WHAT WE DO
we do research that connects
Mukw’ stem ‘i ‘utunu tumuhw, ‘o’ huliitun tst, mukw’ stem ‘i ‘utunu tumuhw ‘o’ slhiilhukw ‘ul.
(Everything on this Earth is what sustains us; everything on this Earth is connected together)
Our work acknowledges and endeavors to elevate Indigenous relationships with the Xwulqw’selu Sta’lo. We offer gratitude and respect to these Peoples who have stewarded lands and waters since time immemorial.
We also aim to build upon a flurry of hydrologic, ecologic and community focused studies and ongoing work in the Xwulqw’selu Sta’lo which can be found here.
Community water monitoring
We visit around 30 sites at seven tributaries in the Koksilah watershed including: Glenora Creek, Heatherbank Brook, Howie Creek, Kelvin Creek, Neel Creek, Norrie Creek, and Patrolas Creek. We keep track of what we notice about the water, and share our observations with the rights holders to the land, Cowichan Tribes.
We recognize the existing and unextinguished Indigenous rights and title to the watershed, so the data we gather belong to the rightsholders.
We use scientific methods (and handy tools that are easy to use) to monitor changes week by week, and year over year.
We look for patterns in the data and anticipate what could happen in the future.
We explore “what if…” questions – with help from data models and researchers – to consider what could happen to the land, water, people, forests, and all other life in the whole watershed when we change how much water we use, when, where, and for what purpose.
We host conversations in the community to test a variety of possible solutions, using an integrated model that includes groundwater and surface water interactions. This physical model can be combined with models of social dynamics to help us understand how group decisions can improve water management.
Facilitating community science
We share what we learn with scientific communities, leaders, and people with responsibilities to govern and manage water, lands, and forests in Xwulqw’selu, in the Cowichan Valley, and in British Columbia. They use the research to make smart decisions and adapt plans over time.
We publish the research and stories of how we are working together. People in other watersheds – and those who develop policies and laws – can learn from our experience about the power, value and importance of community-engaged science to keep watersheds healthy.