the people’s water


Co-authors Andrew Scott and Daniel Bouman are pleased to announce the April 2009 publication of The People’s Water: The Fight for the Sunshine Coast’s Drinking Watersheds.

The People’s Water tells the convoluted story of a community’s efforts to protect its most valuable and important environmental asset. It examines the history of the watersheds, which were damaged in early years through careless logging. It look at their ecology and hydrology and provides background on the evolution of provincial drinking water legislation.

Much of the book details the struggle of local activists and politicians to ban industrial activity from the drinking watersheds and bring them under local control, an effort strenuously opposed by BC’s Ministry of Forests and by the large forestry companies. This grassroots campaign has seen a number of remarkable successes, including the 1995 preservation of the headwaters of Gray and Chapman creeks in Tetrahedron Provincial Park.

In the summer of 2007, after activists blocked steep-slope logging activity near Chapman Creek, the Sunshine Coast Regional District made headlines and history by constituting itself as a local board of health, declaring the logging a health hazard and issuing a stop-work order. Several visits to the Supreme Court of BC resulted in the stop-work order being overturned, but by then opposition to watershed logging had become widespread. Logging was finally banned in 2008, pending the resolution of land-use planning measures with the Sechelt First Nation.

All proceeds from The People’s Water go to the non-profit Sunshine Coast Conservation Association. The book is available for $20 from the following locations (or can be ordered directly from the SCCA via email, at

  • Coast Books, 287 Gower Point Road, Gibsons
  • Sunshine Coast Museum & Archives, Gibsons
  • Windsong Gallery, 5721 Cowrie Street, Sechelt
  • Talewind Books, 5494 Trail Avenue, Sechelt
  • Fresh from the Coast, 104-5697 Cowrie Street, Sechelt
  • Iris Griffiths Field Studies Centre, Pender Harbour
  • Breakwater Books, 6812 Alberni Street, Powell River

68 pages, full colour, maps, photographs, bibliography. Published by the Sunshine Coast Conservation Association.