WaterWealth 2020. The Future is Nigh!

y2k-newsweek-cover_orig.jpgAre you old enough to remember New Years 1999? Did the year’s first two digits ticking over feel like the future had arrived?

Y2K brought plenty of concern over how computer systems would handle “00” in software with two digit date codes. As an electrician at the time I got to do some interesting backup generator installations. With about $3 trillion a day worth of transactions going through old COBOL systems, COBOL programmers were being enticed out of retirement to do a lot of the work that turned the Y2K scare into a non-event.

Maybe all the Y2K hype contributed to the arrival of the year 2000 feeling like a bit of a non-event too, at least for me. But 2020! That feels like ‘the future’.

WaterWealth volunteers have been using GPS, cameras, and off-line digital maps, all just on our phones, to identify sites where tiny blue-tooth enabled in-stream temperature loggers, made available through a very generous donation from the Visscher Group of Companies, will be deployed in the Chilliwack River Valley. Configuration and later data retrieval all done - bet you can guess - just with our phones! This work would have been complicated and cost-prohibitive just a couple of years ago. But 2020, here we come!

The groundwork of identifying sites has taken longer than anticipated, largely due to inaccuracy of provincial maps. We’ve identified streams that don’t exist on the ground, one that exists but disappears into the ground before reaching the Chilliwack River (no spawning up that stream!), and others that don’t exist on the maps. Will be connecting with the province about updating the maps, but we’re nearly ready to submit our list of sites in the Chilliwack River Valley to the Ts’elxwéyeqw Tribe to get their ok, or adjust as needed.

457_clean_300.jpgWe’ve also been connecting with residents to do the same (pending funding) in the Fraser Valley around Chilliwack. The Chilliwack-Fraser Rotaract Club paid for a logger and took on a site in Peach Creek that is our first officially deployed temperature logger! Check out this guest blog by Jordan from Rotaract for their experience of wading into the unfamiliar.

With the temperature loggers we’re also doing a whole range of streamkeeping activities – habitat surveys, species surveys, water quality monitoring. Support from DFO including a generous donation of additional equipment just this week has us well set for those aspects of the work going into 2020.

Of course we’re cognizant of our own carbon footprint as we engage in these projects. We car-pool to the extent possible where walking isn’t practical and transit isn’t available. We’ve been offered use of a cabin near Chilliwack Lake, a base at the opposite end of the valley from where most volunteers live that means we won’t have to travel back and forth as much. And we just acquired a used Bob trailer to better enable pedal-powered approaches.

2020 is the Copenhagen Accord deadline. Global greenhouse gas targets changed with the Paris Accord, but suffice it to say, we’re not on track. Given the record of climate action so far, it’s looking like the best climate mitigation and adaptation is coming from people working with their neighbours in local efforts everywhere. It feels good to be going into 2020 doing our piece of the work to face the challenges to our shared home waters.

Meanwhile, to finish off 2019 with a bang, join us Monday the 23rd for the 15th Annual Two-Three Party! Your $10 (suggested) donation at the door gets you into this legendary party. Funds raised go 50/50 to Rights Action in Guatemala and WaterWealth. This has been the #1 fundraising event for WaterWealth since we began, and this year thanks to the incredible support of Major League 2 Taphouse and Sports Pub, from 4 to 8 pm you can get a burger (veggie or beef) and fries for $15 with all proceeds to the fundraiser! Hope to see you there!

 


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