Turning Ideas Into Action: Environment Deputy Minister lauds work of the Partnership for Water Sustainability in BC
Note to Reader:
Since 2003, the Partnership for Water Sustainability in BC has been a key collaborator with provincial and local government. The work of the Partnership supports and adds depth (working with practitioners) to the Living Water Smart vision, Green Communities initiative, and Climate Leadership Plan. The Partnership develops web-based tools and technical guidance resources, supported by outreach and training for land and water professionals. The Partnership is a not-for-profit society whose work is directed by volunteers experienced in engineered and natural solutions to water and watershed sustainability.
Local government champions are leading changes in practice
Beyond the Guidebook 2015: Moving Towards “Sustainable Watershed Systems, through Asset Management” is the third in a series that builds on Stormwater Planning: A Guidebook for British Columbia, released by the BC Ministry of Environment in 2002.
Beyond the Guidebook 2015 defines three “cascading objectives” for watershed-based action; explains three provincial “game-changers” that enable action; showcases five “regional success stories” as told in the words of the local government champions who are leading and implementing changes in practice; and previews the program for integrating the “water balance services” provided by soil, water and trees into asset management.
To Learn More:
A Milestone Accomplishment
“Congratulations on the release of Beyond the Guidebook 2015. This is a milestone accomplishment, and was made possible with provincial funding assistance,” wrote W.H. (Wes) Shoemaker, Deputy Minister, BC Ministry of Environment, in a recent letter to the Partnership for Water Sustainability.
“The Ministry of Environment appreciates that the Partnership for Water Sustainability in BC (the “Partnership”) embraces shared responsibility for the Water Sustainability Action Plan for B.C. and Stormwater Planning: A Guidebook for B.C. The ministry acknowledges that the Partnership is also adding depth to the Guidebook through the Beyond the Guidebook Report Series and the Beyond the Guidebook Primer Series.”
Alignment at Three Scales
“The work of the Partnership is supporting the Province’s Living Water Smart vision and Green Communities initiative,” continued Wes Shoemaker. “In particular the Partnership’s efforts to bring together five regional districts—Metro Vancouver, Capital Region, Cowichan Region, Nanaimo Region and Comox Valley—to implement the Georgia Basin Inter-Regional Educational Initiative (IREI) has been particularly successful. This program is effectively demonstrating how to align regional and local actions with the provincial policy, program and regulatory framework.”
“Other partnership capacity-building tools and resources developed by the Partnership such as the Water Balance Model for BC and Water Conservation Calculator are helping to build community resilience and align well with the goals of both the Water Sustainability Act and the Climate Leadership Plan.”
A Look Ahead
“The next phase of the IREI program through 2017 will add to Asset Management for Sustainable Service Delivery: A BC Framework and integrate watershed systems thinking and adaptation to a changing climate into asset management. Moving beyond traditional engineered infrastructure asset management to also account for nature’s services will help influence ‘standards of practice’ and represent a leading-edge evolution in how infrastructure is planned, financed, implemented and maintained in BC. The long-term success of the IREI program will be measurable when community development activities and alterations of the built environment result in cumulative benefits, not impacts.”
“In closing, and on behalf of ministry staff who are participating in Partnership initiatives and activities, thank you and keep up the good work”, concluded Wes Shoemaker in his letter.
To Learn More:
In 2014, three provincial “game-changers” came to fruition. Together, they provide a platform for integrated actions that would achieve the Watershed Health Goal. To learn more, download Part B of Beyond the Guidebook 2015: CLICK HERE