According to Kim Stephens, the relevance of the South Okanagan example is that it too was a Convening for Action regional pilot: the Regional Growth Strategy is water-centric (plan with a view to water), and recognizes the relationship between land and water (both in terms of water use and water runoff). The innovation is the toolkit that follows policy, and which leads to benchmarking and monitoring/measuring what matters.
2005 Convening for Action in the South Okanagan
“A regional growth strategy is the most effective way to integrate the full range of government and non-government interests in a region, stated Meggin Messenger. “The preparation of a regional growth strategy involves all orders of government and the public in defining vision, goal and objective statements that respond to current and anticipated land use and development issues to meet the needs of current and future residents.”
“Convening for Action in the South Okanagan is playing a role by bringing together people who have knowledge and expertise with those who seek ways to meet present and future water sustainability challenges in their communities,” stated Kim Stephens. “Our goal is to deliver a highly transparent process where everyone gets a voice, everyone sees their interests recorded and considered, and everyone is proactively engaged to focus on results.”
Convening for Action in the South Okanagan: Regional Growth Strategy taps into Water Sustainability Action Plan
“The number one concern of local South Okanagan residents is the availability and quality of its water. Water was the main issue identified through public consultation by the Regional District of Okanagan-Similkameen,” reported David Arsenault.
Convening for Action in the South Okanagan: Water Sustainability Committee Spearheads New Partnership Initiative
“The Water Sustainability Committee of the BC Water & Waste Association is partnering with the Real Estate Foundation of British Columbia, the Ministry of Environment, the Ministry of Agriculture and Land, and the Ministry of Community Services to advance the water balance way-of-thinking in the South Okanagan,” stated Kim Stephens.