in a joint venture. From the perspective of one interviewee, there is little learning that one can extract from such a process because any project will take the time and unique conditions for change to occur. "... one of the key ones (lessoned learned) is the need to get the public and politicians on-board. Unfortunately, this takes a water-borne disease out-break. It was frustrating over the 20 plus years for utility staff to see the ultimate solution but not be able implement it. " RC On a positive note a key interviewee identified that the process had resulted in understanding the value of water and learning that maintaining water quality and efficiency programs are essential for ensuring adequate supply. He also recognised that lessons remained and that key political biases and agendas needed to be overcome (see appendix). 5.2.5.3 Diffusion of learning: Evaluation and feedback There is no evidence that reflections from the case of Greater Vernon Water Utility will systematically be collected and used to improve similar projects of local authority amalgamation elsewhere. Although, the province stated that they wanted to use G V W U as a "model region", no active effort to actually draw from this experience. However, ad hoc (or passive) reflection and learning will undoubtedly take place. 86 5.3 CASE STUDY 3: KELOWNA - DOMESTIC WATER METERING 5.3.1 Actors Five groups were involved in the process of establishing water metering in Kelowna City: the City Council, management (Works and Utilities, Water Division - as well as other departments such as the Financial and Engineering departments, and Building and Inspection Services Department), external consultants, the provincial government (only in a funding capacity) and domestic water users in Kelowna. Kelowna Municipality contains five water purveyors. This case concerns Kelowna Water Utility, which services the main City area. 5.3.2 Time-line In 1987-88 the Okanagan Region experienced a significant dry year that left many water supplies in critical condition. In response, the provincial government initiated an awareness-raising campaign throughout the region encouraging conservation efforts. In August 1991, Kelowna Engineering Department was directed by City Council to develop recommendations concerning methods of reducing water consumption in Kelowna and a plan to form a Water Conservation Program. Metering (with a constant unit charge) of single-family residential users and a public education process (possibly including provision of water saving devices) were recommended for the Water Conservation Program and adopted by Council in April 1992 (Richardson 1992). It was recommended in June 1993 to amend Kelowna's Plumbing Regulation By-Law No. 5968-87 to prepare for a water metering program, and install Ultra Low Flush toilets in new buildings in the City. In September 1993, it became mandatory for all new construction to have maximum 7-litre flush toilets, shower heads that limit flow to 10 litres/minute or less, and sink faucets that limit flow rate to 9 litres/minute or less (City of Kelowna 1993). Management proposed in early 1994 that Council should amend the Water Regulation By-Law No. 2113 to make metering of all new users mandatory. In late 1994, staff in the Water Division of the Works and Utilities department presented a proposal on universal water metering and installation of water saving devices to the Kelowna City Council (Westlake 1994). During the end of 1994 (beginning 1995) the 1994-2014 servicing plan review was completed, which indicated that in order to maintain current water demand for a growing population, infrastructure costs could exceed $40 million. The final metering proposal was completed in January 1995. The final program of implementation involved the following key steps (Table 5-5): 87 Table 5-5 Steps taken during the implementation of metering in Kelowna Monlh/Year ActiviH April 1995 lo March 19% Pilot project involving 102 residences (those out of 150 which had meters successfully installed) that volunteered for meter installation (Edmonton Water 1996). Early 1996 Report on the pilot scheme providing a detailed analysis of water consumption patterns of the 102 residences Mid-1996 Contractor bid for installation and maintenance of universal metering. Schlumberger hired. Early 1998 Based on the pilot project report, an acceptable rate structure was put together. .In no 1998 Universal installation complete. The bulk of meters were installed by the end of 1997 the remaining 'hold-outs' (problematic installation and customers refusing to have meters) were completed during 1998. January-November 1998 Grace period with mock billing. November 1998 Implementation of the metered rate from a flat rate of $15.50 per connection to a base rate of $8 along with a CUC of $0.2076. Spring 200(1 Change in metered rate to a base rate of $7.60 with a CUC of $0,225. The potential for reduction in water use was considered 20% from universal metering (mainly reduction in summer peak demand) and 10% from the installation of water saving devices (base demand) (UMA 1994). Outdoor use was the primary target as it offered the greatest potential for demand reduction. Kelowna's overall objective of the metering-education program was stated as 20% reduction in residential consumption and 10% for commercial and multi-family residential areas (Degen 1998). Prior to the implementation of rates, Council directed staff to inform customers of how a rate structure would change their bills i.e. the grace period. A customer education campaign was also implemented to inform customers on different methods to reduce consumption. In all 11,500 homes were installed with meters. Rates were developed to achieve the aforementioned reduction targets, ensure sufficient revenue, be revenue neutral (for the City) and to be "politically acceptable"; in other words, annual bills for an average home would not significantly change from the former base rate. It was recognised at this point that a reduction in consumption may result in reduced municipal revenue and therefore rate increases in following years were recognised as a possibility (Degen 1998). Following the metering program, Kelowna initiated two studies, in 2001 and 2002, exploring methods to reduce peak water demand targeted at outside water use and high-end water consumers. Results of the studies identified education through social marketing i.e. based on personal contact with users, and a soil dressing, named "ogogrow" (high in nutrients with moderate moisture retention) to be the best approaches. With the help of Summerland Pacific 88 Agri-Food Research Centre an alternative dressing was developed named "glengrow" (Degen 2003 pers. comm.). Glengrow consists of Kelowna's yard waste (prunings) ground up into fine compost. Kelowna is embarking on a City-wide program to implement these approaches for reducing peak demand. 5.3.3 The adaptation process 5.3.3.1 Drivers Interviewees stated the following as key driving forces behind the implementation of universal metering in Kelowna: the pressure of increased population on demand; impending capital investment to meet this demand, and, a sense of concern regarding Vernon's lead in water conservation efforts and their relatively high per capita consumption levels compared with other utilities in the Kelowna area (Table 5-6). Table 5-6 Average annual domestic consumption (UMA 1994) I tility Metered Rate Schedule Average annual consumption (L/capita/day) % > Rutland's consumption Black Mountain No Flat 960 21 (,'ilv of Kelowna No Flat 1000 24 Clcnniorc/Kllison No Flat 940 19 Okanagan Mission No Flat 1000 24 Rutland Yes Increasing block 760 -Southeast Kelowna No Flat 1050 28 Average (e\cl. Rutland) - - 990 23 Non-municipal representatives mentioned two additional drivers: the Cryptosporidium outbreak in 1996, and a general push by the regional office of the then Ministry of Environment to encourage water conservation in the region. Staff and Councillors alike tended to see metering as an internally driven process: "No pressure from the province to implement metering, no licensing issues. The City was self-motivated. " Kl Cost, population growth, quality issues and reputation, along with senior (provincial and federal) government agendas were identified as drivers. Population growth and consequently infrastructure costs were stressed (Box 5-2) as the main motivating factors. However, the 1994-2014 Servicing Plan, which identified that the cost of maintaining infrastructure at current water demand and expected population growth was very high, came after initial Council and management began to consider conservation as an alternative approach to water management. In terms 89 of the time line then, provincial encouragement to conserve seems a more likely trigger for initial commitment in 1992 i.e. adoption of metering in principle, then impending cost. Box 5-2 Population growth and estimated infrastructure costs in Kelowna Actual (1976-2001) and projected (2002-2019) population in Kelowna a. o a. 180,000 160,000 140,000 120,000 100,000 80,000 60,000 40,000 20,000 0 *8> <& <?v> N°? Year Population in Kelowna "almost doubled over a 25-year period (between 1976 and 2001) from 53,190 to 99,724 (Source: B.C Stats). Projected population is expected to increase by 64% to 156,125 by 2020,"based on a 20-yeaf compound rate assumption of 2.-37%. Additional housing requirement of 25,539;units is projected, . assuming a 2.3 person per unit average household size over the next 20 years (City of Kelwona 2000). The 1994-2014 Servicing Plan for the municipality expected costs toj-each$41 million over this 20-year period coverin:g«6^projects' for^develdpitigAuhli^n^stiucture. in*Kelowna. The main alternative option to metering for Kelowna was "business-as-usual" i.e. Kelowna could have gone ahead with its 1994-2014 20-year plan without metering. In addition, as its main water source was the Okanagan Lake and there were no impending licensing caps, concern over supply for the 20-year horizon was not an issue or driving force behind the metering initiative. So, why was metering implemented? What made metering suddenly an attractive management approach? According to all interviewees, staff put forward the idea of metering to Council, presenting in their view a convincing argument that metering would lighten the population growth burden on water infrastructure and thus impending cost. "From a supply perspective, because the city is beside Okanagan Lake, don't have a supply issue. Issue is cost ofproviding service to customers due to our climate, soil conditions, etc. More of an infrastructure expansion issue, cost of providing service to customers in an expanding city -facilities and infrastructure. "Kl In other words, the decision to implement metering was presented not as a reaction to an event, but a proactive move to defer and lighten an impending pressure; it was made not because of dire need but because someone estimated that it would significantly lessen the strain and cost of growth. There was also a recognition that more value needed to be placed on the resource by the customer. 90 5.3.3.2 Enabling factors and authority attitudes The decision to implement metering was a smooth political process according to interviewees. Staff members were on board and the Council didn't consider it a difficult decision to make. Why was the decision not strife with opposition or divergent opinions? Implicit in all that was said by the interviewees was the level of awareness, openness and drive amongst staff and Council members. Positive and progressive authority and management attitudes and values were suggested as key enabling factors. According to one interviewee, Kelowna has had a philosophy of "pay-as-you-go" and "user-pays" since the 1970's. Did this underlying management philosophy enable acceptance of metering? Other cities in the region were implementing metering alongside Kelowna e.g. Vernon accepted metering in principle 1992, and even one of the Water Districts within the municipal boundaries, Rutland Waterworks (in 1968). In other words, Kelowna wasn't really an 'early adopter' in the region; it had the advantage of being able to review and learn from local examples. "Metering wasn't particularly new as we had Rutland waterworks and ICI metering. [It] wasn't rocket science. No backlash from agricultural communities as major bulk users [of our] system are primarily residential. " K3 However, an external interviewee mentioned that Kelowna could have avoided some problems if it had studied domestic metering examples in the Okanagan. "Could have done a better job of taking advice from those who had experience with metering. Did not take advice form Rutland or Vernon so made some mistakes that could have been avoided. " K2 Political acceptability i.e. no significant impact to the average consumer (Figure 5-2), had to be met for the project to go ahead. If this inherent value had not been met, would the decision have been more difficult? "Staff wanted to have a shorter time but council wanted a longer period to ensure people had time to evaluate personal water use. "K5 "Council accepted this [the metering proposal] on the basis that the average residential customer was not going to pay more money. Minor impact for average person. But would help heavy users to think about reducing consumption. "Kl The fact that metering fulfilled (didn't conflict with) other political values such as responsibility to customers, ensuring fairness in the system and the philosophy of "user-pays" added to the ease with which the decision was made and implemented. Other enabling factors included financial stability and win-win character of metering. Firstly there were no financial constraints i.e. Kelowna was permitted by the Municipal Funding Authority to borrow the $3.5 million required to cover the initial capital costs of implementing metering. Secondly, metering was financially attractive; large future costs were deferred. Thirdly, the majority of users were not significantly impacted (only those that used a lot of water). The win-win character of metering i.e. political (public) acceptability, financial feasibility and increased efficiency, was a significant enabling factor (see section 1.1.3 on effectiveness for details). 91 Figure 5-2 Based on anticipated average water consumption (assuming a 20% reduction in average consumption) there is no change in yearly totals from water bills between the 1998 flat rate and new unit charge (City of Kelowna 1998) Water billing comparison (Flat rate vs. New rate) 25 -, Jan. Feb. Mar. Apr. May June July Aug. Sept. Oct. Nov. Dec. Month I El 1998 Flat Rate • New rate I 5.3.3.3 Options considered As stated previously, Kelowna could have decided not to implement metering and continue with its 1994-2014 services plan requiring a $41 million investment in utility infrastructure upgrades and development. No other alternatives other than demand-side management were considered to combat the issue of population growth and impending costs. The following demand-management methods were initially considered in the water management strategy: public education; water metering; rationing; infrastructure adjustments, and rate structure. A l l with the exception of rationing and infrastructure adjustments were implemented as part of the Water Conservation Program. 5.3.3.4 Barriers and obstacles Kelowna experienced minimal internal political problems in deciding to implement metering and few major obstacles in actual implementation. During the grace period and mock-billing year, the City logged 5000 calls ranging from customers being relieved to hear that it isn't so bad to disbelief and denial that their water use was so high (Klassen 2003 pers. comm.). Interviewees generally felt that reactions were split and that education dampened potential opposition. "Overall, reactions were ok, probably due to emphasis on education. Will always face some opposition to new programs, some people just won't like it. Some people didn't like it but understood it. This led to decreased backlash. Were able to show people that metering would not increase customer costs. " Kl "Trouble-makers" were considered the greatest obstacle. The belief that water is a plentiful resource was identified as a commonly held public perspective, which made communicating the reason for metering more challenging. 92 Although in contradiction, it was also stated that because the public recognised that water is a scarce resource, implementation was made easier. Meters were also considered intrusive and controlling, as one interviewee put it: 'We need to get the customer beyond the perception that metering is the utility's way of spying' K3. Other than the common issues of time, money and resources, internal communication was also mentioned. In the latter case it was trying to ensure cohesion amongst the various departments and between responsibilities e.g. working with the finance department to develop the best rate structure. Cost issues and public attitude problems partially arose with the hiring of an external outside consultancy to provide the metering service i.e. installation, to deal with consumer complaints, etc. Not all costs i.e. unexpected costs, had been identified in the contract and it was inferred that an external consultancy doesn't have the same relationship with customers as the municipality itself. "Approach of using consultants to run projects is common within the city, but this project was slightly different because it involved going into people's homes. " Kl One member of the Council perceived that the metering program was simply 'the easy part' of what may become more controversial. "Haven't got to a stage where have to seriously punish people in order to reduce demand. We have done the easy part - put meters in place and done the education. Haven't done the hard part - well lets have some tough utilisation targets and raise rates to significantly modify people's behaviour. So while we have the infrastructure in place, we haven't been tested to the extent one could be ...Haven't had the crunch of water shortage... "K3 5.3.3.5 Conflict resolution/a void an ce The initial pilot study recommended 4 approaches to avoiding public outcry against metering: 1. Mock-billing for a year; 2. Identifying the cause of high water consumption; 3. Implementing a public education campaign; 4. Forming a citizens advisory group for the development of a new rate structure. Of these the first three approaches were applied. "Mock-billing" provided an opportunity for the public to learn about metering and its impact prior to any rate change. The public education process involved public meetings, displays, one-on-one consultations and more and ensured that residents were aware of the importance of water and how to reduce consumption when the new rate was implemented (Klassen 2003 pers. comm.). Focus on high water consumers was considered in the follow-up pilot projects aimed at reducing peak demand (see 5.4.4.6 below). To ensure political acceptability, the initial proposal put forward by staff was changed to include a 'grace period' that gave consumers time to adjust to the new rate system and see how the new rate would affect them. Additionally, it was a requirement that the water rate for the average consumer would not change. Therefore metering would appeal to the "pocket-book" of most consumers. How metering was framed was also important to the politicians - if it hadn't made financial sense or adhered to political values the decision would have been more difficult to make. 93 General and targeted education, along with ensuring public acceptability, were key mechanisms for avoiding conflict. However, underlying these measures was the element of time and timing. Interviewees all suggested time to let the idea sink in as a crucial method to aid avoidance of conflict. 5.3.4 Effectiveness 5.3.4.1 Project objectives The main objective of the metering-education program was to reduce residential consumption by 20% in order to reduce future capital outlay within a 20-year horizon. 5.3.4.2 What interviewees said about success? Three key factors were identified as measures of success of the metering project: 1. More accurate data on water demand and wastewater generation 2. Deferral of utility programs and thus cost reduction 3. Increased consumer awareness and change in consumption behaviour 4. Political acceptability In terms of accuracy of data, it was specified that metering meant that the utility could actually know how much is being used, who is using it (or if there are leaks), and aid in better forecasting future demand. Implementation of meters has allowed managers to better manage the system and prepare for significant dry spells. "...because they "had a handle on the tap", could control use, know how much is being used and can better forecast future demand and plan on how to meet future demand. " K2 "Need to have a good understanding of water demand and supply to know what the future holds, i.e. projections, where it goes, real information (not pie in the sky). " K3 A significant bonus of metering and reduced consumption has been the deferral of project implementation in the earlier Kelowna 1994-2014 servicing plan to beyond the 20-year horizon and therefore reduction of immediate costs to the utility and also for developers (as design standards have been minimised). "Metering has reduced stress on existing system and allowed city to reduce the development requirements for new supply infrastructure. Developers benefit because capital outlay is less as a result. From utility's perspective, can defer capital investment - 50-60% of the items on the 1996 capital plan have been pushed out of the twenty year window due to the overall reduction of consumption and reduction of peak demand. " KI Finally, but not least, metering (with heavy public education campaigns) has increased awareness indicated by reduction in water consumption without huge increased costs to the consumer. "// makes people aware of the amount of water they are using and it forces people to be sure they want to spend that money on water. " K4 5.3.4.3 Public a wareness and reduction in consumption Kelowna City has not attempted to collect data on changes in actual public awareness or interest in water issues and conservation. However, there are two indicators of the reach (impact) that metering and complimentary rate structure has had. Firstly, the fact that approximately 5000 calls were logged during the mock billing phase indicates 94 that the process certainly stimulated consumer reaction (although this doesn't provide any input as to changes in awareness) (Klassen 2003 pers. comm.). Secondly, and more convincingly, consumption dropped significantly (Figure 5-3 and Table 5-7). Between 1998 and 2000, total annual average per capita consumption dropped 24.29% with the largest decrease occurring during the summer months (Figure 5-4 and Table 5-7). Figure 5-3 Monthly average per capita water consumption per person between 1998-2000 (the new rate was implemented in 1999) Source: City of Kelowna Water consumption in Kelowna (1998-2000) 140 , 0 | 1 , , , 1 , r , , , , Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Month 95 Table 5-7 Average monthly per capita consumption (m 3 = 1000 L) for 1998, 1999 and 2000 (in italics: % change when compared with 1998 consumption where a positive number means a decrease from 1998 levels and a negative number means an increase from 1998 levels). Source: City of Kelowna Year Jan Feb Mar Apr Ma> Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec 2000 22.1 20.8 22.5 34.2 49.9 63.4 84 82.5 40.3 28.3 21 N/A m 3 m 3 ™3 m m 3 ™3 m m 3 m 3 m 3 ™3 m m 3 m 3 %A98 -6.25 0.48 0.44 18.38 20.16 14.67 27.15 31.76 40.74 2.08 5.41 -IW) 22.4 20.4 21.2 35.7 51.3 66.8 74.2 71.6 48.5 26.9 21.4 22.5 m 3 m 3 ™3 m m 3 m 3 m 3 ™3 m ™3 m m 3 m 3 m 3 m 3 "„\W -7.69 2.39 6.19 14.80 17.92 10.09 35.65 40.78 28.68 6.92 3.60 -.2.27 1998 20.8 20.9 22.6 41.9 62.5 75.3 115.3 120.9 68 m 3 28.9 22.2 22 m 3 m 3 m 3 m 3 ™3 m m 3 ™3 m ™3 m m 3 ™3 m m 3 5.3.4.4 Political acceptability: the rate structure Metering was politically accepted on the condition that the cost to the average consumer wouldn't be significantly affected (while revenue was maintained). As Figure 5-2 illustrates, based on an assumed 20% reduction in consumption, projected annual cost to the average consumer was not expected to alter. In the first year (1999) total revenue reached $5 million from water bills, just $30,000 above actual cost of providing the water service (Degen 2003 pers. comm.). In 1999 an actual annual average water bill was estimated at $212.22 compared with the projected bill of $207.34. When compared with other utility water rates in the Okanagan, Kelowna rates are currently the lowest. Kelowna is, however, considering implementing a block-rate structure in 2004 (Klassen 2003 pers. comm.). Those most impacted by the new constant unit charge are considered to be the affluent population as identified over-users are those located in the most affluent subdivisions of Kelowna. 5.3.4.5 Accuracy of data and deferral of impending capital investments Based on the interviews, deferral of capital expenditure was a major factor that convinced the Council that universal metering would be a beneficial management tool. Table 5-8 outlines the program change between Kelowna's 1994-2014 (completed 94/95) and their 2000-2020 (completed 2001) servicing plan reviews. The change in projected required capital expenditure from $41 to $29 million has been attributed to: 1. Metering, rates and education fostering a user pay philosophy 2. Customers response to conservation i.e. reduction in consumption 3. Improved measurement tools (water meters, systems and models) 4. Water-saving bylaw that was introduced in 1994 96 Firstly, these factors meant use could be more accurately measured i.e. actual consumption and usage for each service area could be defined and tracked, resulting in the discovery that actual usage was less than was previously projected (and also result in more accurate projections of future use). Secondly, in response to rates and education, maximum day demand was significantly less than forecasted, thereby infrastructure upgrades and design specifications were reduced. The relative contribution of each factor in reducing capital expenditure for the 2000-2020 period was not ascertained. Table 5-8 Change in cost, consumption and design standards between Kelowna's 2014 and 2020 services plans due to improved measurement e.g. meters, and reduced consumption as a consequence of constant unit water rates and education. Source: City of Kelowna. Cost S41 million program/69 projects Cost S29 million program/35 projects M D D 1994 1318 1/s M D D 1996 1071 1/s N/A M I>1) 2000 1200 1/s M D D 2010 (projected) s 2000 1/s M D D 2010 1540 1/s M O D 2014 (projected) 2440 1/s M D D 2020 2000 1/s Design standard 3000 1/c/d Design standard 2400 1/c/d M D D = total maximum daily demand, L/s = litres per second, 1/c/d = litres per capita per day A review of projects proposed in the 1994/95 DCC indicated that 18 previously identified projects amounting to a cost of $20,450,000 would not be required by 2020. According to the review, the main reason why these projects are no longer scheduled in the 20-year horizon is the reduction in maximum daily demand (peak demand). M D D in the 94/95 review was estimated at 1,300 1/s, which has now dropped to about 1,100 1/s (based on a review of the last five years demand) (City of Kelowna 2000). Based on current actual consumption data, the 2000-2020 servicing plan review recommended that the current by-law water use criteria reflect actual water use. The recommendation was to change the per capita A D D maximum of 1,000 1/c/d to 900 1/c/d and the per capita MDD of 3,000 1/c/d to 2,700 1/c/d (City of Kelowna 2000). Based on better total and per capita consumption data and system modelling program, it was also possible to explore impacts of further consumption reductions on system upgrade estimates beyond the reductions already incorporated in the 2000-2020 plan. Assuming a per capita M D D reduction of 9% (which leads to a 15% decrease in overall MDD) over a 20-year period, which makes the 2020 overall MDD 1,570 1/s compared with the current estimate of 97 2000 1/s, it was concluded that even the current projected cost to upgrade the system of $18,487,003 could be significantly reduced. It was this conclusion that lead to the 2001 and 2002 irrigation incentive pilot studies to explore methods of further reducing peak demand of high end users. 5.3.4.6 Follow-on: reducing peak demand Output data from metering identified several high-water use areas in Kelowna. In order to achieve a cut in the capital program by half, it was identified that peak demand needed to be reduced by 16% (Degen 2003 pers. comm.). Therefore activities were set in motion to find an effective method of achieving this goal. Two pilot studies were initiated. Crawford Estates was identified as a high-end user with a water use of three times the city average. Several factors were identified as potential causes: large lots with extensive landscaping, poor soil conditions, low water pressure, aging/inefficient irrigation systems, and lack of consumer education (Neptune Technology Group 2001). In order to determine the most effective approach to reducing demand, City of Kelowna coordinated with Neptune38 RMS Canada to develop and test several incentives. Five approaches were explored: education, Ogogrow, rain sensors, sprinkler upgrades and a combination of all four approaches. Ten volunteers applied each of the five approaches. Compared with July 2000 water consumption, an average of 26% reduction was achieved in July 2001. However, all residents besides those that participated in the study reduced their water consumption significantly! It was suggested that some "spill over" i.e. education, reached others that had not participated (Neptune Technology Group 2001) The study was expanded in 2002 to include 135 participants in three areas: Crawford Estates, Dilworth Mountain, and Okaview/Timberline. Water efficient automatic irrigation timers, aeration and Ogogrow, and education were tested by 45 participants for each approach. Average consumption of participants during 2002 was found to be lower than non-participants (Neptune Technology Group 2002). Effectiveness of each approach differed between the neighbourhoods due to variations in lot size, landscaping, soil, slopes, etc. Customer education, however, seemed the most effective followed by Ogogrow. Those customers who applied all incentives used 61% less water than the average water consumption of their area. The project concluded that a 16% reduction is possible (Neptune Technology Group 2002). Kelowna is now in the process of expanding a city-wide program to reduce peak-demand. A new soil dressing, Glengrow, has been formulated with Pacific Agri-Food Research Centre and is the basis for the program (Degen 2003 pers. comm.) 5.3.5 Learning 5.3.5.1 Learning to implement: Information sources and learning means Initial proposal formulation was based upon internal and external sources of information, gathered by Kelowna management personnel, external consultants (UMA), and also through informal consultations with local 3 8 As of 2002 Schlumberger is referred to as Neptune. 98 municipalities that had already implemented meters and accompanying rate structures. Reformulation of the initial proposal involved a two-way review and negotiation between management and Council; with management providing recommendations and Council proposing suitable changes. Kelowna's 20-year financial servicing plan highlighted expected costs based on forecasted population growth, urban development and other components relevant to future growth of Kelowna. After the final water conservation program had been prepared, Edmonton municipality was hired by Kelowna to design and carry-out the pilot project. Edmonton was selected based on their recent experience of carrying out an in-depth study of their own residential water use (Edmonton Water 1996). Schlumberger was hired to implement meters in the pilot project (and subsequently the universal metering process) and provide information on the challenges of meter installation. The objective of the pilot project was to test metering in order to learn about its challenges and implications. Data on water consumption, costs and installation issues was collected and analysed to inform the universal metering process. The pilot project provided the platform for to learn through experimentation. The objective of the pilot project was to identify potential difficulties installers would experience, characterize current water use in Kelowna and provide background information for the development of a rate structure. Findings included (Edmonton Water 1996) • Inside use represents approximately 47% of total annual consumption • Range of annual water use varied from a low of 184 cubic meters to a high of 1,785 cubic meters • New homes built in the last year had a water use significantly lower than homes built 10 years ago • Age of homes direct correlation to amount of water used. Efficient toilets would significantly reduce consumption in 5-20 year-old homes. • Compared with neighbouring utilities Kelowna has a higher water use - about 100% higher than Vernon The recommendations provided by the study were followed-up by Kelowna (Table 5-9): Table 5-9 Recommendations from the pilot project (Edmonton Water 1996) and their implementation. • Recommendation Followed by Kelowna 1. To eliminate study bias i.e. caused by too small a study group, pilot study should be expanded. No 2. Continue water use study in 1996 to ensure data collected reflective of actual consumption patterns. No 3. Effectiveness of high efficiency appliances in new homes verified. Bylaws should be reinforced with the construction industry and inspectors. Yes 4. A formal survey should be conducted to estimate current renovation rate and what action people may take if implement a consumption-based water rate. No 99 5. Rate structures need to be reviewed to ensure that they are fair and equitable, and reflect true cost of service. Yes 6. Serious consideration to the development of a citizen advisory group (CAG) should be given to avoid potential conflict. Yes On completion of the pilot project, the metering plan was reviewed and implemented. Education of the public was a key priority of the water conservation plan. The public was kept informed about what the implications of metering would be and also ways to reduce water consumption through letters and other information sources. Indications of customer issues and perceptions were only obtained through the general customer complaint service provided by Kelowna during the grace period. 5.3.5.2 Learning to implement: Interviewee reflections Learning through the proposal and implementation processes resulted in interviewees identifying on reflection a handful of problems: lack of communication between departments, not enough City involvement in meter installation i.e. needed a personal touch that wasn't provided by consultants, challenge of identifying costs prior to project implementation. 5.3.5.3 Diffusion of learning: Evaluation and feedback The evaluation process generated three areas of knowledge: 1) whether objectives had been achieved, 2) financial savings of the metering project, 3) areas for potential water and financial savings. Kelowna acted upon this information by taking steps to maximise the benefits of the metering project. Metering led to the realisation that there were key high-end users that needed further attention. In response to this information, Kelowna initiated two pilot projects to identify the best methods to reduce outdoor use that was not being curbed by metering and accompanying constant unit charge system. Through further analysis and collaboration with the Pacific Agri-Food Research Center, an even better method i.e. a better soil dressing that provided nutrients and retained moisture, was discovered. Essentially universal metering in Kelowna provided real-time data on all water uses; it is a tool that ensures more effective management of the City's water demand. Learning could of also have taken place throughout the public from the education process. Indications of customer issues and perceptions were only obtained through the general customer complaint service. The 20% reduction indicates that users have reduced consumption but what behavioural changes have occurred that achieved this reduction? An additional challenge will be whether this reduction can be maintained over the long term. 100 5.4 CASE STUDY 4: S EK ID - METERING AGRICULTURAL IRRIGATION 5.4.1 Actors Significant participants in the SEKID story include those internal to the district: the Board of Trustees, management staff and water users, and those external to the district: Federal and Provincial government, consultants and other organisations e.g. BC Fruit Growers Association (Table 5-10). Table 5-10 Key participants in the SEKID story Actors ,. Composition Metering/Scheduling Project Committee Members (Established to oversee the implementation of the five-year demand management project). SEKID Board of Trustees SEKID District Manager Representatives from B C M A F F Kelowna and BC Fruit Packers A SEKID farmer Co-operating growers Nine SEKID farmers District staff Internal and outside staff General users Farmers and residents Advisory Board (Project supervision) Representatives from: B C M A F F Agriculture and Agri-food Canada Irrigation Districts Association of BC Ministry of Environment, Land and Parks BC Fruit Growers Association (BCFGA) Consultants Various 5.4.2 Time-line Following two droughts during 1987 and 1992 in the Okanagan, SEKID management and Board of Trustees began discussing how to improve demand-side management efficiencies in case of future droughts (Manager's Report, Oct. 6 t h 1987; Board Minutes, Feb. 2 n d 1988; April 20 t h 1988; June 9 t h 1992). In 1992, the district contracted Dayton and Knight to develop a report exploring costs of implementing metering in SEKID (Board Minutes, June 9 t h 1992). This report concluded that: • total cost of implementing metering would be $1,193,000 ($441,000 for domestic and $692,000 for'agricultural) 101 • if the District should implement a universal metering program it should be phased over a 5-year period beginning 1994 • the District should implement a bylaw requiring installation • explore other financing such as the Federal Green Plan • there is a potential to reduce consumption by 38% (Dayton & Knight 1993) In 1990 the Ministry of Municipal Affairs released $20,000 to do a water study of Turtle Lake (Board Minutes, November 1990). At the same time, SEKID contacted M A F F to explore funding options for implementing metering. The same consulting firm was hired to develop a Long Term Water Supply Plan in early 1993 (Board Minutes, April 14th 1993), which was completed in May 1994 (after metering went ahead). Regarding supply the report concluded that under a drought sequence39 there was over-committed Grade A water i.e. there would be a water shortage under these conditions (if all allocated water was consumed). The options suggested by the consultants to ratify the deficit included universal metering, scheduling and additional system storage at Turtle Lake (Dayton & Knight 1994). In late 1993, SEKID received verbal agreement from the provincial government that funding from the Canada-British Columbia Green Plan for Agriculture would be forthcoming. The Project Conditional Grant Agreement between SEKID and the province was subsequently signed on August 26 t h 1993. As stated in the agreement the project goal was three-fold: '1) Implementation of a demand management strategy through universal water metering; 2) Evaluation and demonstration of irrigation scheduling techniques; 3) Determination of a rate schedule that reflects an equitable allocation of water to agriculture users' (BCMAFF 1993 p. 15). Initially the project was committed to metering all users in the district i.e. all irrigation and new domestic connections were to be metered from 1994 onwards while existing domestic connections were to be metered as changes were made to infrastructure. The Grant Agreement work plan specified that growers in SEKID should be informed of the project in December 1993. Reduced water use in SEKID was the main result expected, along with gathered information to assist development of future water policies in the Okanagan Valley and improve water use within the agriculture sector. Funding was finally secured in early 1994 (Board Minutes, March 30 t h 1994) once SEKID had selected a contractor for the purchase of meters. In response to the metering project, some growers signed a petition opposing metering. Additionally, there was growing concern over the initial meter purchase process (Board Minutes, December 11 th 1993). Rather than going through the appropriate bid process, SEKID, on recommendation by the then water manager, chose to give the bid directly to one consultancy. SEKID had not decided whether the universal metering project would go ahead, but they staged a public information meeting in January 1994 to discuss the project with the public. Soon afterwards, the Board unanimously agreed to halt the metering project, probably due to the contentious nature of the project (Board Minutes, Feb 7 t h 1994). Only after receiving a letter from the Ministry did they go ahead. The letter stated that subject applications would be 'held in abeyance' unless SEKID could prove that they were making beneficial use of Ministry of Environment estimate of the critical Hydraulic Creek drought sequence is two consecutive 1 in 10 runoff years preceded and followed by two consecutive years of mean runoff (Dayton & Knight Ltd 1994) 102 their existing licenses, or they were undertaking to verify efficient use via means such as metering (Minutes, Feb 15th 1994). In response, the Board rescinded their former decision and went ahead with the project, albeit only metering irrigation connections. Grower concern lead to the resignation of the manager at the time and some committed Board members were not re-elected. A new bid process was initiated and a different company was awarded the meter contract. SEKID received a conditional water license to expand McCulloch reservoir in July 1994 (Manager's Report, Aug. 16th 1994). By late 1996, 421 irrigation service meters had been installed. Readings had begun already in 1995, while water use reports weren't distributed until 1997 (Nyvall and Van der Gulik 2000). Alongside metering, an irrigation scheduling program was implemented as part of the public education process. Tensiometers40 were supplied to all growers while eight co-operating growers participated in an irrigation scheduling project involving the collection of data on water use, soil moisture and climate data. Growers were provided with weekly reports containing irrigation scheduling recommendations (Nyvall and Van der Gulik 2000). Three field days were held during the five years to demonstrate scheduling methods. In addition to water use, information on soil type in SEKID was determined using a LANDS system. Analysis of water use during 1998 (one of the hottest years on record) indicated that the district's drought year demand was on average 2.25 ac-ft/ac - 10% lower than the original figure of 2.5 ac-ft/ac used to design the system in the late 60's (Nyvall and Van der Gulik 2000). This represented a "saving" of over 1,300"ac-ft, considered at least partly attributable to the metering and scheduling project. Actual consumption was estimated to have decreased between 5-23% over the duration of the project. As a result, allotments based on this figure were allocated in 2001, fines of $100 imposed on users exceeding the allotment in 2002 and finally in February 2003, to charge for excess use above the new base allotment of 2.2.5 ac-ft (Board Minutes, February 19 th, 2003)! Consideration of a metered rate began after a serious dry year in 2001 where in June the district's main reservoir did not fill (for the first time in 30 years) (SEKID, 2003). 5.4.3 The adaptation process 5.4.3.1 Drivers There were internal and external, political and environmental drivers (Box 5-3: Status of water resources and demand). SEKID has always been a water-short district. In other words, water has never been abundant, the balance between demand and supply has been slim and therefore SEKID is vulnerable to drought situations. Total assessed area (in 2003) was 8,989 acres of which grade G land represented 3,360 acres. The 1987 drought left supplies augmented by storage in fairly critical condition throughout the Okanagan Basin. According to the SEKID monthly Manager's Report, in 1987 McCulloch Reservoir was at its lowest since 1973, and 1987 was the driest year in 58 years (since 1929) (Board Minutes, Oct. 6 t h, 1987). "X explained that the water supply situation had been very serious. Before runoff started there was approximately 4700 acre feet available which was 40% of the water use for most normal years. 4 0 A device that measures soil moisture. 103 The snowpack at the end of March was comparable to the 1930's and since the renewal of the system the District has not gone through a 30's situation of three dry years in succession. In 1930, with 50% rationing, the District still ran out of water by mid-August. " (Minutes, April 2d1', 1988) This event led to an initial Board discussion about how better to manage SEKID's water resource (Board Minutes, Feb. 2 n d , 1988). 1992 was also a significant dry year that initiated further talks about metering (Board Minutes, June 9 t h, 1992). Discussion occurred concerning availability of water if 1993, 1994 and 1995 followed a 1929-1931 scenario. According to the minutes the general feeling of the Board was that in order to be fair, all users should have flow-control devices on their mainlines and that water meters may be the only solution to long term management. It was also suggested that District could sell off assets to cover costs of purchasing flow control devices and meters (so water users wouldn't pay out of their own pockets) (Minutes, June 9 t h, 1992). Other possible drivers mentioned by interviewees included increasing need from residential development and the desire to upgrade part of the large tract of dry-land lacking irrigation. But why metering rather than just a continuation of supply expansion? Ensuring a viable future supply was key. But this could have been done with increased supply alone. Efficiency i.e. better management, and equity (it was evident that growers showed little constraint during dry spells) were stated as key reasons behind the implementation of metering. "We live in an arid climate and a limited water resource. 3000 acres within our district boundaries that do not have water rights on it. There is big demandfor residential development. How does one manage a limited resource equitably and meters seemed the logical choice? " S7 "Motivating factor was that they had no water at one time and they couldn't manage it. District manager said we have to shut people off (12 hours instead of 24). People were taking water at night and cheating. No way of tracking this down. They saw the benefit being that they have a management tool that if anyone ever cheats, can find out who they were. " S2 As regards external drivers of the metering project, during the late 1980s M A F F initiated a Meter Demonstration Project to explore the cost, potential maintenance issues and benefits of metering. The project involved the installation of 13 turbine meters in two Irrigation Districts in the Okanagan; namely SEKID and the Vernon Irrigation District. It was concluded that in SEKID 'actual water use on eight of the nine farms was significantly less than the design allotment' (Mould Engineering Services Ltd. 1995 p.5). The droughts also resulted in a more concerted effort by the provincial government to encourage conservation in municipalities (Board Minutes, August 11 th 1992). Based on discussion at Canada's first National Conference on Water Conservation, held in Winnipeg in 1993, the SEKID conference attendee concluded, 'water meters are inevitable, and a more efficient means of water use is required in the agricultural sector' (Board Minutes, Feb. 16th 1993). Finally, provincial indications that water conservation was to become a more predominant feature in policy acted as either an ignition, or confirmation that a metering approach would be wise (Minutes, August 11th 1992). 104 Box 5-3 Status of water resources and demand in SEKID Overall total yearly demand, approximately 85%, occurs during the summer months (May - September) when agriculturalirrigation is.heaviest. 15% is used during winter months to satisfy domestic demand. (Dayton and Knight 1994). The 1987 high demand is illustrated in Figure and table below. ,«,. . v. SEKID Annual Consumption ! ^ <p ^ <f # & ^ ^ ^ & & # S| Year Yearly SEKID water consumption (acre-feet-:AF) between;1970 ahd-2002: Data source: 1970-19921 = Dayton & Knight (i'994),1994-2002 Pike (2005i pers.'comm.)::; " ^ G J ^ ^ V t ^ ^ ^ ^ ' ' ^ ^ ^ ^ ' : ^ ^ ^ ^ ^ ^ ^ ^ ^ ^ ^ ^ ^ ^ ^ ^ ^ ^ ^ ^ ^ ^ ^ i In 2002,SEKID serviced 1,763 residential connections and 2275 haof Grade'A' (iie. land area serviced with water) compared with 657 connections and 1755 ha respectively in 1974 (see Table below). Year Grade 'A ' Number of Time Average increase Average increase Serviced Land residential units Period in Grade 'A ' land in serviced lots (Years) ha/year per year 1974 1755 657 1995 2156 1340 21 19 33 1997 2155 1447 2 0 53 1999 2238 1575 2 41.5 64 2002 2275 1763 3 12.3 63 Residential and agricultural growth'ih SEKID 1974-2002.Source: Mould Engineering Services Ltd. 2001) At the time of the 1994 LT WSP (prior to the implementation of the metering program), the Kelowna Official Community Plan foresaw the development ofanother 800 residential units and no significant increase in -Grade A lands.in the District over the hext:20 years (Dayton & Knight 1994). The latest Capital Works Program 2002-2012 foresaw a growth of 60 residential units a year until 2007 and thereafter 40.residential: ^nit^ei|iy:^^ Supply' 'v 7 j ^ The 1994 LT WSP report concluded that under a critical 1 in 10 year drought (preceded and followed by two consecutive years of average watershed yield), the District would not be able to meet the theoretical commitment from users (i.e. although at that time 5-337 acres of land was, of Grade A status only 4,200 was under irrigation) (Dayton.& Knight 1994), Under a drought year the estimated hydraulic creek yield (with current storage capacity) would be 12,188 ac:ft. compared with water committed to supply of 13,342 ac. ft (based on allocation of 2.5 ac.ft/ac.). As only 4,200 acres was actually,being used at that time (which the meters showed), consumption was approximately 10^500 ac.ft:, actually below the hydraulic capacity of the watershed under drought circumstances. , - : ,. ; 105 The possibility of receiving funding, through the Green Plan, to support the implementation of a metering project was also a motivating factor. However, even when the grant agreement was signed the Board decided to suspend the metering project (see barriers for why this was so below) (Board Minutes, Feb 7 t h 1994). Not until SEKID's two applications for licenses on Turtle Lake and McCulloch Reservoir were withheld on the basis of lack of proof that the water was 'necessary', did the Board agree to implement metering. What drove this bold move to use the 'beneficial use'4 1 argument in the Water Act as a lever to encourage SEKID to continue the metering project was a perception that water needed to be more efficiently managed considering the severely limited nature of the resource in the Okanagan. Thus although there was strong initial internal interest in metering i.e. the Board went as far as contracting a supplier for the meters, SEKID needed a reason that outweighed the concerns of opposing growers. "Group of people from the province that was pushing the idea. Not initiated from within SEKID. During my time on the Board and after - it was a perceived setting that if you don't do this there might not he more licenses issued to SEKID. I believe there was an obvious bribe. Some people driving an agenda and had picked SEKID to carry it out. " S6 It is clear that the rate on excess use was implemented due the continued blatant disregard for the District's allotments. During the 2001 dry year restrictions were implemented and allotments to irrigators reduced to 80% of the usual drought-year figure of 2.25 acre-ft-acre (i.e. 1.8 acre feet). Approximately 80 individuals exceeded their allotment, of which about 20 used over 150%. Although 2002 was a good water year, 65 landowners still exceeded allotment (2.25 acre-feet); one of which used 243%) of the allotment. Prior to a rate on excess use all over-users would be disconnected and pay $100 fee to turn their water back on. The Board scrutinized the fairness of the system because regardless of how much water a landowner applied in excess of the base allotment, the penalty was the same (SEKID 2003). 5.4.3.2 Options Options identified by interviewees were: reservoir expansion or development of Turtle Lake, implementation of simpler flow devices, education and farmer's own ingenuity i.e. implementation of more efficient irrigation systems. Those explored in the 1994 Long Term Water Management Plan included: universal metering, irrigation scheduling, reducing tail or spill water, additional system storage (McCulloch Lake and Turtle Lake), reduced blow-offs and use of groundwater wells throughout the year (Table 5-11). 4 1 "Beneficial use" is a concept in the Water Act designed to ensure that efficient use is being made of scarce water resources. 106 Table 5-11 Options explored in SEKID's LTWMP. Source: Dayton & Knight (1994) Option Savings or increase capacity l'ni\crsal metering 15% savings = 1,500 ac-ft Irrigation Scheduling 2.5-5%) savings = 250 ac-ft Reducing tail or spill water . Upt 2.5 ac-ft/d over 150 days = 375 ac-ft McC ulloch Lake 964 ac-ft Turtle Lake 600-1700 ac-ft Blow -oil's estimated at 1% annually 100 ac-ft Groundwater wells 1400 ac-ft Based on data gathered from US examples or irrigation metering, three rate options were considered for fining excess use (SEKID 2003). For example, depending on the rate a grower would either be charged $0.10 or $0.65 per 1,000 USG per acre for consuming 100% above the base allotment (Table-5-12). The allotment is 733,000 USG (2.25 acre-feet), so a farmer would have to pay $40.3 per acre under option 1 (Figure 5-4). Table 5-12 The three rate options considered by SEKID prior to implementation 10% 20% 30% 40% 50% 60% 70% 80% 90% 100% Option 1 (rate per 1,000 USG) $0.01 $0.02 $0.03 $0.04 $0.05 $0.06 $0.07 $0.08 $0.09 $0.10 Option 2 (rate per 1,000 USG) $0.10 $0.12 $0.14 $0.16 $0.18 $0.20 $0.22 $0.24 $0.26 $0.28 Option 3 (rate per 1,000 USG) $0.10 $0.13 $0.16 $0.20 $0.25 $0.31 $0.38 $0.46 $0.55 $0.65 107 Figure 5-4 The data displayed on each graph includes the "block total", which is the fee for the block, the "cumulative $", which is a running total of the block charges and the "block rate", which is the rate per 1,000 USG presented in the table (SEKID 2003). Option 3 - per acre: rate increase in 10% increments 0 fl j $0.70 I- $0.60 3 o o - $0.50 q - $0.40 u - $0.30 a> & - $0.20 | - $0.10 1 I- $0.00 block • Block Total • Cumulative S • Block Rate 5.4.3.3 Enabling factors and authority attitudes What enabling factors aided adoption to take place? The two former water managers of SEKID seemed to be pro-metering; firstly, suggesting metering as a response to low water content in McCulloch Reservoir (and as a better policing method), and secondly, in their willingness to explore the approach through the provincial Metering Demonstration Project. "Involvedpolitics, pressure from government and a progressive manager at the time who lost his job as a result. " K2 The Board's open mind toward considering metering as a serious option was also an enabling factor; without their support it would never have happened. Many considered metering to be about fairness, greater control and efficiency. Some considered it a way to save water and money, while others were not so convinced. Specific individuals were key actors in the move toward metering; firstly, in applying the "beneficial use" argument, and secondly, in aiding SEKID with its funding application and subsequently throughout the metering/scheduling program. "X ended up writing the terms of reference for tendering of the meters. He drove a lot of it - it would not have got done without him - if he hadn't taken a leading role. It also wouldn't have got done if the Board wasn't willing to co-operate. " S3 Access to funding through the Green Plan was a primary enabling factor, although some questioned the importance of external funding. Additionally, funding only covered the cost of purchasing meters, not installation nor maintenance. "Funding definitely had some influence, significant impact, but I think the project would have gone ahead without the funding because the strong will of the Board. " S7 108 "SEKID has always been thoroughly well run - not going bankrupt, so financing of dollars, the money was in the bank. Not a question of where is this going to come from. " S6 5.4.3.4 Barriers and obstacles In this case study, barriers were many. One significant initial barrier concerned grower's attitudes and especially suspicions. Many small events and circumstances fuelled general discontent in growers; it wasn't only concerns about metering but the conditions under which meters were implemented. "When started, huge mistrust. "They" are trying to screw me. " S4 Three concerns (attitudes) were repeatedly suggested as perceived grower concerns about metering. Metering was considered to be about taking water away to give to residents; the project was 'picking on the growers' and therefore was unfair. Underlying this fear was a sense that residential properties were taking advantage of something that growers had built and paid for themselves - threatening their ownership of the resource. " A lot more residential development in this area, growers thought there was more of them than there were of us. Metering was geared directly at the growers, but 85% of the water is used for agriculture, and it is really expensive to meter everything, so let us meter the biggest part of the pie. Many growers viewed that as they are picking on me and they are trying to figure out a way to get my water. " S7 "Many growers perceived that the project was being crammed down their throats. Perceived that water was going to be given to domestic development. " S4 Fear of the consequences i.e. increased water rates as a result of metering, was considered a concern of growers. "They were worried about the costs. Not that they weren 't concerned about not having enough water but at what cost. " S5 Finally, a sense that metering would impinge on the independence and flexibility of the grower was stated as a grower concern i.e. being 'monitored' was equated with a loss of freedom. "As a grower, give up freedom to do what you want with "your water". How much, when, how often. Small part of freedom has been taken away. " S4 Interviewees mentioned time and again that these concerns, amongst others, were exacerbated by what was named a "gag order" requested by the provincial government (Board Minutes, Dec7 t h 1993). Supposedly, this prevented the Board from directly (face-to-face) communicating and discussing universal metering with growers before an official press release was published. Mistrust and suspicion consequently ensued. "What the trouble was because it was under a government deal, the government wanted to make a big deal out of the project and we were told to keep our mouths shut about it. We were out there spreading info about this metering project and we weren't allowed to talk...Quite a few people upset and people knew what we were trying to do. " S9 However, the Project Conditional Grant Agreement specifically includes in its agenda, an early, initial mail-out to all farmers about the metering project with subsequent follow-ups. Reference to a 'gag order' probably pertains to the fact that farmers were not included in the initial decision-making process prior to the signing of the agreement as well as lack of a personal interaction between the Board, Green Plan Advisory Board and the farmers. 'Get local buy-in but tried to obtain it too late. If had public meeting first, we have these options, studies, what do you think. Public buy-in way before resentment.' S2 109 The fact that no bidding process was implemented to hire a supplier of meters also fuelled mistrust. High cost and the likelihood that metering would be traded-off against developing Turtle Lake or raising McCulloch Dam added to the opposition against metering which came to a head at the Public Information Meeting. These conditions were significant obstacles that made grower attitudes a serious barrier to metering. Other non-attitudinal barriers were cost, and potentially, lack of vehicles of financing or the ability to obtain grants. There were a myriad of obstacles. Communication was an issue between the Board and outside staff. Initially it wasn't realised that staff weren't of the same opinion as the Board. "Inside staff didn't get along with the outside staff...that fuelled it further. More importantly some of the outside staff didn't have the total bill of goods as to what was the game plan for SEKID. Don't think anyone spent the time to educate the outside staff to tell them where they were going or tell them the consequences. " S6 Other attitudinal obstacles were grower awareness and misconceptions about metering i.e. that reduced water use would lead to poorer production. However, it was generally agreed that many growers changed their opinion of meters after the completion of the five-year program, although some didn't i.e. the over users (see 1.1.4 Effectiveness section for information on current over-users). Technical obstacles included maintenance of meters and infrastructure surprises e.g. pipes not being where they were supposed to be. 5.4.3.5 Conflict resolution After signing of the agreement but prior to the implementation of the 5-year project, the Board of Trustees responded to a grower's petition by organising a meeting with the petitioners. A public information meeting was assembled to update farmers and residents that the Board was considering metering as an option. One-on-one meetings were carried out with staff to gauge their concerns about implementing a metering system. A leaflet outlining why SEKID was implementing metering was distributed amongst staff to prepare them for any questions from growers. Once resistance dropped, improved education and communication were the means to resolve any mistrust or concerns about metering. "Once the project went ahead the mood and atmosphere of the farmers had changed, in that they accepted that this was going to happen. The resistance part dropped, not the acceptance. The outside staff changed their attitudes quite a bit. New manager was proactive to communicate and to educate. Meter installation crew did an enormous amount with the landowners to calm the situation, gain acceptance and teach what some of the benefits were. " S6 Election of new faces (especially ones sceptical of metering) to the Board seemed to improve transparency. "Thought is was good that some people on board did lose positions to others who were against metering. New members came to the realization that metering was going to be good for district, save money and infrastructure. Turnedfrom naysayers to yaysayers and influenced many who were against that metering was a good idea. " S4 Finally, moving to a bid process to purchase meters reinstated trust, while change in management allowed for a 'fresh start'. Once the process began, effort was made to communicate, keep informed and educate growers about metering and scheduling through field days, reports, newsletters but most importantly one-on-one contact. Scheduling provided 110 growers with a means to learn how better to control water use based on need (soil moisture content). To ease fears about water rates, it was promised that there would be no rates until after the five years was up (a grace period). 5.4.4 Effectiveness 5.4.4.1 Project objectives The objective of the SEKID metering project as stated in the initial province-district funding agreement was to explore the effectiveness of demand-side management as a means to improve management of limited water resources in the Okanagan Valley, specifically through (BCMAFF 1993, p.16): 1. Implementation of a demand management strategy through universal water metering 2. Evaluation and demonstration of irrigation scheduling techniques 3. Determination of a rate schedule that reflects an equitable allocation of water to agriculture users. The expected results of the demonstration project was mainly to achieve a reduction in water use, and employ the results of the project to assist development of future water policies in the Okanagan Valley, specifically within the agriculture sector. In addition to a saving of 3800 ac-ft for a fully integrated demand management program other expected benefits included: • Allow agricultural users to monitor daily water usage • Provide database for system performance • Allow district to better manage supply system and account for losses • Allow district ability to charge fairly for water consumption • Reduce operation and maintenance costs 5.4.4.2 What interviewees said about success? Factors specified by SEKID (i.e. internal) interviewees that represented success were: 1. Greater efficiency/better management 2. Reduced consumption - reduce costs 3. Equity i.e. a more fair system Efficiency or better management was described as having greater control (both in terms of policing water use but also knowing where the water was going e.g. controlling leaks) and greater understanding of water use i.e. more accurate data. 'People don't believe they are wasting water unless you can prove it and can't prove it without meter. Before meters, we didn't think about the allotment. Difficult to police water abuse without the meter.' S8 11 'Good hard evidence to give to people. Show that they were using water as best as they could...Gives ID information to make better decisions. Farmer on their fields - can see whether there are leaks or not, and the Bailiff can do his job much faster.' S3 The general expectation was that reduced consumption would benefit the District during drought, 'savings' could be used for further expansion or could defer or reduce capital expenditure. 'Save water. Been in the District a long time and have experienced a few drought seasons and we have had problems with controlling the water at this end and as soon as you say drought, people start using more water at this end, so this way we can control water... The water that is saved keep it for storage in case of a drought year. Keep reserve up and don't have to worry so much the following year.' S9 'Financial point of view, reduce amount of water entering the system gives huge financial benefits -cost of running the system with less water is less cost to them, also chlorinate water so reduce costs of treatment -10% (conservative saving) has a real value and has a dollar value fixed to it'. S7 It seemed that as a result of excessive and misuse during drought periods a major expectation of metering was creating a more fair system of supply. In other words, over-users could be identified and dealt with accordingly. Additionally, farmers could now be held to account, as it was their responsibility to be aware of and control water use. 'Yes because we know how much water is being used on each farm and can target over-users or under-users. Can make incentives for over/under users ...Everyone has to adhere to the same rules. Every gets treated equally'. S4 As well as the above points, awareness and 'diffusion' were additional objectives mentioned by provincial representatives e.g. MAFF. 'Successful: raised awareness (get calls all over North America, farmers call about scheduling) about tools. Feedback. People are thinking we are doing a goodjob of management — what are you doing over there? Beginning to feel proud - reputable. We didn't have an initial objective. Ask what we were trying to do — not written down, based on late 1980s report. Got where we wanted to go. Raise awareness, implement meters, carry out a scheduling program. Saved water. Still potential to save a lot more water. Verifiable data... However, if had been really successful then would have had up take from other districts doing the same thing.' S2 5.4.4.3 Improved data accuracy: better management and equity Prior to the implementation of metering, SEKID's only source of data on supply and consumption was reservoir levels and a flow meter at the source. This provided an overview of total daily output, but no information on who and how water was being used. Insufficient data on water use was ratified during the project. Land-use, climate, water-use and soil data was gathered and input into a data management software during the 5-year project in order to determine the monthly theoretical water use. A GIS system - Land Analysis and Decision Support System (LANDS) - was initially used but proved not to be user friendly (Nyvall and Van der Gulik 2000). Thus a Microsoft Access system - Water Use Reporting and Land-use Database (WURLD) - was established instead. Statistics output included average water use for the district, total irrigated area, number of meters read, evaporation, the average water use for each crop and soil type combination, the high monthly water users for each crop and the high water users to date. Water Use Reports were distributed monthly from 1998 onwards to educate growers. Reports contained information on water use, water use to date for the irrigation season, a calculated water requirement based on climate and crop information and soil types in the district (Nyvall and Van der Gulik 2000). 112 According to Nyvall & Gulik (2000) benefits of meters in terms of management included: reducing work time for bailiffs, chance to update drawings, locate risers and valves, improve connections and ability to locate leaks. Data collected also indicated where potential additional savings could be made. It was noted that although evapotranspiration is significantly lower (by 50%) in June than in July, farmers only used 15-20%> less water therefore savings in spring could be significant. Additionally, high-density crops were shown to use 20% less than lower density crops. Although the W U R L D database has been discontinued at SEKID, meter data is still being used to identify over-users i.e. those that exceed the 2.25 ac-ft/ac allotment. Knowing how much each property is consuming has not only resulted in easier policing but enabled the implementation of an inclining block rate targeted at over-users to encourage restraint (Table 5-13). Table 5-1 3 Inclining block rate for over-users in SEKID. Implemented 2003. Block range (% excess of water allotment) >0 to 10% >10to 20% >20 to 30% >30 to 40% >40to 50% >50 to 60% >60 to 70% >70 to 80% >80 to 90% >90% Kate per 1,000 I S gallons: $0.10 $0.13 $0.16 $0.20 $0.25 $0.31 $0.38 $0.46 $0.55 $0.65 Finally, it was suggested that improved accuracy of data instilled confidence in SEKID's Board and management, resulting in the selling of water rights of 200 acres in 1997 and 57 acres in 1999 (Nyvall and Van der Gulik 2000). 5.4.4.4 Reduced consumption Kerr Wood Leidal Ltd. (1990) estimated that potential savings from universal metering (both irrigation and domestic combined) and irrigation system efficiencies i.e. from spray to drip irrigation, could be 38%, of which universal metering represents 20%. Based on the pilot meter project (as part of the Meter Demonstration Project) it was concluded that savings between 15 and 50% of allowable water usage could be achieved in the District. However, it was recommended that a 15-30% reduction would be a more realizable target (Dayton & Knight 1994) By comparing water use during periods of high evapotranspiration before and after metering, it was concluded that a saving of between 5-23%; an average of 13% was achieved during the project (Table 5-14). However, it was noted that the savings could be attributed to a number of factors in addition to metering and the scheduling program, including: conversions from inefficient irrigation systems to more efficient systems, general increase in awareness and the switch to a telemetry (automatic rather than manual) system at the intake (Nyvall and Van der Gulik 2000). An additional analysis was carried out of water demand during the summer of 1998, one of the hottest and driest summers on record. This analysis showed that average per acre demand was no greater than 2.25 ac-ft/ac compared with 2.5 ac-ft/ac, which is the original figure, initially used to design the water system. This represented a "saving" of 10%> or 1,300 ac-ft of water. 113 Prior to metering surplus water supply in the District under a drought year scenario was 19 acre-feet. Metering increased this surplus to 1,349. These savings are being used to regrade dry-land (Table 5-15). Table 5-14 Comparing pre and post metering water use in the district (Nyvall and Van der Gulik 2000, p.7-2) Pre - metering Post - metering Difference Year ET (mm) Water use (ft/acre) Year ET (mm) Water use (ft/acre) ft/acre % 1985 686 2.23 1998 700 2.12 0.11 5 1987 706 2.50 1998 700 2.12 0.38 15 1981 564 1.91 1996 565 1.81 0.10 5 1980 531 1.93 1995 526 1.55 0.36 19 1994 535 2.02 1995 526 1.55 0.47 23 Table 5-1 5 Water supply and demand in SEKID in 1998 (SEKID 2003) 2.50 acre-leet/acre (old) 2.25 acre-feet/acre (new) Dependable water supply 13,324 13,324 Drought year water requirement (5,322 acres of land) 13,305 11,975 Surplus acre-feel 19 1,349 5.4.4.5 Over-users Figure 5-5 shows the percentage of over-users in 2002. Although metering and scheduling did encourage many farmers to use their water more efficiently, as seen in this graph many continued to disregard the reduced allotment. 65 landowners in all over-stepped their water allotments. Tentatively, the metered rate has resulted in an additional 14 - 18% reduction (SEKID 2003). 114 Figure 5-5 Water use in SEKID in terms of % allotment N u m b e r o f G r o w e r s b y P e r c e n t o f A l l o t m e n t U s e d I -2002- I 160 5.4.4.6 Cost-benefit analysis Potential power and chlorine financial savings for SEKID was estimated at $138,382 based on an annual water use of 10,000 acre-ft (Table 5-16 and Table 5-17). This figure does not consider deferral of capital expenditure. It was estimated that the cost of an universal metering would be between $1-1.5 million, which compares to the figure of $1,193,000 ($441,000 for domestic and $692,000 for irrigation) estimated by Dayton & Knight (1993). Table 5-16 Potential water savings and cost of universal metering and irrigation system changes in SEKID. Source: Kerr Wood Leidal Ltd. (1990) Universal Metering Program ? Irrigation system changes Total Domestic Irrigation Acre-ft 1,842 1,780 3,622 Percentage 2 18 18 38 4 2 Cost (x$1000) 320-692 862 - 1,181-1,554 Based on a typical annual irrigation water use of 9,210 acre-ft 115 Table 5-17 Potential financial savings from implementing universal metering and more efficient irrigation systems. Source: Kerr Wood Leidal Ltd (1990). *Present value calculation based on 11% rate and 20-year period. Annual water use (acre-It) Annual power cost (S) Annual chlorine cost (M Water saving (%) % . ;;„ . • Annual power and chlorine savings ($) Total savings* (S) ' f . .; 10,000 12,020 33,171 38 17,377 138,382 In terms of cost, meter implementation costs didn't exceed expectations (Table 5-18). Costs were also shared between SEKID, the Canada-BC Green Plan for Agriculture and the BC Ministry of Agriculture and Food (MAFF). The Green Plan paid $204,358 for the purchase of meters (Nyvall and Van der Gulik 2000). Table 5-18 Total Project Costs (Nyvall and Van der Gulik 2000, p.6-1) Item Cost Meters $606,010 Irrigation Scheduling $118,500 General Data $22,800 Management L A N D S $70,330 W U R L D $37,265 T o t a l $854,905 Potential cost savings from reduced chlorine and power use have not been calculated. In terms of deferral of capital, the expansion of McCulloch Lake has gone ahead irrespective of reduced allotments. However, compared with the option of developing Turtle Lake, metering was calculated as resulting in a net-benefit (Table 5-19). Table 5-19 Calculation of program benefits (SEKID 2003) Description Metering Turtle Lake :,: ••. •' Program Cost $784,000 $870,000 Volume water "saved'Vcreated 1,349 acre-feet 680 acre-feet (dependable supply) Acres land possible to provide with saving 600 acres (1,349/2.25) 302 acres (680/2.25) Price of one acre of land $2000 $2000 116 Program Benefit (\alue of water rights) $1,200,000 (600 acres x 2000) $604,000 (302 x 2000) .Net Benefit $416,000 -$266,000 Benefit/Cost Ratio 1.5:1 0.69:1 Cost per acre-foot $581 $1,280 5.4.4.7 A wareness and diffusion Public information meetings, one-on-one meetings, voluntary participation in the scheduling project and water use reports were the awareness raising approaches applied during the five-year project. Growers that participated in the project were interviewed in 1999. Of the ten that participated, 60% felt that the water meters had 'made them more aware of their water use' and that irrigation scheduling reports were used in 'making irrigation decisions' (Nyvall and Van der Gulik 2000, p.7-4) In terms of increasing awareness outside SEKID, no data is available. What can be said is that no other irrigation districts within the Okanagan have followed in SEKID's footsteps i.e. implemented metering of agricultural irrigation water use. However, there is some evidence at least one other district is moving towards metering agriculture, Summerland located in the Regional District of Okanagan-Similkameen. 5.4.5 Learning 5.4.5.1 Learning to implement: information sources and learning means The initial learning activities undertaken by SEKID were to acquire knowledge about metering in order to make an informed decision. Providers of data were primarily consultants and MAFF, while further information about DSM was gathered by SEKID management through participation in conferences and workshops i.e. Canada's first National Conference on Water Conservation and provincially lead workshops on conservation, and visitation of other successful metering projects i.e. Coeur d' Alene (Minutes, August 11 t h 1992). Means through which learning took place (i.e. search and knowledge acquisition) was through option evaluation and experimentation i.e. MDP. Preliminary data gathering contributed to the overall understanding of the potential implications of implementing a metering program. Additionally, it provided a baseline for comparison between initial expectations and final outcomes, without which it would have been difficult to fully evaluate effectiveness. 5.4.5.2 Learning during implementation The project was an educational process for SEKID managers and users; a means to educate managers about how water is being used in the district and a means to teach irrigators about their water use behaviour and how to irrigate more efficiently e.g. through WURLD and monthly leaflets. Scheduling was always considered to be a function of convenience or a means to plan labour and not as a water use efficiency device. Changing this perception was one goal during the project. 117 5.4.5.3 Learning to implement: Interviewee reflections Although interviewees were not asked what they learned, they were asked what advice they would give others and how they would do it differently, which essentially provides an indication of reflective thinking. Ensuring integrity, trust and transparency, maintaining effective communication between all parties and involvement of users in the decision-making process were three factors identified as essential to reduce conflict. In terms of the process of implementation, applying a graduated program and ensuring enough time for preparation were key issues identified. Finally, it was mentioned that in order to get most out of metering it should be combined with education and a rate structure. "Overall SEKID has learned since completion in 2000 that metering is an effective management tool. "Our experience from 2003 is that we have ended up with an effective drought management tool. Our water use for the year was only up 2.5 - 3.0 % over our average use for the past nine years and our reservoir water supply at the end of the year was greater than at the start of the year, despite not fdling the reservoir in the spring (2003 was one of the driest years on record). " TP see Appendices. 5.4.5.4 Diffusion of learning: Evaluation and feedback In terms of learning from output, data output from the installed meters clearly resulted in learning. Prior to installation, SEKID had no objective information on individual water use. By providing real-time data on water use, metering provides a means for learning i.e. enabling one to answer the question - what management practises result in the most effective use of water? Metering has allowed SEKID the means to evaluate more effectively the outcomes of future management changes. SEKID metering project was an experiment for M A F F to learn in more detail the effectiveness of metering and scheduling as a means to reduce consumption, but also to learn what potential implementation hurdles one might face. The evaluation process contributed to learning in three ways: 1) to ascertain whether objectives had been achieved, 2) identify key hurdles, and 3) for dissemination. Provincial participants were other major recipients of learning. From one view, the project at SEKID has shown that no matter how much one attempts to change perceptions through soft means, the most effective drivers of change are through more direct means. "In spite of all our collective efforts to educate the public and raise awareness, eventually someone will need to take the lead and say the old way just isn 't good enough anymore. And needs to do so by sending a letter at a critical juncture in time. " NB (see Appendices) According to the M A F F representative, SEKID's demand management project has contributed to the development of Farmwest.com - a site that provides climate and scheduling data to farmers, and another program, Environmental Farm Plan Process, which provides information to farmers on how to improve irrigation system management. Finally, no other irrigation metering examples have taken place in the Okanagan, although Summerland in Okanagan-Similkameen is considering this approach. 118 5.5 SUMMARY OF RESULTS 5.5.1 Adaptation process Table 5-20 Summary of the key aspects of the adaptation process of each case study Adaptation V E R N O N Water reclamation <; \ w i . Regionalisation K E L O W N A Domestic metering SEKID Irrigation metering Signals (inilial primary events, information that initialises response) Milfoil invasion Provincial study identifying regionalisation as best approach to cope with balancing future demand and supply. Provincial water conservation campaign Extended hot growing season i.e. concern over meeting future demand with current capacity and conditions Means of detection Provincial study Provincial study and follow-up municipal study Inter-authority communication and/or internal planning process Provincial climate data (comparison with averages and extremes to project possible outcome from current conditions) Who delected/ interpreted Province Province Kelowna Management SEKID Management Attribution (the, identified problem) Phosphorus loadings to Okanagan Lake Access to supply and finances (an institutional problem, not an environmental problem) Water demand Overuse of water during dry spells and limited supply Decision: Option selection Reclamation selected prior to OBS report evaluating alternative options i.e. different tertiary methods of treatment. 1974 OBS report recommended three options: renovated Sewage Treatment Assessment between continuation of separate utilities versus a regional approach Assessment carried out as part of the 1974 OBS. Reassessment undertaken in 1988 (Joint Water Study). Assessment of options limited, mainly comparing business-as-usual versus an integrated demand-management strategy. Selection directed by Council carried out by Municipal Management Seems that metering was selected prior to completion of assessment of multiple options (LTWMP). Supply and demand options considered by contractor. Supply (heightening of reservoir dam) and demand options (metering and scheduling) selected (the former 119 Plant (STP), new STP and spray irrigation. Selection driven by values of Vernon Municipality e.g. Dave McKay. Regionalisation recommended in both instances. Several alternative implementation and governance structures considered through a discussion process. Driven by provincial agenda and municipal needs and perceptions. Identification of alternatives influenced by provincial campaign and local experiences conditional on the latter being implemented). Driven by provincial agenda i.e. provincial lead campaign, MDP, Green Plan, and M A F F interest. Decision: Political process Initial decision process straightforward - water reclamation selected without incident. Council, municipal management and provincial agreement. Water reclamation reinforced or disputed depending on political leanings - changed at each election cycle. Multiple decision-makers Strife with disagreement A process of negotiation and compromise Provincial agenda influenced direction - province acted as mediator Mainly Council-management interaction. Minimal conflict between decision-makers and users. Mainly a Board decision but province crucial in decision (funding and final push to commit to metering project. Consultants provided information (above). Post-decision public notification Implementation Many factors impeded continued successful implementation. Reclamation was repeatedly revisited and its selection as the key method for wastewater treatment and discharge questioned. Implementation just underway Municipal management in partnership with a contractor Step-wise: pilot project and public education, meter installation, grace period, metered rate Conflict between Board decision and public opinion Provincial intervention to ensure decision go-ahead MAFF, SEKID management and contractors (meter installation) involved in implementation Users informed during implementation process Evaluation Indirect evaluation of "success" i.e. water re-use No evaluation planned Ad hoc Evaluation carried out by MAFF. 120 and quality, through Liquid Waste Management Plan Each LWMP review influenced by values of local decision-makers - a different output each time Municipal management in partnership with a contractor Multiple criteria: reduced demand, cost deferral, implementation evaluation Evaluation integral to metering-scheduling project Multiple criteria Feedback Water reclamation not a secure treatment and discharge option therefore upgrades in wastewater treatment and a deep-lake outfall constructed for emergency use. However, water reclamation is still considered a viable option, especially as a source of "extra" water. No feedback as yet. More accurate information enabled identification of key hotspots (high-end users). More accurate information indicated that farmers didn't use or need previous allotment therefore reduced by 10% Implementation of a metered rate on excess use Data used to encourage implementation of similar approaches in other areas Across the board increased understanding of the value of water and need for efficiency approaches Conflict avoidance or resolution (methods that were implemented to avoid or resolve disagreement) Compromise i.e. trying to factor in S.O.L demands into water reclamation policy Farmer incentives Buffer zones around residential areas Scientific evidence Comfortable governance structure Expert information Awareness i.e. general and targeted education Preparation i.e. pilot study and grace period for adjustment Communication and discussion: public information meeting and one-on-one meetings New management New bid on meters Information and education e.g. field days, water use reports, etc. • 121 5.5.2 Context and adaptive capacity Table 5-21 Context and adaptive capacity summary of results Context and adaptive capacity V E R N O N Water reclamation C V W l Regionalisation K E L O W N A Domestic metering SEKID Irrigation metering Contextual drivers (factors influencing attribution, decision-process and evolution of the management strategy selected) Staff interest in an environmental alternative to treatment Public and political perception Tourism Federal-Provincial attitudes toward water reclamation i.e. in favour but eventually conditional beneficial Provincial wastewater regulation Need to update infrastructure Concern over water quality Growing population Protecting the agricultural community Limited resources e.g. limited financial capacity Push from provincial government to become "model region" Financial support Impending drinking water regulations Growing population Impending capital investment Comparative high per capita consumption Cryptosporidium outbreak Regional push for water conservation Increased residential development Large tracts of undesignated land Regional push for water conservation Conditional water license for further reservoir expansion Green Plan Funding Enabling factors (conditional factors "• that aided adaptive behaviour) Vernon's self-image Openness of the Council at the time Success of the pilot study on the commonage area Farmer benefits from application of reclaimed water Citizen support for avoiding discharge into the lake Political leadership Willingness to compromise Mutual benefits High level of awareness and interest of staff, Council and public Learning from neighbour experiences e.g. Vernon General "user pays" philosophy Progressiveness and proactiveness of staff Political acceptability of the approach i.e. average user Management pro-metering Board's open-mindedness toward metering Access to funding External expertise 122 would not be significantly affected Municipal financial stability Borrowing approval from province Win-win approach Harriers (factors that could ha\e stopped each project from going ahead) Political agendas Limited viable land for application Initial farmer attitudes against the use of reclaimed water (Spallumcheen) Mixed public perception Funding Political concerns regarding control (over the water management)/ political commitment Disagreement about water quality issues Potentially public acceptance of the expense No significant barriers identified Grower attitudes, discontent and distrust Potentially cost with lack of vehicles of finance Obstacles (problems that arose during the implementation process) Differing attitudes of farmers, the public, politicians... "Held hostage" by users i.e. abuse of incentives Cost of the project Definition of irrigation i.e. who bears the cost Information heavy Political sensitivity - differing political agendas and attitudes Reaching concensus Public attitudes i.e. water considered a plentiful resource Meters considered intrusive and controlling Internal communication between departments Some technical issues regarding installation Lack of direct communication with users Lack of awareness (both staff and farmers) Grower attitudes toward metering Lack of expertise in management 123 5.5.3 Effectiveness Table 5-22 Overview of the costs and benefits of each adaptation option. C A S E ' *' Identified benefits Identified costs ' Achieved outcome Who benefits? i i l i i Who pays/doesn't benefit? Scale of impact*? V E R N O N <- , Expansion of irrigated areas Displacement of freshwater Local community benefits Reputation Avert discharge into the lake -environmental benefits Gaining benefits from a waste -efficient More economical: reduced treatment and reduced use of high quality water i.e. summer peak demand, therefore cost-saving. Cost savings for users i.e. avoid fertiliser costs Cost Contentious politically Public perception Uncertainties - off-speck impacts, liabilities Unreliable - weather dependent Difficult to control use - as dependent on farmers Limited land base i.e. use -production balance Initial health issues i.e. quality of reclaimed water 100% re-use of reclaimed water after 1985. Avoidance of discharge into lake, except for 3 incidences. Participating farmers A l l public interested in maintaining pristine quality of lake City of Vernon = environmental reputation Province: data and information on efficacy of water reclamation Public (sewer fees) Province (initial capital costs) Those concerned with health implications of spray irrigation Local G V W U v. Efficiency and optimization (less bureaucracy, duplication) More cost effective + greater pool of resources Flexibility in terms of water sources Greater water resource security Safeguard the rural/agricultural community (maintain low Decision-making tension -multiple stakeholders Loss of control Higher costs for better water quality Trade-off between future benefits versus immediate benefits Too early to assess outcome. A l l service users i.e. better water quality and services Each participating party: Vernon: access to supply Coldstream: financial Support Urban users: significantly higher water rates Province: funding provision Each participant: giving up autonomy and decision-making power (in terms of the latter except Vernon) Regional 124 irrigation water rates) More expertise - advance management practises Same quality of water for all Fairness/equity Cost/burden sharing Better management - planning for long-term growth NOWA (agriculture): commitment to farming community & subsidisation of prices Province: observation of establishing a "model region" SEKID Easier to police/control -better, more efficient management Leak detection Greater data accuracy - i.e. know exact water use Reduce time for maintenance/policing Reduce costs e.g. treatment, avoid upgrades Equity/fairness More environmentally appropriate Only over-users greatly affected Possibility of putting more land into production, or saving water for a drought year Tool for a decision support system - once have that can instil an ethic e.g. speed limits. Cost Need for learning/training/expertise Data overload Attitudes Loss of freedom - more control Needs maintenance, reading, 'big brother' feel Trade-off with turtle Lake expansion Lack of uptake by other Districts 5-23% reduction in use. Realisation that actual use not as high, so reduced allocation to 2.2.5 ac-fit/ac. District management: better policing, "savings" that can be used elsewhere or to carry the District through dry years Farmers if efficiency gains not wasted on expansion e.g. domestic users Management: more technical know-how MAFF: experience and data on metering agricultural use Farmers: reduced water allotments and more fines (water becoming costly). Local 125 K E L O W N A No change in average cost to customer Water reduction Accurate data Shows unaccounted for water Identify heavy users Could target education on heavy users Better planning tool for 20-year service plan 5-10 year deferral of capital investment Reduce design standards for new development Cost of maintenance Time spent for public appeasement Total annual average per capita consumption dropped by 24.29% between 1998-2000. City of Kelowna: greater control, reduced infrastructure costs, water savings Average users: no impact A l l users: educational program on how to reduce water consumption to maintain low costs Over-users: higher water prices Local 126 5.5.4 Learning Table 5-23 Overview of learning in each case. *Two main consultancy firms used in the region for project planning are Dayton & Knight and Kerr Wood & Leidal. **A statement made by one interviewee. Vernon GVWU Kelowna SEKID . Sources of information during the decision-; . making process Consultants* Hired staff Provincial government Consultants Internal staff Greater Vancouver RD as analogy Provincial government Consultants Internal staff Edmonton Municipality Local examples: Vernon & Rutland Consultants Internal staff Provincial government US experiences Local domestic metering experiences Learning means OBS Pilot projects (initial pilot followed by small-scale projects in order to maintain water reclamation) LWMP OBS Joint Water Study Option evaluation Review of services (through implementation plan procedure) Regular report review of its serving plan Management research Council review Pilot study Evaluation Pilot project (MDP) Option evaluation (e.g. LTWMP) Scheduling = a teaching tool Post-project evaluation Internal learning: Behavioural or perceptual change Perceptual change toward wastewater: from waste to a valuable resource Water reclamation not only a treatment method but an alternative supply Organisational and governance structural change. But question as to whether "acceptance" of regional approach has really been achieved by parties. Need for improved water quality for health. User behavioural change - use reduction High-end users identified and targeted. Catalyzed further study into other means of reducing peak demand from outside water use. Partial management style change as Some users changed behaviour Management learned about actual water use. Improved drought management and: policing. Over-users identified No real change in management style 127 approach* Better appreciation for value of demand-management and education l^f^Ilil(iill Water reclamation not water. now an integral part of Kelowna's fully accepted as a Regional approach leading to approach. treatment method universal gain** Consensus not achieved Lessons learned: Better Ensure costs and Public communication and Build internal department Ensuring integrity, trust and "implementation" benefits are equally education crucial relationships transparency shared by users and Fair governance structure Education crucial Maintaining effective authority necessary but difficult to create Evaluation essential communication between all Mutually beneficial Equal buy-in - benefits to all Business-case must be convincing parties and involvement of users process - partnership Evolutionary process - prepare in the decision-making Real value reflected in for pitfalls Applying a graduated program cost of reclaimed water Common goal required for ensuring enough time for Buy-in from the partnership to work preparation citizens. Education Value the resource A rate structure with metering Diffusion of learning: No explicit learning Although the G V W U project Possibly diffusion of learning from SEKID was a provincial Feedback & , : objective i.e. evaluation drew on other amalgamation Kelowna's experiences with ogogrow "experiment", experiences from Evaluation not planned. stories i.e. Greater Vancouver (follow-on project) through the which would be used to Within the region e.g. RD, it remains to be seen how it Pacific Agri-Food Research Centre. encourage other Districts to City of Armstrong will be used as a "model region" Wil l Kelowna be a preferred reference implement metering. Minimal Between Vemon and to aid similar cases. for other municipalities considering success. provincial government. implementing metering or by the Influence wastewater provincial government as an example regulation. of a "success story"? 128 C H A P T E R 6. S Y N T H E S I S A N D D I S C U S S I O N 6.1 ADAPTATION The first objective of this study was to explore the adaptation process, specifically looking at the generic adaptation stages, general characteristics of adaptation and its properties. Although the four cases studies are disparate examples of adaptation, commonalities are present; specifically as regards the nature of the adaptation process as meandering and embedded in context. 6.1.1 The nature of adaptation Key stages in the adaptation process are well presented in theoretical circles. Applied to these cases they adequately describe adaptation process (Figures 6-1 to 6-5). However, the logical stages don't always follow in a neat consecutive order. Essentially adaptation isn't one linear decision cycle: the process can take two steps forward and then two steps back, stages overlap and there are multiple mini decision cycles. In each case study the decision process involved a seesaw of decision cycles between two milestones: initial tentative commitment and final decision (action). Through negotiation, compromise or force, tentative commitment evolved into action. In SEKID's case, the decision to go ahead was made but almost upturned by farmer opposition. SEKID had to take one step back and re-evaluate the situation before a final decision could be made. After several iterations and backtracking, G V W U implemented a governance and water service structure that had initially been discarded. Adaptation involves constant adjustment and re-adjustment of initial planned commitment rather than a clean-line from signal to feedback. As is usually depicted, decision comes after signal attribution and option evaluation as it is assumed that a decision is made after a rational assessment of the problem and available solutions. However, in two cases this was not so. In SEKID's case, final option selection occurred prior to the completion of its evaluation of alternatives: metering was selected prior to the completion of its LTWMP (Water Management Plan) assessment. In the case of Vernon, water reclamation was chosen prior to completion of the Okanagan Basin Study evaluation of alternative methods of treatment as well as consensus regarding the cause of milfoil presence in Okanagan Lake. Here signal attribution overlapped with the decision process. Agendas at different institutional scales can pre-define a decision before an adequate assessment of the problem is complete. Water efficiency and conservation was already on the provincial agenda, therefore option choice was delimited in SEKID's case. On the other hand, local environmental leanings in Vernon swayed option selection. 129 gure 6-1 Vernon time-line, adaptation stages and stage duration Vernon Time-line 1—1969 Adaptation Process Temporal scale r—1970 1971 1972 1973 I—1974 I I—1975 [—1976 0 Decision to go full-scale Canada-British Columbia Okanagan Basin Agreement Eurasion Milfoil observed Concluded that phosphorus from large municipalities main cause H ft >> O & 3 Initial signal 2. 3 —• o_ B. ft —1977 —1978 h—1979 H i 980 —1981 —1982 Hi 983 —1984 H i 985 Spray irrigation scheme completed and full-scale land disposal commenced. Monitoring, evaluation ami feedback Rapid Infiltration project: limited success Treatment plant updated to tertiary status with use) of Alum. -5 LMWP approved: deep lake outfall for emergency "1986 discharge Q > & 2 ? — 3 a. £ re l l Signal detection -initial decision: 1 yr ffinaf decision: 7 yrs) > Decision process: 5 yrs y Implementation: 4 (?) yrs (difficult to specify as constant changes and developments) New cycle prompted by implementation challenges and other factors J Figure 6-2 Vernon time-line continued Vernon Time-line —1988 1986 1987 1989 1990 1991 Five-year Forest Irrigation Project .Mayor Clark elected ^\Formation of Save Our Lakes environmental citizen lobby group Efforts to include Spallumcheen in —, spray irrigation project initiated • SOL initiates court proceedings \ against Vernon Council Arbitration: SOL & Vernon Ministry requirement to return to Cj agricultural focus Supreme Court of BC decrees outfall pipe must only be used in an emergency Provision of effluent to Predatory ® Ridge Golf Resort selected as CJ expansion option New Mayor, Mr McGrath, elected | 1992 O Vernon Council approves of metering as a water conservation program 1993 |—1994 O Sewage Treatment Plant renamed "Water Reclamation Plant." "1997 Public meeting about the new Q LWMP. Council accepts "Alternative 5". "1998 o F ' r s t e v e r discharge into Okanagan Lake (for 88 days). 1999 —2000 —2001 -2002 Dual system approach in LWMP approved New Mayor, Sean Harvey, elected Internal disagreement within the Council concerning the need for a BNR plant, and the future of water reclamation. | 2003 o Upgrading of treatment plant to a BNR status Adaptation Process -5 c ed a So 5 'I o * <2 i—J u 3 CO O -J a> D. > u on Q 9i w S I I i 1 11: Implementation I t J <D S) c re £ O re u -o IS* o *. .S a c o x * » 111 « a) 2 5 -o E c e -2 •- o u o o o 8> > *; o uj re c • 5 1 | o <" O „ 0 5 ft * IS d) if c n U ai •- a * re S I E 131 Figure 6-3 GVWU time-line, adaptation stages and stage duration GVWU Time-line Adaptation Process Temporal scale F — T989 — 1990 — 1991 — 1994 1995 1974 • [974 study advocating a regional approach in Greater Vernon area 1987-88 dry year 1988 I 1992 1993 1996 1997 1998 1999 2000 2001 2002 Joint Water Study Interim Regional Water Authority established O Poor (dry) winter $250,000 grant to facilitate establishment of Water Authority Interim Authority agree to one authority in principle MoU signed and transfer of VID assets to NORD • Consultant hired to develop IP I — 2003 IRWA agrees to Model D: pooling of supply assets only Committee representation changed from 7 to 9 members Governance issue dominates discussion -1999 municipal elections Closure of BX creek I Master Water Plan developed . GVWU approved and GVSC as the governing body established ' Implementation process ongoing GVW formally established C B 0 ~ s ° 1 > iS -o Initial SignaK K B9 = e = a o T e 2 f 5 ° 0 3 ^ ft: SP > P a 1 i I g W CO o SP s • '5 •_ £ -o i . |. o r = o re a Si. M £ 5 1 3 EL c E i = v s Signal detection -initial decision: 17 yrs (final decision: 27.5 yrs) Decision process: 10.5 yrs J Implementation: 8 yr process Figure 6-4 Kelowna time-line, adaptation stages and stage duration Kelowna Time-line Adaptation Process Temporal scale 1987 Dry year + Provincial lead local campaign 1 a —1991 —1992 1993 1994 h—1995 1996 h-1997 —1998 1999 —2000 "2001 —2002 "2003 I © Proposal to form a Water ( Conservation Program Recommendations to implement metering and an educational program adopted Provincial lead workshop on water conservation for municipalities National conference: water conservation Water saving devices mandatory for all new construction 1994-2014 servicing plan review Proposal on universal water metering & water saving devices Metering pilot study Schlumberger hired to install meters Installation of universal metering: completed mid 1998 Grace period with mock billing Implementation of a metered rate Metered rate modified Peak demand pilot project Peak demand pilot project 2 -5 B9 a. r. n 3 g 5' 5' 'Signal detection' -initial decision: 4 yrs (final decision: 9.5 yrs) Decision process: 5.5 yrs Implementation: 2.5 yrs Evaluation and feedback: 2 yrs New decision process evolved from the metering project Figure 6-5 SEKID time-line, adaptation stages and stage duration SEKID Time-line Adaptation Process Temporal scale — 1987 — 1988 — 1989 — 1990 1991 1992 — 1993 I — 1994 — 1995 1996 - 1997 1998 1999 2000 — 2001 — 2002 •I Dry year: concern that reservoirs would not fill to cover 1988 needs Provincial lead local campaign on water conservation i Participation in MDP Early 1992: concern it would be another drought year Universal metering study Funding negotiation with Province Conditional grant agreement signed L T W M P ^ . Meter purchase initiated Public information meeting Project halted and re-established New bid process commenced Implementation of metering complete Project duration 5 a eg Another hot year MAFF project evaluation Water allotment reduced to 2.25 ac-ft/ac | Another hot year: reservoir did not fill in June 1 .... K 2003 • Metered rate on excess use 1 J Another J decision cycle Signal detection -initial decision: 2 yrs (final decision: 6.5 yrs) Initial decision - Final decision: 5 yrs Main decision process: 1.5 yrs Conflict and decision process post conflict: .5yr Metering implementation: 3 yrs Monitoring, evaluation & feedback: 4 yrs In response to my analysis an interviewee stated: "...as with many types of these undertakings fimplementing metering in SEKID J, they have a tendency to evolve as they progress. In this instance, many elements came together in a way, which naturally led to the next logical step. In other words, you have presented a synopsis of what happened chronologically and in this instance those actions appear to follow a logical sequence. The truth is that there was no master plan " (SI 2). That such processes don't follow a systematic, rational pathway is one main comment. Adaptation, at least by early adopters, is an experiment that takes shape as it progresses through time. At different points along the process of change, at every turn, unexpected hurdles can change a preset plan, and without steadfastness push it off its tracks. Farmer attitudes in SEKID, governance issues in G V W U , and political cycles in Vernon all threatened to cease progress. 6.1.2 Embeddedness: system scale Unrelated adaptations at different scales can influence those at other scales. Provincial agendas, policies and regulatory structures significantly affected the evolution of the adaptation process in all case studies, whether they were directly related to the local issues or not. Water conservation was a provincial agenda that through key change agents (key individuals) influenced local action. However, it was happenstance that the review of drinking water regulations occurred at the same time that Greater Vernon was considering amalgamation, and thus became a key catalyst. Individuals were key change agents but they are associated with a larger value system. For example, Dave MacKay represented municipal management in Vernon at that time (although it is unfair to say that individual change agents aren't acting on their own volition). In sum, a municipality is embedded in larger institutional and social networks and groups i.e. regulation, society and culture. It contains the management organisation made up of individuals. Each outer circle constrains the action of the inner circle, while actions by the smaller units can influence outer ones. In other words, actions by the local authority occur within a shifting institutional stage that shapes how adaptation will proceed. Gunderson and Holling's (2002) presentation of adaptive change highlights this relationship between larger systems and smaller ones with the two concepts of remember and revolt in their panarchy model of adaptive change. Two additional relationships between institutional scales, tentively termed restrict and resonate, are also apparent (Figure 6-6). The remembering function seems more applicable in these cases. In other words, accumulated potential at the level of the province provides resources that aid local reorganization. SEKID is an example of this. SEKID is also an example of Federal resources aiding local reorganization i.e. through the Green Plan. Although the examples of G V W U and Kelowna are influenced by provincial policy, this seems more about setting boundaries and manipulating reorganization rather than local systems drawing on provincial potential i.e. representing restrict where bureaucratic systems constrain local change. Times of "conservation" at higher system levels can therefore act to facilitate smaller scale change as well as impede or limit change. Reorganisation at higher levels i.e. political or regulatory change, can direct change at lower levels i.e. resonate which means that release above can instigate release below. Revolt is highlighted by the different cases of local water contamination, illness and mortalities (both in BC and elsewhere in Canada) and subsequent action by provincial governments. This was indeed a ping-pong 135 example whereby system breakdown locally influenced system change provincially which then bounced back on a much broader scale i.e. through the Drinking Water Protection Act. Figure 6-6 How adaptation at different scales can influence change 6.1.3 Embeddedness: values and conditions Values influence signal detection and attribution as well as shape decision. In the creation of the G V W U , a clear barrier for the single utility approach was the lack of recognition or willingness to recognise that there was a need. Provincial government wanted it to happen, industry (consultancies) saw the efficiency benefits, especially due to impending water quality issues, but some representatives of the local authorities didn't. Reaction only occurred when need was considered great enough (i.e. when perceived benefits outweighed the costs). Although there was signal detection, the interpretation of the signal initially resulted in no action. With regard to water reclamation in Vernon, the signal was clear - phosphorus level inputs into the Okanagan Lake had to be reduced - the question was what should the response be? Water reclamation came about because the engineer at the time was 'conservation-minded', interested in re-using water. Although a single signal was identified in each case, other contextual drivers such as compounding pressures influenced detection and action (see Table 5.21 - results section). Urban development and need for more revenue were conditions that influenced SEKID's response to the 1987 and 1992 drought years. Regulatory change and actual water quality issues encouraged final go-ahead in Greater Vernon. The importance of tourism as a source of economic revenue in Vernon, and finally impending capital costs due to expected population growth in Kelowna. Concurrent conditions to signal detection define whether the signal is interpreted to be a threat to a perceived coping threshold, or just noise. Remember: Larger, slower systems facilitate reorganisation in smaller systems by providing well-established resources Restrict: Well-established, bureaucratic systems constrain adaptive ability of smaller systems. Resonate: Release in larger systems can cascade down to influence action in smaller systems. Revolt: Release in smaller systems can cascade upwards causing a critical change in a larger system. 136 One could hypothesise that political cycles might influence temporal character of an adaptation process. Perhaps commitment to an initial approach after signal acceptance would follow such cycles. In other words, did political cycles determine the time cycle of adaptation in any way? Local elections (every three years) certainly resulted in renewed effort or a change in course at least in the Vernon and G V W U cases. But it isn't clear that decisions and planning occurred within one cycle, or only during multiple cycles of the same political stance. SEKID's project had a five-year time-horizon i.e. within provincial political cycle, however its initiation and implementation occurred during a provincial election. In these cases, political cycles have acted more as disruptions than time frames for project proposals. Signal-response time is a result of perceived need that is defined by a combination of signal characteristics such as magnitude, observability, tangibility, and frequency in concert with prevailing conditions. Generally there is a lag between initial signal and final decision (Figures 6-2 to 6-6 and Table 6-1). G V W U utility represents the largest lag time of 27 years between signal detection and action. Speculation suggests that this is probably because the Okanagan Basin Study report was far ahead of its time. Presenting a scenario for amalgamation in 1974 when each water utility considered itself to be in an adequate state to balance supply and demand meant that action was considered premature by local decision-makers. In contrast, Vernon responded immediately to the observation of milfoil: it was the first observation in Canada, it was directly observable, milfoil was infamous as an aquatic pest that was difficult to control, and its presence threatened one of Vernon's natural resources i.e. beaches. Under these conditions, immediate response made sense. Table 6-1 Signal-response time (approximate numbers) Case Signal detection to initial decision (\rs) Signal detection to . final decision (yrs) Initial to final decision (yrs);. Kelnw n a 4 9 5 SKK1I) 2 6 5 < ; v w i 17 27 10 V ernon 1 6 5 Finally based on these case studies adaptation by early adopters is challenging. It isn't necessarily the technical, financial and human resource components that are difficult to muster or plan but subjective factors such as stakeholder values and political leanings. Although there are more common elements that seem to determine ease of implementation, three initial conditions of the adaptation process seem pertinent to note: • Nature of the selected management approach; • Newness of approach or previous experience; • Urban-agricultural history. Water reclamation is innately controversial because of the perception of wastewater as "sewage" rather than clean water. Selecting a management approach that is initially value-laden, at least in Vernon's case, contributed to subsequent implementation problems (i.e. farmer and some public opposition, provision of reclaimed water as a free service). Opaque risk issues also contributed to polarized debate. Ultimately, wastewater reclamation became only a discharge approach and not a treatment approach due to the risk perceptions. Newness of the approach, or lack of previous experience, in the three early adopter case studies meant that unexpected yet preventable conflict was not avoided. Finally, the urban-agricultural historical backdrop in the Okanagan meant that metering was met with strong opposition in SEKID as it was initially seen as a water-pricing tool, and Vernon obtained veto power as compensation for subsidizing grower water use. 6.2 LEARNING The preliminary objective was to determine the role of learning in adaptation. In general learning was limited in each case as it is not an explicit objective. However, passive learning (ad hoc reflection) does take place, while in the case studies where evaluation is a component of the adaptation process, learning is enhanced. Embeddedness of the adaptation process defines what learning takes place, as those solutions assessed and selected are a reflection of current agendas and values. 6.2.1 Limited substantial learning Behavioural or cognitive changes are considered to indicate that learning has occurred at the individual, organisational and even system (social) scale. At the individual level, personal reflection; in other words, new knowledge and experience resulting in some form of greater understanding or different perceptions, are indications of learning. Indicators of organisational learning include such aspects as changes in routines, management philosophy or improved efficiencies based on the main objective of the organisation in question. In the case of water management, improved efficiencies in resource use would indicate learning. Finally, system (social) learning is a broader shift of the social unit within which the organisation is embedded or which the organisation governed (and beyond). In business management, an indicator of learning from a behaviourist point of view would be a decrease in reduced cost per unit output overtime. When transferring this notion to water resource management, learning would have occurred if efficiencies were achieved. In other words, the local authorities would be better able to manage their water resources. Interpretation of "better" is of course subjective, for example an economist might view efficiency different to an environmentalist. Taking "better" to mean either reduced water consumption without detriment to the user, then SEKID and Kelowna both "learned". Taking "better" to mean reduced wastewater output to Okanagan Lake, then Vernon "learned". Taking "better" to mean more efficient use of existing supply, then the municipalities now forming the G V W U have learned. However, interpreting learning as the achievement of organisational efficiency is a rather "single-loop" form, where fundamental routines are not questioned, just streamlined. Dewy (1927) suggested that knowledge is validated when it aids a policy-maker in settling a dispute, and the resulting "settledness", however temporary, represents the transformation of this knowledge into learning. Essentially, if all parties come to some sort of agreement or mutual understanding then learning has occurred. 138 Kelowna, SEKID and G V W U would then represent cases where social learning had eventually taken place because conflict was either minimal or overcome. In Kelowna's case domestic metering was already socially validated as it had been implemented elsewhere in the region (and extensively in British Columbia) thus reducing potential for conflict from inception. Although knowledge might have been validated in the case of G V W U and SEKID, it wasn't enough to ensure settledness during decision and implementation. Lack of trust was the significant element in both cases that initially thwarted the manifestation of learning. Vernon's story of water reclamation seems one continuous struggle. Perhaps with both water reclamation and a high quality treatment plant fulfilling preferences and concerns of the majority of users, settledness will finally be achieved. Another indicator of social learning would be changes in entrenched values or norms within the system under study. On one level none of the adaptations have as yet resulted in a significant shift in values. Issues of autonomy and control still prevail and challenge the new status quo even under the latest governance structure of the G V W U . Although water efficiency is now prioritised in SEKID and many farmers have reduced consumption, savings were not used to reduce the district's vulnerability to drought but to regrade dry-lands (i.e. allow further development). Vernon was considered to be a forward-thinking municipality in its implementation of water reclamation. However, water reclamation was never fully accepted by all factions as the preferred water treatment and disposal option. However, ultimately reclaimed water did come to be seen as an extra source of supply, which in a sense is an example of learning resulting from experience; albeit unexpected. Generally speaking, although "re-perception" might be limited in these cases there is indication that values about water are changing. Specifically, decision-makers and users value the water resource much more because of its increasing scarcity. Finally, does learning go beyond each local system? Has diffusion occurred? Indications of diffusion are present with respect to water reclamation, and some initial developments with respect to SEKID. The City of Armstrong has now implemented a 100% wastewater reuse system at the bequest of the provincial government. The province, as well as the City of Armstrong, learned a great deal about water reclamation through Vernon's experience. Kelowna is a receiver in a wider process of diffusion about domestic metering. Whether its experiences will contribute to greater efficiencies in other communities in the Okanagan is to be seen. Diffusion is influenced by the same factors that have been explored with respect to adaptation: provincial policies, resources, and perceptions in conjunction with perceived need. Other than with respect to SEKID, and possibly Vernon, no systematic effort has been initialised to spread gathered knowledge. 6.2.2 Some apparent constraints to learning A key mechanism for learning in any adaptation process is through option evaluation. Consideration of alternative solutions opens up the door for new knowledge to enter a system. However, as noted previously, selection is not unbiased and is based not only on local authority needs and resources but also values or agendas at the time. Initial learning is therefore limited to the "available" (i.e. based on judgement) options, and therefore selection of a "new" approach is limited at conception. Although provincial agendas were significant in option selection, knowledge did stem from outside the local authorities and provincial government in question. External experts were employed to 139 inject information into the decision-making process. Information was also sought from those outside the region who had adopted similar practises. Other than SEKID, learning was not an explicit project objective in the case studies. Post-project evaluation is a prerequisite to learning. Without such a process, individual reflection throughout adaptation is not documented for internal or external use. This doesn't mean that learning didn't take place: SEKID, Vernon and G V W U were all used as a means to learn for provincial interests. What it does mean is that making learning an explicit objective could improve internal reflection and diffusion of experiences. However, including learning as an objective won't necessarily prevent conflict or overcome the reality of political agendas and differences in stakeholder values but rather ensure that lessons can be reflected upon and passed on to others. 6.3 EFFECTIVENESS Thus far comments have focussed on the general features of the adaptation process: its meandering nature, embeddedness and lack of explicit learning. But regardless of its nature, were these adaptations effective in terms of outcome? Simplistically, each implemented project eventually achieved their pre-project objectives: 100% wastewater reuse in Vernon, reduction in and more accurate data on water use in SEKID, and significant reductions in Kelowna. It remains to be seen whether G V W U will achieve its pre-defined objectives such as more secure water supply and financial capacity. With every approach there are costs and benefits in the broad sense of these terms. The question is, did these projects result in net benefits? From a cursory look, the answer would be yes for the three completed projects (Table 5-22 in results summary). Metering clearly resulted in significant direct and indirect benefits that outweighed costs. Direct benefits included reduced consumption (more effective with a pricing regime included); more accurate data which allowed for better planning; ability to target problem areas; deferral of future capital outlays and with respect to Kelowna no change in average cost to the consumer (i.e. only the main offenders were penalized). Indirect benefits included means to identify unaccounted for losses, easier policing (e.g. SEKID), more fair pricing and environmental appropriateness. Other than the financial outlay required to implement metering, a key "cost" is the potential for conflict (i.e. consumer dissatisfaction or opposition). This was most apparent in SEKID where disgruntled growers almost caused the cessation of the metering project. Although 100% wastewater reuse was achieved in Vernon, direct benefits resulting from water reclamation, including: avoidance of direct discharge into the lake and cheaper treatment, were outweighed by the shortcomings of the wastewater reclamation system. Wastewater reclamation is weather sensitive, so depending on conditions, and current reservoir capacity, emergency discharge was necessary. Ultimately, wastewater reclamation didn't reduce the costs of treatment because it wasn't a fully acceptable approach politically; perceptions of applying wastewater to land, albeit well-treated, wasn't necessarily tolerable as the only means for treatment. Reclamation did, however, 140 have many side benefits: creation of an additional water supply; community benefits as regards expansion of irrigated area; and cost savings to agricultural users (i.e. they were receiving a free fertiliser). Although it is early to say whether G V W U will result in net benefits, provincial and local authorities expect that sharing management of geographically common water resources and customers should result in greater efficiencies. However, the governance issue is still not fully stabilized. Creation of a central decision-making body comprising different authorities could result in more bureaucracy and greater conflict. A common issue pertaining to cost is subsidisation and equity. In Kelowna's case, the new volumetric price structure covered the cost of the service. This was the only case where provision of the service was not subsidised in some way. In all other cases, the price of water for the agricultural community was subsidised by domestic users or provincial funding significantly aided implementation. Although rates were implemented for excess use in SEKID, it wasn't developed as a full-cost recovery system. In Vernon, reclaimed water was free, while public sewer rates increased. A volumetric water pricing structure was universalized in G V W U , while water prices for the agricultural community remained unchanged, and provincial borrowing allowed for reduced customer water rates. 6.4 ADAPTIVE CAPACITY Based on discussions of adaptive capacity in climate change literature, there are three levels: general societal features, and from an individual, organisational and institutional perspective: objective and subjective capacities (Lorenzoni, Jordan et al. 2000; Smit and Pilifosova 2001; Yohe and Tol 2002). General societal characteristics such as wealth, demographics, education were not studied here. However through the analysis of adaptation process it was possible to identify some objective and subjective components of adaptive capacity i.e. factors that enabled action and ease of implementation (Figure 6-7). 6.4.1 Objective and subjective capacity It is clear that many objective factors contributed to adaptation in these cases: financial capacity, expertise, technology, and institutional structures. For example, Green Plan provincial funding contributed to the go ahead of irrigation metering in SEKID, while access to provincial loans ensured lower domestic water rates in G V W U . Access to expertise is a requirement in any new development especially during problem definition, option evaluation and implementation. Technology that fits the specific physical challenges and user-maintenance needs contributes to a successful outcome. Legislation and regulation can be effective barriers as some are institutionally entrenched such as the prior appropriation system of water rights. But changes in regulatory regimes can be effective means for directing change either directly or indirectly. Subjective capacities also influenced the adaptation process. For example, the desire to act in Kelowna's case, decision-maker values in Vernon's changing political landscape, or simply having a perception that it needs to be done e.g. SEKID (Ministry representative). Trust is a pivotal element in enabling the adaptation process. In the case of SEKID, the manager being fired, contracting a new firm of consultants, and election of new members to the 141 board are all elements that lead to greater trust in the purpose and fairness of the metering initiative. Creating the G V W U hinged on the establishment of a suitable governance structure, which was ultimately based on trust between the co-operating partners. Perceptions of each initiative also influenced response. Water reclamation was a controversial approach that never really embedded itself into the values of the politicians because of its very nature. The reference, starting point or timing i.e. the initial conditions, is crucial to how adaptation pans out. Kelowna is a good example of this. The municipality was financially stable, they weren't the first to implement metering and they had had an educational program on water conservation in place for several years before the event. These conditions aided the process of change; not necessarily determined the smooth ride but aided it. Being the first - the early adopter - is on the other hand much more problematic. SEKID didn't foresee such grower opposition (that the 'gag order' would lead to suspicion). Implementing water reclamation gave Vernon its environmental image, but there were many significant unexpected consequences along the way. Being first in something is always an experimental procedure as unforeseen consequences are inevitable. 6.4.2 Capacity effectiveness Effectiveness of objective determinants for aiding change is dependent on many different factors. Timing, magnitude, relevance and application will all influence whether such factors will actually have an impact or not. Effectiveness of financial capacity is dependent on its magnitude and timing relative to perceived need. Direct experience-based knowledge (as opposed to scenarios and second-hand information) is much more effective for driving home the message that something needs to be done and for avoiding obstacles. In other words, early adoption is likely to be more challenging. Technology has to be adaptable to the specific conditions to which it is being applied. Evaluation of the relative weight of each determinant aren't possible here but it is safe to say that many factors have to be in place simultaneously for change to occur. However, each determinant is not mutually exclusive from the others. How one impacts another in combination, whether they negate, compliment or enhance capacity, is another question. It is obvious that resource capacity and access to resources alone are not enough to drive change; someone needs to firstly know that the resources are accessible and secondly want to use them. 142 Figure 6-7 Overview of objective and subjective capacities needed for adaptive change Objective Senior government Financial capacity & stability Access to funding mechanisms Internal expertise & knowledge base / Access to training opportunities / Local government \ Subjective Expertise Knowledge o Management values Attitudes toward change Risk preferences: aversion/seeker \ \ Trust / Management philosophy / Organisational cohesiveness bet management, decision-makers & electorate Wkical cycles, political acceptability, leadership 6.5 EFFECTIVE ADAPTATION: CAPACITY, UNDERSTANDING AND LEARNING There is much detail, richness and diversity in these case studies that articulating simple conclusions is challenging. Figure 6-9 provides a synopsis of the key lessons from this study. It is, however, safe to conclude that what is needed to initiate appropriate and effective adaptation are: 1) Understanding, 2) Willingness, and 3) Capacity (objective). Adaptation is embedded in context. Understanding the specific context in which adaptation is occurring (or will occur) is key in identifying appropriate measures and ensuring an aware process. Changing circumstances (contextual drivers) determine whether a signal is worthy of response and will shift and modify action, especially prior implementation. Willingness or human agency, especially individuals in positions of leverage is vital if appropriate change needs to come about. Resources, objective capacity, must be available or accessible. These components are the same three aspects identified by Gallopin (2002) with respect to decisions pertaining to sustainable development (Figure 6-8). 143 Figure 6-8 Three components required to initiate appropriate adaptation (Callopin 2002) These three components are also crucial not just for initiation but also for the whole process. Understanding the context will aid selection of appropriate options, aid procedural ease and outcome effectiveness. Understanding, awareness, should be a consistent objective of the adaptation process from signal interpretation to feedback. Education and communication (not only public education, but staff and Council education as well as interdepartmental communication) are aspects of the adaptation process that were identified as means to reduce conflict. Willingness in the form of perseverance in the face of challenges will ensure follow through (admittedly compromise is likely). Finally, objective capacities such as human and financial resources have to be maintained throughout the adaptation process. Three additional aspects, however, are crucial to effective adaptation from a process perspective: preparation, trust and learning. Ideally preparation through proactive planning and action allows time for the social system at hand to "unlearn" and realign to a new way of thinking or doing. However, even planned adaptation will encounter pitfalls and unexpected factors will shape ultimate outcome. Trust implies strong social networks and organisational cohesiveness. If there is trust between stakeholders, conflict won't necessarily be avoided but at least it will be constructive. Based on interviewee statements, engendering trust is aided through the type of decision-making procedures employed. Transparency, clear communication, and stakeholder participation, were highlighted as solid methods for achieving a just and possibly smooth transition. Finally, learning is key to achieving effective adaptation. Learning i.e. through evaluation and diffusion of experiences tends not to be explicit in adaptation. Adaptation lessons could be more effectively learned, acted upon and transferred if learning was explicitly made 144 part of project objectives. Several aspects of these cases suggest some obvious means to improve learning in an adaptation process. Firstly, in order to measure success an initial base for comparison is required. Only with a picture of pre-adaptation conditions can decision-makers effectively understand knowledge output. Secondly, "testing" an approach prior to full implementation is a usual means to learn about potential issues. This "testing", however, should also involve a social component (i.e. public input, justice, perceptions) as these can represent greater hurdles than physical, economic or other resource limits. Thirdly, planned monitoring and evaluation of output, but also procedural success, should be a pre-requisite to any adaptation. Figure 6-9 A descriptive framework of adaptation with prescriptive elements i.e. key lessons about what is effective adaptation. Characteristics of this framework that compliment or supplement other frameworks are: Embeddedness (or contextualism), multiple signals en route and the integration of learning into the adaptation process. Five elements are critical to selecting appropriate options, aiding procedural ease and achieving appropriate outcomes: 1) Understanding the context especially during the decision-making phase; 2) Implementation in a step-wise fashion to ease the change; 3) Making learning an explicit aspect of the planning process e.g. by including ensuring that evaluation takes place; 4) Allowing time for iteration of the decision process; 5) Encouraging diffusion of lessons learned. 145 Signals can be external environmental factors, internal issues or can be institutional changes e.g. regulatory developments. A signal must be construed as a key threat - not just an impending problem - for action to take place. Signal-response time is a result of perceived need that is defined by a combination of signal characteristics such as magnitude, observability, tangibility, and frequency in concert with prevailing conditions. Signal recognition and interpretation Feedback Evaluation, which is a crucial component of learning, wasn't an explicit component to all the projects. This limits potential for learning internally (iteration and adjustment) and learning externally (diffusion of experiences). Iteration & adjustment ^Knowledge articulation & codification Monitoring & evaluation Ajpucte;} aAiidtepv Implementation much more effective, or problem free, i f step-wise or gradual. Pilot projects prior to implementation help identify potential problems which can subsequently be avoided or planned for. Decision process tended to be the step during the adaptation process that took the most time. This is the point at which disagreement can thwart progress. In each case additional "signals" along the way nudged the process forward or backward. Local political will or provincial intervention determined final direction. Trust pivotal for action to occur or conflict to be avoided. 146 C H A P T E R 7. A D A P T A T I O N T O C L I M A T E C H A N G E IN T H E O K A N A G A N : W H A T C A N BE A P P L I E D F R O M T H I S S T U D Y ? Two questions can be asked when applying these case studies to the issue of climate change impacts in the Okanagan: 1) What lessons can be learned from these studies that might be useful in planning adaptation to climate change impacts, both in terms of specific conditions and adaptive capacity? 2) Do the adaptation options studied here have the potential for reducing vulnerability to climate change (while being sensible measures for tackling current pressures)? 7.1 LESSONS LEARNED: CONTEXT AND CONDITIONS IN THE OKANAGAN These cases reveal the complexities involved in any major decisions. Initial conditions set the scene for change, while many factors along the path of adaptation shape the journey and outcome. Specific conditions that could prove challenging to adapting to climate change impacts (in concert with other stressors) are outlined below. 7.1.1 Values and perceptions The values of individual decision-makers and institutional values (i.e. agendas and policies) at different levels of government, as well as the values of users, significantly influence signal interpretation, option selection and the character of implementation. Grower attitude toward the water resource is a significant issue for adapting to future climate change. Firstly because irrigation still represents the dominant water use but more importantly, these attitudes are historically entrenched. Significant financial support for agricultural infrastructure has ensured access to cheap water, and water has been a plentiful resource with allotments based on peak demand needs. In order to maintain low water rates, capital will have to come from another source - so who will foot the bill? Residential spread onto agricultural dry lands and into the agricultural community is an increasing pressure on a resource that was once (and still is) the privilege of the farmer. Prior appropriation, which underpins water rights regulation in British Columbia, means that this privilege under drought conditions is maintained - at least without significant conflict between different user needs. Farmer attitudes are not the only perceptions that one needs to be cognisant of. The sense of ownership also extends to the local authorities, as G V W U exemplifies. Advocating any form of regional approach (which is a key provincial agenda since the Okanagan Basin Study) requires buy-in from all involved, realisation of mutual benefits, comprise and ultimately trust. 147 7.1.2 Financial issues Although access to financial support didn't manifest as a barrier in any of the cases (in other words, financial support was available - at the right time), it cannot be assumed that financial sources will stay the same or at the same level in the future. Provincial funding and borrowing schemes come and go and are susceptible to governmental leanings (such as the Green Plan). How provincial funding and lending for local water management infrastructure projects will evolve, will partially determine whether the future burden of cost will fall more and more on the consumer. Additionally, as the resource becomes scarcer, price structures will be used to curb use. Rated metering in residential areas, such as in Kelowna, poses minimal conflict and there seems little reason not to apply this to all urban areas in the Okanagan. If increasing water rates for both residential and agricultural users is inevitable, there are implications. What about consumers who cannot afford increased water rates? What will the impact be on the agricultural community? How does cost relate to crop type and global food markets? Should the urban community subsidize the agricultural community? Unsurprisingly, access to provincial funds is key. It was intimated in the interviews that funding is used to forward provincial agendas e.g. G V W U and SEKID projects (agendas being regionalisation and water conservation respectively). In summary, the key questions regarding financial support that would be useful when discussing adaptation to multiple stressors, including climate change are: • Who should bear the cost? • What is acceptable cost? (Differing perceptions of political acceptability and equity) • What will the cost be to the individual? • Who should have access to provincial-federal funding and provincial lending? Under what conditions should they be disseminated? 7.1.3 Politics and policy In each case, political will was cited as an important enabling factor; without political buy-in, a decision is hard to make. However, adaptation (especially over the long-run) is susceptible to changes in political agendas. As one interviewee put it, the action has to be politically resistant. Differences in perceived public (political) acceptability is another potential barrier. What might be considered acceptable in one region might not be in another. Regionalisation is most prone to political concerns because the challenge is getting 'buy-in' from multiple stakeholders. In terms of inter-governmental issues, transparency is needed to engender trust between the different levels of government (e.g. as in SEKID's case). Regulatory change is an effective motivator for local change. The challenge is to ensure that the resources are there for effective implementation. For example, a Ministry representative noted that there are no longer sufficient 'extension staff to go out and talk to farmers in the field. In terms of water quality, more stringent standards will be 148 costly for local government if funding is not available. The application of "beneficial use" is another example of regulatory pressure. Could this be applied more stringently as water resources become scarcer? 7.2 REDUCING VULNERABILITY: OPTION EFFECTIVENESS AND APPROPRIATENESS Reducing vulnerability to potential impacts is the key goal of adaptation whether from a climate change, hazards or other resource management perspective. Building resilience has been put forward as the overarching means to reduce vulnerability. This means that an adaptation measure would have to increase buffer capacity and build capacity for adaptation and learning i.e. adaptive capacity (Folke, Carpenter et al. 2002; Tompkins and Adger 2003). Although each measure has certain aspects that fulfill these criteria for reducing vulnerability to impacts on water resources, vulnerability is only reduced if the capacities are set aside for unforeseen future pressures rather than for further development (Table 7-1). Equally, an adaptation such as the creation of the Greater Vernon Water Utility might increase vulnerability if\t is allowed to become inflexible and rigid. Table 7-1 Reducing vulnerability Vulnerability Vernon: wastewater reclamation G V W i ; : utility amalgamation SEKID: agricultural metering Kelowna: domestic, metering Buffer capacity New supply source Shared supply Shared finances Shared knowledge & other resources More efficient use and monitoring of existing supply More efficient use and monitoring of existing supply. Deferred capital expenditure. \dapti\e capacity Doesn't obviously increase adaptive capacity, except perhaps the option of using reclaimed water for non-potable uses i.e. urban irrigation. Shared finances & favourable with provincial government i.e. access to their support More accurate data - allowing for quicker and more effective response by management under stress. Better means for policing and controlling water use. More accurate data - allowing for quicker and more effective response by management under stress. Better means for policing and controlling water use. Deferred capital expenditure. Potential aspects thai could increase vulnerability Increase vulnerability if use of wastewater increases economic dependency on the water resource -more vulnerable farmers. Increased institutional rigidness. Increased decision-making time and bureaucracy. If "savings" are used (rebound effect) rather than set-aside for difficult times, no increase in buffer capacity has occurred. If "savings" are used (rebound effect) rather than set-aside for difficult times, no increase in buffer capacity has occurred. 149 There are many types of adaptation measures that can be implemented to cope with stress and change. Measures can be implemented at different scales by different institutions. Realistically, which option is the most appropriate depends entirely on context: available resources, type of stress, geographical location... as well as values and judgement. Prescriptive criteria have been proposed for screening available options to identify those that are most appropriate (de Loe, Kreutswiser et al. 2001; Ivey, Smithers et al. 2001). These criteria portray various characteristics that would make an option suitable for adapting to near-term climate change: 1) least resistance i.e. ease of implementation and available resources; 2) financially viable i.e. cost effective and equitable; 3) applicable under uncertainty i.e. no regrets, flexible and reversible; 4) sensitive to other goals i.e. minimum environmental impacts and consistency with community goals; and 5) applicable under climate change i.e. flexible and reduced vulnerability. Metering domestic water use with a rate structure fulfills all of these criteria: it is a least cost option, equitable, flexible, requires minimal institutional and structural overhaul, and reduces pressure on the water resource. Metering irrigation fulfills many of the same criteria, however it isn't a path of least resistance as growers take for granted that water is cheap and plentiful (Shepherd, Tansey et al. 2004). Wastewater reclamation is potentially difficult due to issues of physical barriers (e.g. vulnerability to vagaries in weather), and perceived barriers (e.g. perceptions of health risk) to implementation. Utility amalgamation requires significant initial financial outlay and institutional reorganization, would not represent a path of least resistance, is not flexible or easily reversible, and at least in the example of G V W U , resulted in domestic users subsidising agricultural water use (see Table 7-2 for comments on each approach based on the screening criteria). In conclusion, according to these screening criteria, institutional reorganization would be the last approach to take after acceptable technical and economic fixes were in place. There is a time and place for each adaptation option, starting with those that represent paths of least resistance, but decision-makers must simultaneously endeavour to pave the way for more substantial, yet challenging approaches. 150 Table 7-2 Screening the case study management approaches for applicability as near-term adaptations to climate change in the Okanagan Basin Vernon: Water reclamation G Y W V : Utility amalgamation SEKID: Metering irrigation Kelowna: Metering domestic No regrets: justified under existing hydrological conditions No regrets: As these measures have been implemented without climate change in mind, they are by default "no regrets" options. However, what repercussions they might have is yet to be determined, especially in G V W U case. Flexible: effective under different water regimes Flexible but: If interpreting this approach as a "water producing" process, then it will work under different water regimes. However, the amount of reclaimed water available is at the mercy of the weather, therefore the extra supply isn't fully predictable or reliable. Flexible?: There are too many aspects to this amalgamation to answer this question fully. Focusing purely on the local governance change, the question must be raised - will the governance structure hold (and be fair) as it becomes more difficult to meet rising demand, or if climate change results in more drought episodes? The assumption is that by sharing supply, it will be used fairly & efficiently. Flexible: As a purely monitoring tool, the effectiveness of metering is not compromised by changing water regimes. As a means to change consumption patterns in combination with a constant unit charge or similar fee structure, it is flexible as rates can be changed to further curb consumption or as a source of revenue (although only up to a point). Implementable: existing resources , • < • ; -<,. There are different resources one can talk about. If there is local and provincial will, then financial resources will be made available. Affordable technology could be a limiting resource. Expertise and knowledge are another category of resources that could limit successful implementation. Some specific comments are made below. 151 Some absolute limits: Vernon was particularly suitable for water reclamation e.g. soil types. Armstrong now reclaims 100% of its wastewater while other authorities such as Penticton use some reclaimed water. If physical & infrastructure capacity allow, then there seem to be resources, and a desire, for its expansion elsewhere in the Okanagan. Some absolute limits: In this case, financial resources e.g. provincial borrowing possibilities, were available. Again as regionalisation is a provincial agenda, other moves in this direction would probably receive positive provincial support (assuming this agenda stays the same). As with water reclamation, physical feasibility e.g.being able to connect infrastructure might be impracticable elsewhere in the Okanagan. Access to financial support: Many Water Districts are small and probably would not have the financial means to implement metering. Unless another source of funding is easily accessible e.g. user pays, then this could be a significant barrier. No obvious barriers: At least in Kelowna's case, resources were not inadequate. Other municipalities have implemented domestic metering, which suggest that it is a very feasible option. Kase of implementation: feasible measures thai do not require major financial outlays, institutional arrangements or radical shifts in behaviour. Perception barriers and financial outlays: On the one hand, relative to wastewater treatment water reclamation was deemed no more expensive. On the other, much human dedication and financial resources were required to maintain 100% application. Water reclamation requires a perception change - that wastewater isn't waste but a valuable resource. This is a significant hurdle. Radical change: Utility amalgamation (both supply and distribution) required a significant institutional re-arrangement and financial outlay. Shift in behaviour and perceptions: Metering irrigation requires a significant shift in perception by agricultural users. Feasible: No major financial outlays, institutional or behavioural changes required. Responsive: consistent with community goals Responsive: Protecting the water resource is consistent with regional goals as is using water efficiently. Questionable: This is the challenge here - achieving consensus amongst multiple partners ultimately means compromising distinct needs and goals of each. A balancing act: Achieving better control and more efficient use of water is a community goal. However, at the same time protecting farmers and ensuring affordable and ample water is also a goal. Currently, Responsive: Penalizing over-users, better more efficient management and a more fair charging system is consistent with community goals 152 metering and definitely pricing are not acceptable means. For example, in the creation of G V W U , partnership was based on an agreement that farmers would be protected from increased water prices. This attitude will likely change. Reversibility: can he altered in the future as new information arises Aspects can be altered: Can be altered and has been during the past 30 years with respect to type of land application of reclaimed water. Although not considered a significant risk now, health and land contamination i.e. off-speck cases, could be potential reasons for discontinuing water reclamation based on new found information. However, increased wastewater treatment could waive any fears. Difficult: Such an institutional change alters the core method of decision-making and water management. It would be difficult to reverse such a course of action. However, assuming the governance structure is unchangeable the infrastructural component could be tweaked and modified if necessary e.g. water prices, supply distribution, reclaimed water. Aspects can be altered: If necessary, metering could be stopped without significant repercussions, unless it becomes a significant source of revenue. Fees could be adjusted if required. Miuimi/e environmental impacts: do not stress natural systems unnecessaril) Reduces some environmental impacts: Water reclamation is a process that is considered to reduce stress on natural systems in terms of pollution (although treatment followed by direct discharge is considered by many to be just as acceptable). Additionally, if water consumption did not increase, it could displace some use of fresh water. Difficult to comment regarding this adaptation it is still in the stages of implementation. No significant environmental impact: If metering results in a reduction in use, further supply expansion can be deferred and less water treated, which could reduce negative impacts on the water system in question. Cost effectiveness: economic efficiency, in other words Only a brief look at the costs and benefits of each adaptation, in a broad sense, was carried out in this study (Table 5-22). Generally, the benefits seem to outweigh the costs. This is obvious in the Kelowna and SEKID cases. However, water reclamation met many 153 benefits outweighs costs. obstacles and underwent many changes which cost is difficult to estimate. G V W U project is still under implementation, so ultimate cost is still unknown. Equity: beneficiaries accept costs, user pays, amount consumers', pay should . -capture full costs, no social subsidies i.e. no activities subsidised by others. Social subsidies: Beneficiaries do not cover costs. Water reclamation in Vernon is still a burden for the City. This is a key disadvantage, although it will likely change in the future. However, it could take some time, and would require local political will or provincial intervention to ensure that the price of reclaimed water reflects its value. Social subsidies: Significant cost burden between urban users and farmers. It was openly stated that farmers are being subsidised by urban users i.e. increases in water rates by domestic users will cover maintenance costs. Although the argument is that farmers don't need the same level of treatment for irrigation than urban users, therefore subsidisation is justified. Almost equitable: Significant portion of implementation was borne by provincial government. However, maintenance covered by the Water District, although likely subsidised by domestic users. Equitable: Cost of providing water to customers is covered by water rates. Reduce vulnerability: does not increase sensitivity to climate change Potentially but "rebound effect": If climate change in the Okanagan ultimately results in a reduction in total physical supply, reclaimed water could act as an additional source. If not exhausted on expanding irrigated area, then it could also be used as a backup during significant drought periods Questionable: Amalgamation of utilities in Greater Vernon is considered the best option for securing water supply and meeting demand than continuing on as separate utilities. However, repercussions of institutional changes are harder to predict, especially as the project is still in its early stages. For example, Vernon's veto provides it with decision-making power, which could potentially cause difficulties later - or not i.e. under water-stressed conditions. Potentially but "rebound effect": Although metering indicated that use was 10% lower than previously thought, and some farmers reduced use as a consequence of metering and scheduling, vulnerability has not been reduced. This is primarily because the "saved' water has been allocated to allow for further development in the region. Potentially but "rebound effect": Although metering reduced peak demand ultimately these savings will go to fulfilling Kelowna's development agenda. 154 Increase adaptive capacity Coping capacity: It improves coping capacity which under the "social resilience" definition an adaptive system, means it increases adaptive capacity. More rigid institutionally: Although sharing supply and distribution increase some capacities e.g. financial, decision-making procedures might become wrought with conflict under increased stress. Better management tool: Metering provides the manager with more accurate information on where the water is going. This information allows for greater efficiency and flexibility in management, therefore increasing adaptive capacity. Relative effectiveness: These case studies have not been studied in order to discern which approach is the better. See benefits and costs in Table 5.22. 155 C H A P T E R 8. A F T E R W A R D 8.1 RECOMMENDATIONS I have chosen to end with some recommendations regarding adapting to climate change in the Okanagan - as part of the afterward rather than in conclusion. This is because although they are grounded in the study they go beyond its boundaries, as well as academic constraints. Some recommendations and comments are very specific while others are general: 1. Integration: If adaptation in a water management context already occurs in response to other environmental pressures, climate change will simply exacerbate already present water issues (rather than pose new threats), then climate change adaptation policy should be integrated with current environmental policy - a sustainable development approach. 2. Step-wise approach: Although against my desire to recommend paths of resistance, a step-wise approach as suggested in the last chapter seems very sensible. So, "paths of least resistance" should be pursued first but in concert with efforts to prepare the ground for more effective yet controversial adaptations such as pricing. For example, experimenting with different price regimes with willing growers. 3. Update of OBS: After the drought of 2003, the provincial government has proposed to update the Okanagan Basin Study carried out in 1974. This fits well with my conclusion that "understanding" is key to initiating change and ensuring ease of implementation. 4. Learning: Learning needs to be a priority. Gathering together of data from other experiences, experimentation where possible and ongoing evaluation of local success studies will aid in this endeavour. A database of "adaptation success stories" relevant to climate change might be useful - even from a global perspective. A central administrator would be needed for this. 5. Relationships and trust: Relationships between authorities at different scales are very tense. A significant obstacle to adaptation is this status quo. If the Okanagan Basin Water Board is to have a broader mandate, trust between it and various authorities is essential. 6. Carrying capacity: Currently the Okanagan has not reached a threshold where limits to water resources will limit development. However, this could occur within the near future i.e. 30 years. Either impacts to the environment will have to be accepted or growth will have to be curbed. Encouraging awareness of this impending situation now will allow time for considerations of needed action. 8.2 FURTHER RESEARCH This study has great potential for further research because it covers many topics. Some areas where I think further research would be most appropriate and appreciated would be: 156 1. Adaptive capacity: Identifying the relative importance of adaptive capacities. For example, a study could be done looking at the impacts of political cycles and changing agendas. Alternatively, subjective prioritisation by interviewees of specific capacities could be carried out. How to objectively determine relative importance would be difficult. 2. Verifying study conclusions: Analysing adaptation process of multiple examples of one management option to verify specific issues identified in this studied e.g. attitudes towards wastewater reclamation. 3. Reducing vulnerability: A more detailed analysis of each approach in terms of reducing vulnerability. For example, Tina Neale a colleague in the "Expanding dialogue on climate change and water management" project is developing scenarios to see whether different demand-management strategies will reduce vulnerability i.e. increase buffering capacity, considering population growth and climate change projections. 4. Learning: A more explicit analysis of learning, specifically how experiences are diffused and the role of the provincial government in diffusion. 5. Provincial government: Analysis of underlying principles of provincial government regulatory framework to determine how these institutions frame i.e. impede or enable local adaptation 6. Water pricing: Implications of changing structures of irrigation water use i.e. impacts on farmer behaviour but also attitudes of farmers to pricing - What is acceptable? Where is the cut-off point? 157 B I B L I O G R A P H Y Adger, W. N . 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"Indicators for social and economic coping capacity - moving toward a working definition of adaptive capacity." Global Environmental Change 12: 25-40. 165 A P P E N D I C E S APPENDIX 1 EXAMPLE QUESTIONNAIRE Interviewees: External Organisations Preamble My name is . / am for a project entitled "Water Management and Climate Change in the Okanagan Region ". This project is a collaborative effort headed by Dr. Stewart Cohen of Environment Canada, and Dr. Denise Nielsen and Dr. Scott Smith of the Pacific Agri-Food Research Centre in Summerland. The project also involves researchers from the University of British Columbia, as well as local water management officials from the City of Summerland and the BC Ministry of Water, Land and Air Protection. We have organised this interview in order to learn more about metering in SEKID. Basically to learn about the evolution of the approach from motivation to idea to proposal to implementation, and what happened along the way. Please answer as fully as you can and avoid yes/no answers. Be as specific as possible, giving detailed answers and avoiding generalizations. Just treat me as if I am new to the subject having no prior knowledge. Please ask for clarification if a question seems ambiguous. If you don't know the answer or do not wish to answer please state who might aid us with such information. Any input is crucial and of interest to us. I will try to avoid interrupting your train of thought by asking any questions of clarification at the end of each answer. However, I may prompt you for more detail if deemed necessary. Although the interview will be recorded, I will be making notes throughout the session. We expect the interview to take no more than 11/2 hours. Definitions Water metering: Unless otherwise stated this refers to metering of irrigation connections in SEKID and the accompanying educational and "incentive " components. Water management: Unless otherwise specified this refers to both the operational and broader task of water management e.g. demand/supply, watershed conservation, etc. The questionnaire: The role of the interviewee/organisation What was your role, were your major tasks and responsibilities, within your organisation during SEKID's metering project? When did you begin working for "your organisation "? Are you still working for your organisation? If not, when did you stop? What role does your organisation generally play in local water management? What role does your organisation generally play in promoting/supporting water conservation? What was your organisation's role in SEKID's metering project? What was your specific role in SEKID's metering project (selection, design, implementation)? Initial idea, circumstances and reactions To the best of your knowledge, describe how the idea of metering in SEKID came about. Who put the idea forward? Why? What do you feel were the initial reactions of the decision-making body i.e. the trustees, to the idea? What was your initial reaction? The reaction of your organisation (and other related organisations) to the idea? 166 What was the reception of the initiative by the groups most affected? Prompt: Compliance? Resistance? Was their any coverage in the media? Was this coverage positive? Were their any vocal opposition and support among other stakeholder groups? What do you think were the crucial motivations or circumstances that lead to the consideration of metering? Prompt: Was there an acute crisis out of which the idea emerged? Were their political