One day until opening ceremonies

Hope everyone is looking forward to the fun week of events we have planned around Water! Remember to stop by the UBCO courtyard tomorrow at noon-1:30pm to watch the opening ceremonies and check out the many display booths, games and the farmers market! For more details of the events happening on Campus and around Kelowna check out this link:

-Rhiannon Wallace

WWW  Student Coordinator

Updated schedule and key note speaker event downtown Kelowna

I have updated the schedule and you should find it on the right hand side of this page beside the calendar:) Any questions feel free to reply to this post or send me an email (

On Wednesday March 21st, 7-9pm our Key Note Speaker: Yehalem Metiku will be speaking  in the Mary Irwin Theatre at Rotary Centre for the Arts – To register for the Key Note speaker event please follow the link below:

-Rhiannon Wallace

UBCO WWW Student Coordinator

So who is the keynote speaker of the 2012 WWD at UBCO you ask?

This year the WWD planning committee has arranged for Yehalem Metiku to be the keynote speaker for the three day event. For those who are unfamiliar with Yehalem and his work I have included a short biography.

Yehalem Metiku has over 15 years of experience working in progressively more senior positions with development organizations. From 1996 to 2001, he was Director of Education and Project Manager for an orphanage in Ethiopia which was run by Terre des Hommes, a Swiss child-focused charity. From 2002 to 2003, he was Program Director of an Ethiopian charity that focused on providing relief to poor and vulnerable mothers and children. Yehalem then became Program Director of the Ethiopian Association for Voluntary Service, a charity that worked closely with Oxfam-Canada to promote voluntarism in Ethiopia. Since 2006, he has served as Country Representative for Partners in the Horn of Africa, a Canadian charitable organization engaged in community development work in Ethiopia.

Prior to his involvement with development organizations, Yehalem was a high school teacher who taught in public and private schools in Ethiopia, as well as in Saudi Arabia.

Yehalem holds a Bachelor’s degree in history from Addis Ababa University, and a Master’s degree in Public Administration from the University of Victoria, Canada. His Master’s thesis focused on tools for selecting projects, monitoring project progress, and measuring results in small-scale development programs. During his graduate studies in Canada, Yehalem also worked as Policy Analyst with the BC Medical Services Commission, and as HIV/AIDS Evaluation Consultant with the BC Ministry of Health.

Myself and the committee are really excited to have Yehalem part of our event!

-Rhiannon Wallace

UBCO WWD Student Coordinator

Water for Food

Hey here is a neat video created by the United Nation’s. This animation tackles the subject of Water for Food and aims to show the relationship between food production and water use.

World Water Week 2012

Planning for this year’s World Water Week is well underway and there are a variety of exciting events happening on campus and in the community. The World Water Day committee headed by John Wagner as well as the UBCSUO will help facilitate the events and presentations for World Water Week 2012. World Water Week will commence on Tuesday March 20th and will run through until Thursday March 22nd .  This year the United Nations has selected the theme to be ‘Water and Food Security’.  To kick off the week we will be having the opening ceremonies in the UBCO courtyard on March 20th 12-1:30pm. The opening ceremonies will consist of art installations, musical performances, food vendors and guest speakers all of which promise to be interesting and informative.  This year’s keynote speaker is Yehalem Metiku who is the country representative for Partners in the Horn of Africa, a Canadian charitable organization engaged in community development work in Ethiopia. Once again the Creative Writing students will be hosting a poetry slam and there will also be discussion on the topic of ‘water and food security’ hosted by the Okanagan Basin Water Board. Special thanks to all of the World Water Day Committee members for their valuable input and offers to showcase UBC-O’s commitment to local and global water issues. More details will be soon to come regarding specific events and schedules for the three day WWD event.

Rhiannon Wallace

UBCO World Water Day Student Coordinator


World Water Week 2011

Thanks to everyone who came out to show their support and celebrate water this week for both on campus and off campus events.  This year we had the most student and community participation than ever before. World Water Week 2011 was another fabulous success.

World Water Day Opening Ceremonies
Please join us for the many fun and exciting events planned for opening ceremonies on Tuesday March 22nd at 12-1:30pm in the UBCO Courtyard. There will be a drum procession, musical performances, speeches by dignitaries, slam poetry as well as poster displays and art installations. The Student Union will also be having a free BBQ and giving away over a thousand water bottles. Several booths will be set up by community members, UBCO course unions and other campus departments.

Dr. Oliver Brandes on Watershed Governance

Dr. Oliver Brandes will give a public talk from 2:00 – 3:30 pm, in LIB 312, immediately after the Opening Ceremonies. Dr. Brandes is Associate Director of the POLIS Project on Ecological Governance at the University of Victoria, and Director of the POLIS Water Sustainability Initiative.  The title of his talk is: Setting a New Course – Towards Watershed Governance in British Columbia. The full abstract for his talk can be found below.

Please note that his talk has been moved to LIB 312 and will not be held in LIB 305 as first announced.

World Water Week – Panel Discussion

Hi everyone,

We are two weeks away from our world water day panel discussion and everything is coming together nicely. This year’s discussion is being held at the Bohemian Cafe (524 Bernard Av.) on Tuesday, March 22nd. Agenda below.

The panel discussion topic is: Water in an urbanized world: Water, food, land and people in the Okanagan.

The panel members include:

· Oliver Brandes, Polis Institute

· John Janmaat, UBC Okanagan

· Toby Pike, SEKID

· Domenic Rampone, local farmer

· John Wagner, UBC Okanagan

· Anna Warwick Sears, OBWB


5:00 introductions and welcomes

5:15 introductory ideas from panel members (3 minutes max)

5:35 facilitated discussion with roundtable participants

6:00 public questions & answers

6:25 wrap-up / thank you / networking

Each panel member will provide introductory comments. Panel members will then have an opportunity to comment and ask questions of other panel members. After the panel members have an opportunity to explore their ideas, we’ll take questions from the floor. If the crowd is small enough the facilitated table discussion and public q&a session can be combined.

I’m looking forward to a good evening of discussion around a range of ideas about Okanagan water in an urban(izing) world.


Nelson R. Jatel,
Okanagan Basin Waterboard
Water Stewardship Director

Setting a New Course – Towards Watershed Governance in British Columbia by Oliver Brandes

Water and not oil will be the resource that defines prosperity in the 21st Century.  BC’s Water Act is over 100 years old and well out of date, no longer able to deal with existing and emerging water issues in the Province.  Recognition is rapidly emerging that water is where the impacts of climate change will be felt, with longer drier summers, diminished watershed health and function, and reduced storage in snow pack, glaciers and aquifers. Conflict, drought and water scarcity loom, even for a relatively water wealthy place like BC.

To ensure a prosperous future the BC government has committed to modernize its Water Act and to build capacity for water conservation, stewardship and security by investing in effective governance, institutions and models for management. The implications for the rest of the country are significant as this modern Water Act could be a national leader that shows the path forward to a more sustainable approach to water management and governance.

In the face of reduced government finances and resources, and increasing demands for better collaboration by First Nations and stakeholders like local government, stewardship groups, business and industry, provides a perhaps once in a lifetime opportunity to update the current regime.

This presentation will explore three specific options and opportunities for water and governance reform in the province. It will build on research and leading models from around the world and the detailed policy paper released by the POLIS WSP – Setting a New Course by Brandes and Curran.  The presentation will reveal key strengths and weaknesses associated with each proposed model and offer some conclusions about how a more sustainable water future for BC is possible. It emphasizes that clear goals and strong regulatory standards particularly in the areas of watershed and public health, as well as local expertise and involvement in decision making will all contribute to better governance. The work extends the understanding of water watershed governance and recognizes that modernizing our approach to water management and governance is the urgent challenge if we are going to ensure community and regional prosperity.

To ensure a current and focused discussion this review will address Government’s ongoing Water Act modernization process and will emphasize the need to build institutional and ecosystem resilience for a more prosperous water future.

World Water Week 2011

Hello everyone!

I am very excited to announce that World Water Week  planning at UBC Okanagan is well under way for 2011. This year’s theme is “Water for Cities: Responding to the Urban Challenge”. So far,  we are just in the early stages of developing our schedule of events but it looks like this year will be one to remember.

This year World Water Week will be overseen by  Leanne Bilodeau Director, Sustainability Operations and myself Allisha Luther your student coordinator. Leanne, myself and John Wagner (our Steering Committee Chair) are looking forward to the various events that are planned for this year.

As our keynote speaker this year, we are very honored to have Oliver Brandes.  Oliver is a political ecologist who has been involved in various environmental and development projects in Costa Rica and Ecuador, including a tropical reforestation initiative, water treatment facility construction and a sea-turtle restoration project. He also worked in Canada’s North for the territorial judges at the Nunavut Court of Justice. Additionally we will have a variety of events from the student body and community member throughout the week.

Please stay tuned for further updates!

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