Working with nature

Municipalities need to recognize and utilize the services that Mother Nature provides

A few weeks ago, the CAO for the town of Gibsons, was invited to speak to the CRD finance community. He explained how and why municipalities need to recognize and utilize the services that Mother Nature provides.

Infrastructure is old and funds are limited, so we need to rely more on the value of services provided by nature. We need to work with nature instead of trying to engineer against it, often at great expense. The idea makes perfect sense. Fortunately for Greater Victoria, engineers saw this opportunity many years ago. Locally we have a prime example of how to operate infrastructure with the assistance of nature. Our marine wastewater system utilizes the oxygen, the energy and bio-degradation provided by Mother Nature.

So, on the one hand, we have a motion by the mayor of Victoria to the CRD Finance Committee to use “natural capital” to provide more efficient and effective services. On the other hand, we have a relentless push to ignore the natural capital of our unique wastewater system and spend huge unnatural capital in the process. I wonder if the mayor can see the irony.

Abel Cheng





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