Author Archives: Partnership for Water Sustainability

  1. 2017 Annual Report for the Partnership for Water Sustainability in British Columbia

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    Our Mission: Develop Tools. Develop Talent. Focus on Outcomes.

    The Partnership originated as an inter-governmental initiative 15 years ago, became the BC Water Sustainability Committee in 2003, and then 6 years ago on November 19, 2010 was incorporated as a not-for-profit society.

    The purpose of incorporation of the Partnership as a society is to ensure the legacy of the tools and initiatives developed under the umbrella of the Water Sustainability Action Plan for British Columbia.

    The mission of the Partnership is to develop tools and talent, and focus on outcomes that align regional and local actions with a provincial policy, program and regulatory framework for achieving water and watershed sustainability.

    TO LEARN MORE:

    To download a copy of the 2017 Annual Report, click here.

  2. INFLUENCING CHANGE IN BRITISH COLUMBIA: “In effect we are being challenged to re-assess our thinking regarding how we practice water management in the 21st century,” stated Eric Bonham when commenting on the legacy of the Partnership for Water Sustainability

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    Note to Reader:

    In March 2018, the Partnership for Water Sustainability in British Columbia released Our Story. This provides a comprehensive picture of the integrated program that the Partnership is delivering under the umbrella of the Water Sustainability Action Plan for BC, the purpose of which is to build practitioner capacity to explore new ideas so that those in the local government setting can build greener and more water resilient communities in British Columbia.

    While the Action Plan program has ongoing since 2004, the focus since 2012 has been on an initiative branded as Sustainable Watershed Systems through Asset Management. The integrated program supports initiative implementation by participating local governments. 

    About the Partnership

    The Partnership for Water Sustainability in BC (the Partnership) was incorporated as a not-for-profit society in 2010 to promote and advance the protection and management of natural and engineered water resources in British Columbia.

    An Integrated Approach, Really

    “The Partnership’s Leadership Team includes engineers and geoscientists experienced within the private and public sector, as well as community engagement through stewardship,” explains Mike Tanner, a founding Director. He retired as a Senior Manager with BC Hydro’s Power Smart program.

    “The success of the Partnership has been the collaboration developed with provincial, regional, local levels of government and the community, through the provision of leadership, innovation and expertise.

    “We are working with practitioners involved in water resources functions to foster integrated protection and management strategies through enhancement of practitioner expertise (i.e. “developing talent”), and through further evolution and delivery of program elements developed under the umbrella of the Water Sustainability Action Plan (the Plan) for British Columbia.

    “We believe that by providing education, research, technical services and tools, we can, through collaboration and innovation, help communities both reduce the increased demand for water and, protect stream health from the adverse consequences of land development practices.”

    To Learn More:

    Download a copy of The Partnership for Water Sustainability in British Columbia – Our Story (March 2018).

    The Partnership, Looking Forward

    There is no question that water resiliency will be the focus of the future and will be an essential condition to maintain a stable society and an effective economy, as it is a given that water is truly the connector of all activities on earth. This realization demands innovation and creative partnerships, heretofore not considered possible,” states Eric Bonham, a founding member of the Partnership. Prior to retirement from government, he was a Director in two provincial ministries – Environment and Municipal Affairs.

    From Awareness to Action

    “It is against this backdrop that the Partnership was formed in 2010 with a specific focus of promoting the protection and management of natural and engineering water resources in British Columbia,” continues Eric Bonham.

    “This has been achieved through a combination of strategies, including, partnerships, education, innovation, networking, outreach, capacity building and the provision of products and tools. This translates to action on the ground and an effective, as well as a forward thinking approach to water management in British Columbia and beyond.”

    Collaborate, Collaborate, Collaborate

    “In essence, central to the success of the Partnership has been the collaboration developed with provincial, regional, local levels of government and the community, through the provision of leadership, innovation and expertise, ‘stepping outside the box’ and ‘looking outside the pipe’ for solutions that address the reality of climate change and its impact on water management,” explains Eric Bonham

    “This is a major shift from addressing water management through an infrastructure response alone, to recognizing the role of natural systems in achieving water resiliency and stability, given the backdrop of an unpredictable water cycle.”

    Provincial Influence

    “By way of information, the Partnership members have also been involved in the development of many of the key water policy initiatives in BC including the Water Conservation Strategy of BC, the Water Sustainable Action Plan for BC, the new Water Sustainability Act, and the Stormwater Planning, A Guidebook for BC, as well as hosting or co-sponsoring almost a 100 workshops including a number of conferences.”

    Vision + Pragmatism

    “Indeed future planners, engineers, scientists, politicians and citizens alike will be called upon to demonstrate both vision and pragmatism, working as a team towards consensus, commitment and collaboration for the common good. Such collaboration is essential and must cross all political and community boundaries given that climate change is no respecter of such creations. This premise is fundamental and the basis for each of the Partnership initiatives.”

    “In effect we are being challenged to re-assess our thinking regarding how we practice water management in the 21st century. Albert Einstein captured the challenge well when he observed: “No problem can be solved from the same consciousness that created it. We have to see the world anew.” The Partnership has accepted this challenge and its implementation,” concludes Eric Bonham.

     

  3. 2017 Report from the Executive Director: “New Societies Act provides the Partnership with clarity regarding our identity as a government-funded entity,” stated Kim Stephens

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    The New Societies Act and What It Means

    “In November 2016, the new Societies Act came into effect in British Columbia,” wrote Kim Stephens in his 2017 Annual Report of the Partnership for Water Sustainability of BC. “There is a 2-year transition period for implementation. A significant outcome of the new Act is the resulting clarity regarding distinctively different classifications of societies. This clarity helps the Partnership define its identity.

    “On transition, each pre-existing society has been asked whether it wishes to designate itself as a “member-funded society” by including a statement to that effect in its constitution. A member-funded society is a society that is funded primarily by its members to carry on activities for the benefit of its members.

    “A society cannot be a member-funded society if it receives government funding above a certain threshold. Hence, the choice was made for us. The Partnership is not and cannot be a member-funded society. The Partnership is funded exclusively by government and provides services to government.

    “The Partnership’s Constitution is now aligned with the new Societies Act. This means that only Directors are ‘Members’ and have voting rights. Any and all categories of membership that may be established by Board policy would be non-voting.

    “Now that the Societies Act has provided the Partnership with clarity regarding our identify, it allows the Board of Directors to focus on the Partnership mission  – which is to serve as the hub for a ‘convening for action’ network in the local government setting, and to deliver the Water Sustainability Action Plan for British Columbia through partnerships and collaboration.”

     

  4. DID YOU KNOW THAT: waterbucket.ca is home for the Water Sustainability Action Plan for British Columbia

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    Note to Reader:

    Prepare for climate change, choose to live water smart, and strive to build greener communities. Most importantly, make the right choices moving forward. The vision for the waterbucket.ca website is that it will inform and educate land use, infrastructure servicing, and asset management practitioners by providing easy access to information, tools and resources.

    The waterbucket.ca website is rebuilt: the new look-and-feel is described as clean and contemporary. What do you wonder? Take a few moments to explore the Communities of Practice. Will you be surprised by what you learn?

    Many land use, infrastructure servicing and asset management professionals in this province do know in principle what they ought to do. However, there is still a gap between UNDERSTANDING and IMPLEMENTATION. This results in a capacity-building challenge. Hence, the waterbucket.ca spotlight is on how to ‘bridge the gap’ between talk and action. That is mission possible.

    Record our history as we create it. Showcase success stories. Celebrate the champions who lead by example.

    “Working with the Partnership Executive is always a pleasure, and we were excited to have the opportunity to give their tired old site a fresh, new look with enhanced features,” stated Susan Friesen, Web Specialist  and Social Media Advisor with eVision Media.

    “Knowing the Waterbucket user-base was wanting to find information easily, we redesigned the home page with not only a more contemporary look and feel but also to facilitate it being a portal to all of the different content-rich sections of the site.

    “Now site users can enjoy a faster, easier and mobile-friendly experience to conduct their research and become more informed with the valuable resources the Partnership for Water Sustainability in BC provides.”

    Visit these Communities of Practice

    CONVENING FOR ACTION IN BC: Apply ‘cathedral thinking’ – a far-reaching vision, a well thought-out blueprint, and a shared commitment to inter-generational implementation – to create a lasting legacy. LEARN MORE


    WATER-CENTRIC PLANNING: Plan with a view to water – whether for a single site, a region or the entire province. Choose to live water smart. Prepare communities for a changing climate.LEARN MORE


    RAINWATER MANAGEMENT: Download British Columbia guidance documents. Learn about ‘sustainable watershed systems, through asset management’. Be inspired by success stories.LEARN MORE


    GREEN INFRASTRUCTURE: Green communities – today’s expectations are tomorrow’s standards. Since built and natural environments are connected, design with nature! Celebrate successes. LEARN MORE


    VANCOUVER ISLAND WATER: The Island is a demonstration region for ‘regional team approach’. Communicate. Cooperate. Coordinate. Collaborate. Share resources and learn from each other. LEARN MORE


    WATER USE & CONSERVATION: ‘A Water Conservation Strategy for British Columbia’, released in 1998, is a foundation document. It marks the shift from a WHY change to HOW to change mind-set. LEARN MORE


    AGRICULTURE & WATER: What do you wonder about British Columbia’s Agriculture Water Demand Model? Find links to reports on province-wide implementation. LEARN MORE


    WATERBUCKET NEWS: The Partnership publishes weekly e-Newsletters. These feature champions who are leading changes in practice. Stories are replicated on our Blog for ease of reference.LEARN MORE