Latest News

Green, Heal and Restore the Earth: Ian McHarg’s “Design with Nature” vision has influenced implementation of British Columbia’s Water Sustainability Action Plan

Featured

In his 1969 book, Design With Nature, Ian McHarg pioneered the concept of environmental planning. "So, I commend Design with Nature to your sympathetic consideration. The title contains a gradient of meaning. It can be interpreted as simply descriptive of a planning method, deferential to places and peoples, it can invoke the Grand Design, it can emphasize the conjunction with and, finally it can be read as an imperative. DESIGN WITH NATURE!," wrote Ian McHarg.

BEYOND THE GUIDEBOOK 2015: To download a copy of “Sustainable Watershed Systems, through Asset Management”……

Featured

Five Regional Districts representing 75% of BC’s population are partners in the Georgia Basin Inter-Regional Educational Initiative (IREI). A program deliverable is the Beyond the Guidebook 2015. It is a progress report on how local governments are ‘learning by doing’ to implement affordable and effective science-based practices. It is the third in a series that builds on Stormwater Planning: A Guidebook for British Columbia.

Convening for Action in British Columbia

Featured

"Convening for Action is a provincial initiative that supports innovation on-the-ground. From the perspective of those leading and/or participating in regional programs, having this community-of-interest provides the opportunity to 'tell our story' and 'record our history' as a work-in-progress," states Ray Fung.

ARTICLE: Ecological Accounting Protocol – A Tool to Calculate the Opportunity Cost of Drainage Infrastructure (Asset Management BC Newsletter, Winter 2017)

"Over the past year, we have improved the logic of the Ecological Accounting Protocol. In a nutshell, it is about specific values (pricing) - not imputed, generalized values," wrote Tim Pringle. "Since cost-avoidance, at least perceived cost-avoidance, motivates much of the decision-making process about infrastructure, and development in general, why has the obvious role of natural assets been omitted to date? The Ecological Accounting Protocol suggests it is the lack of measurement."

ARTICLE: Vision for “Sustainable Watershed Systems” resonates with audiences in BC and beyond (Asset Management BC Newsletter, Winter 2017)

"At the dawn of 2017, the purpose of this article is two-fold: take stock of our progress in 2016 to inform and educate; and foreshadow where we may be at year-end," stated Kim Stephens. "Early uptake of the vision for Sustainable Watershed Systems has exceeded our expectations. There is clearly interest and an appetite to learn more. It is an idea whose time has come."

DOWNLOAD: “Sustainable Watershed Systems, through Asset Management” – Local stream stewardship volunteers may yet be the difference-maker (Feb 2017)

“As we learn more about what influences early salmon life history, stewardship groups are asking questions of their local governments about the linkages between small stream habitat destruction and land developments. Now, the scope of their involvement and influence is expanding beyond the creek channel," stated Peter Law. “Looking ahead, an informed stewardship sector may prove to be the difference-maker that accelerates implementation of the whole-system approach."

OP-ED ARTICLE: The Moment of Truth for a Changing Climate (published in the Vancouver Sun in January 2017)

"The laws of physics provide a reality-check: the warmer the global temperature becomes, the more water the atmosphere can carry," wrote Bob Sandford. "The risk is that, until we stabilize the composition of the Earth’s atmosphere, phenomena such as atmospheric rivers are likely to cause greater flooding and related economic damage widely - forever making sustainability and adaptive resilience a moving target. So what will we do?"

KEYNOTE ADDRESS: How the Water Sustainability Act is Already Influencing Water Management in British Columbia (Landscape Architects Annual Conference – Shifting Currents, April 2016)

The keynote address was a co-presentation by Kim Stephens and Ted van der Gulik of the Partnership for Water Sustainability in BC. “Licensing 20,000 wells initially seemed daunting when a provincial group met in mid-2015 to brainstorm an approach to this immense task. The team had to solve the challenge of HOW to help groundwater users reliably quantify their annual water licence volumes. Suffice to say, the brainstorming resulted in an Aha Moment and a solution took shape," stated Ted van der Gulik.

FLASHBACK TO 2010: Partnership for Water Sustainability in British Columbia was incorporated as a society to create a lasting legacy for the Water Sustainability Action Plan

The 2010 Land Awards Gala provided a platform for announcing formation of the Partnership as a not-for-profit society. "The Partnership will continue to evolve and deliver program elements developed under the umbrella of the Water Sustainability Action Plan for British Columbia," stated Tim Pringle. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hIat9DuA4pc

BEYOND THE GUIDEBOOK 2015: Local governments urged to look at an urban watershed as a whole system, and develop fully integrated solutions that stand the test of time

The pioneer work of Richard Horner and Chris May in the 1990s provided a reason and a starting point for revisiting urban hydrology in BC. “So many studies manipulate a single variable out of context with the whole and its many additional variables,” states Horner. “We, on the other hand, investigated whole systems in place, tying together measures of the landscape, stream habitat and aquatic life.”

TURNING IDEAS INTO ACTION: Implementing change in BC – “Beyond the Guidebook 2015″ illustrated the process for moving a new idea or innovation from genesis to mainstream

"Everyone learns from stories and the most compelling ones are based on the experience of the champions who are leading implementation of watershed-based solutions," wrote Richard Boase. "The rate of progress in implementing new ideas or standards of practice generally depends on the willingness of individual champions in local government to push the envelope in applying new approaches."

FLOWnGROW WORKSHOP: “We have many of the puzzle pieces needed to ensure a sustainable water future,” stated Steve Conrad

How we use our water is set by individual choices. Faced with various scenarios, residents will make decisions based on environmental and economic choices. “Moving forward, what we need to do is remember that putting puzzles together works best when you have many people looking at it from all angles.” His research interests include human behavior response to resource management policy.

FLASHBACK TO 2003: Urban Forum at UBCM Annual Convention introduced local governments to “CitiesPLUS” and “Water Balance Model” initiatives (Sep 2003)

The two-part UBCM Urban Forum session explored new tools and innovative approaches that local governments can use to make communities more liveable and sustainable. “In part one, the citiesPLUS team showed delegates the winning plan and also looked at lessons learned and insights gained that communities across the province can learn from,” stated Ken Cameron.