What the Partnership Does


"The vision of the Partnership is that water sustainability will be achieved through implementation of green infrastructure policies and practices," states Tim Pringle, Past-President. "Because the Partnership is the hub for a ‘convening for action’ network, we are positioned to facilitate alignment of regional and local actions with provincial goals. By providing education, research, technical training and tools, we can help communities move from awareness to action."

Mike Donnelly

"The Regional District of Nanaimo’s water sustainability goals have meshed very well with those of the Partnership over the many years we have worked together. The working relationship enhances the ability of both organizations to reach their common goals in water sustainability while supporting each other. A highlight of that relationship was being part of the Inter Regional Education Initiative, an excellent forum for learning and passing on hard won experience," stated Mike Donnelly.

A Testimonial to the Partnership for Water Sustainability: “Thanks for your tireless efforts to spread an understanding of hydrology and watershed-based land management!”, wrote Deborah Jones (Jan 2017)

Healthy forests are the backbone of watersheds. Forests of high biodiversity act like a sponge, which holds water on the land and allows clean filtered water into streams and rivers. This helps to ensure healthy fisheries. Unhealthy watersheds tend to have low biodiversity. Water is not retained on the land and erosion is increased. This results in unhealthy stream, river and fisheries and communities.

The Partnership’s 2017 Leadership Team

The Board comprises six (6) Directors. Each year, two are elected. This results in continuity. At the 2016 Annual General Meeting, Ted van der Gulik and Richard Boase were elected by acclamation to 3-year terms as Directors. To be first nominated and then elected as a Director, prospective candidates must be able to demonstrate via past performance that they can make an effective contribution in achieving the Partnership vision for settlement, economy and ecology in balance.

2016 AGM – Report from the President

"Because groundwater licencing is a requirement under the Water Sustainability Act, the Province looked to the Partnership to develop an agriculture water licencing tool," wrote Ted van der Gulik. "The tool went live on February 29th and is now being used by those applying for a water licence as well as the water licence adjudicators. Additions that have been added to the tool include groundwater and watershed boundaries."

2016 Annual Report for the Partnership for Water Sustainability in British Columbia

"The journey to a water-resilient future would be guided by Cathedral Thinking," states Kim Stephens. "The concept dates back to medieval times. It aptly describes the inter-generational commitment that would be required to achieve a ‘design with nature’ vision – one that integrates water balance solutions into land use decisions, and restores ecosystem values."

Champion Supporter: recognition of the Regional District of Nanaimo (May 2016)

The Regional District of Nanaimo (RDN) is recognized for the leadership that its Drinking Water & Watershed Program is providing. Success is helping to foster a new ‘land ethic’ among land and water practitioners in the region. Bill Veenhof (photo), RDN Chair, thanked the Partnership's Kim Stephens for providing the RDN Board with an appreciation of how the RDN program is helping other regions overcome the disconnect between information and implementation.

Reflections on the 2015 Drought: “The key now is how we take the 2015 teachable year and build on it in terms of where we go with the new Water Sustainability Act,” stated Kim Stephens when interviewed by Kirk LaPointe on Roundhouse Radio

"In British Columbia, we don't prescribe. We encourage shared responsibility. Prescribing just doesn't seem to work. We seem to have to get to a critical mass where people realize that we have to do something," stated Kim Stephens. "The last ‘teachable year’ was 2003. That set in motion a process that culminated with the adoption in 2014 of the Water Sustainability Act."

Year-end media interviews raise profile and awareness of Partnership for Water Sustainability

“The ‘new normal’ in British Columbia is drought and flooding. The summer dry season has extended on both ends and communities can no longer count on a predictable snowpack and reliable rain to maintain a healthy water balance in their watersheds. This is putting water supply systems and ecosystems under extreme stress,” says Kim Stephens. “What you do on the land or how you treat the land has direct implications and consequences for water use."

B.C.’s Top Story of 2015 revealed….

“In other regions, notably California, they think of droughts in terms of number of years. In the Georgia Basin (Southwest BC), we measure droughts in terms of number of months. As we have increasingly experienced in recent decades, three months versus either four or five months of essentially rain-free weather makes a material difference from a water supply perspective," stated Kim Stephens.