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Leading water expert Robert Sandford to speak in Nelson

Photo by Mikael Kjellstrom, Calgary Herald

Leading water expert and author Robert Sandford, co-chair of the Forum for Leadership on Water (FLOW) and chair of the Canadian Partnership Initiative for the UN Water for Life Decade, will stop in Nelson this Friday as part of a cross-Canada tour to raise awareness about water security issues.

“Governments need a Canada-wide strategy that effectively addresses current and emerging threats to freshwater security,” says Sandford. 

“Transboundary water issues may have particular significance in this region as we approach 2014, the date by which either the U.S. or Canada must serve notice of intent to renegotiate the international Columbia River Treaty signed in 1961.”

As a resident of the Rocky Mountain community of Canmore, AB, Sandford has been writing and thinking about water for decades.

Most recently, he has co-authored with Merrell-Ann Phare, Ethical Water, Learning to Water What Matters Most, a book that in part explores lessons from trans boundary water reform between the province of Alberta and the Northwest Territories.

“We can learn from a clear path for reform outlined by policy makers, Aboriginal governments, community leaders and the general public in the Northwest Territories,” says Sandford.

Sandford will speak at noon-hour Rotary and again at Touchstones Nelson at 7 p.m. The FLOW tour is primarily funded by the RBC Blue Water Project and locally sponsored by Touchstones Nelson: Museum of Art & History.

Admission to the event is $5 for members, $7 for non-members.

Joining Sandford in a local discussion panel at the Touchstones event will be Gerry Nellestijn, coordinator for the Salmo Watershed Streamkeepers Society and Eileen Delehanty Pearkes, author of The Geography of Memory.

  • Sandford will also speak in the Slocan Valley at the Passmore Hall on Saturday evening, Nov. 5 at a dinner fundraiser for the protection of water.  For more information about that event, contact Marilyn Burgoon at 230-226-7324.