What the Partnership Does

WSAP_Partnership-Mission_Nov2015

The Partnership has a Bridging Role

The Partnership for Water Sustainability in BC is a legal entity, incorporated in 2010 as a not-for-profit society, and delivers services on behalf of government. It originated as an inter-governmental partnership, formed in 2002 to fund and develop the Water Balance Model as a web-based decision support tool.

When the Water Sustainability Action Plan for British Columbia (Action Plan) was released in 2004, the Water Balance Model for BC was the centrepiece initiative. Action Plan experience informed development of Living Water Smart, British Columbia’s Water Plan, released in 2008, as well as the parallel Green Communities Initiative.

The Partnership for Water Sustainability embraces shared responsibility, is the hub for a “convening for action” network in the local government setting, and is responsible for delivering the Action Plan program through partnerships and collaboration. This program includes the Georgia Basin Inter-Regional Education Initiative.

The Partnership for Water Sustainability plays a bridging role between Province, local government and community; and is the steward for Stormwater Planning: A Guidebook for British Columbia, a provincial guidance document released in 2002.

Encourage Alignment within British Columbia

Asset Management for Sustainable Service Delivery: A BC Framework establishes a high-level, systematic approach that supports local governments in moving toward service, asset and financial sustainability through an asset management approach. The development of the Framework was led by the Union of British Columbia Municipalities in partnership with the Province of British Columbia and Asset Management BC.

The work of the Partnership for Water Sustainability is aligned with the vision for the Framework; and is about HOW to implement Sustainable Watershed Systems, through Asset Management.

The BC Framework focuses on desired outcomes rather than prescribing specific methodologies. It recognizes that communities are in the best position to tailor solutions to individual needs and capacities.

Embrace Cross-Border Collaboration

Given the evident benefits of strategic interaction, the Partnership and the Urban Watershed Research Institute (UWRI) have an agreement to collaborate regarding reciprocal benefits and joint actions related to water resources research and practice in North America.

The focal point for collaboration is the newly formed and US-based Center for Infrastructure Modeling and Management.

British Columbia experience in whole-system, water balance based approaches in the Pacific Northwest adds a critical combination of tools and understanding to the water resources toolbox.

To Learn More:

Download Cross-border collaboration would enhance water resources research and practice in North America: Moving Towards “Sustainable Watershed Systems, through Asset Management” in British Columbia

Implementing the Whole-System, Water Balance Approach

The Partnership for Sustainability in British Columbia collaborates with government and others to develop methodologies, tools and resources to support implementation of the Whole-System, Water Balance Approach; as well as provide teaching, training and mentoring.

In 2002, the Guidebook established a new direction for drainage engineering in British Columbia with introduction of the Integrated Strategy for managing the complete spectrum of rainfall events.

Beyond the Guidebook Program

The Integrated Strategy expands the scope and responsibility of drainage practice to include stream health. The Guidebook looked at rainfall differently. Its innovation included:

  • Translated science-based understanding.
  • Introduced the “retain-detain-convey” strategy.
  • Formalized the performance target approach.
  • Established an adaptive management precedent.
  • Initiated the paradigm-shift to rainwater management.

Building on the Guidebook foundation, the subsequent and ongoing Beyond the Guidebook program delivered by the Partnership is a multi-year process. The program objective is to encourage, enable and support science (evidence)-based changes to planning and engineering practices that result in ‘design with nature’ outcomes.

Made in BC Process_Mar2017

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