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.
“The combination of the two presentations was quite powerful,” stated Surrey Councillor Marvin Hunt, Forum Chair, in his closing remarks. “Because the Guidebook and Water Balance Model presentation was about on-the-ground action, it showed how to make the 100-year vision real to BC’s elected representatives. The take-away message is clear: If communities design with nature, the 100-year vision will become a self-fulfilling prophecy.”
"With release of Stormwater Planning: A Guidebook for British Columbia in 2002, the Partnership set out to change the way land is developed in BC,” states Ted van der Gulik. “Our mission is to influence the culture in the local government setting. From the start, we have had high-level political endorsement and support. Notably, in September 2003, the Union of BC Municipalities provided us with a platform to tell our story.”
Mayor Barry Janyk (Town of Gibsons), Dipak Basu (City of Chilliwack) and Kim Stephens (Inter-Governmental Partnership) tag-teamed to tell the story of the inter-governmental partnership that had developed the Water Balance Model as an extension of Stormwater Planning: A Guidebook for British Columbia. "In the interactive session, it was clear that our story had resonated with my fellow elected representatives. They got it!," stated Barry Janyk.
“Future planners, engineers, politicians and citizens alike will be called upon to demonstrate both vision and pragmatism and be able to frame the issue of achieving water-resiliency in communities against the backdrop of an unpredictable water cycle. This in turn demands the honing of a further skill, that of working together towards consensus, commitment and collaboration," stated Eric Bonham.
"Drought, forest fires, floods and pine beetle in 2003 created a ‘teachable year’ for change in BC. This gave BC a head-start on many other regions. The outcome? A decade later, provincial ‘game-changers’ are now in place that enable solutions in the local government setting," stated Kim Stephens. "The three game-changers are Develop with Care 2014, the Water Sustainability Act, and Asset Management for Sustainable Service Delivery: A BC Framework."
"We face a number of cumulative and compounding human effects that at present make sustainability a moving target. We need to stabilize these effects if we don’t want adaptation and resilience to constantly be beyond reach," said Bob Sandford. "The problem is that that we have begun to undermine the planetary conditions upon which we depend for the stability of environment and economy that are the foundation of our prosperity."
“Recurring region-wide consequences of water-related challenges have prompted regional action to develop governance structures and processes to make the connections between high-level decision making and actions on the ground," stated Keith Lawrence. "One of the actions undertaken throughout 2015 was a more coordinated approach to communicating what is happening in our region, and what can we do about climate impacts."
“We are using an adaptation strategy developed around the District’s Official Community Plan (known by the acronym OCP). For a local government, everything we do is driven by the OCP. By linking our climate adaptation strategy to the OCP, this results in an enabling framework for discussion and action in the spheres of influence encompassed by the OCP. It is all linked," stated Richard Boase.
Ted van der Gulik explained how the Agricultural Water Demand Model is being used in decision-making by local governments. “Agriculture is a large fresh water user and the demand for water will only increase as summers get longer, hotter and drier,” he stated. “BC needs 215,000 hectares of irrigated agriculture to feed our current population. The ~28,000 irrigated hectares in the Lower Mainland could be increased to 69,000 hectares at buildout."
A scenario comparison tool to assess green infrastructure effectiveness, achieve a lighter 'water footprint' and protect stream health. Learn More
The Water Conservation Calculator illustrates how specific water conservation measures can yield both fiscal and physical water savings for communities. Learn More
This Landscape Irrigation Scheduling Calculator uses real-time daily evapotranspiration (ET) rates determined from climate stations located within British Columbia. Learn More
This Agricultural Irrigation Scheduling Calculator uses real-time daily evapotranspiration (ET) rates determined from climate stations located within British Columbia. Learn More
The BC Agriculture Water Calculator enables water licensing for all irrigation purposes, whether agricultural or landscape. All non-domestic users of groundwater in BC are required to obtain a licence. Learn More