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Celebrating a Decade of Success

FLASHBACK TO 2005: “Implementing change is primarily a people matter, not a technical one,” wrote Erik Karlsen in a paper that introduced the What / So What / Now What / Then What mind-map as a foundation piece for convening for action


“Bridging the gap between interest and practice involves motivating practitioners to engage in ways that provide sufficient meaning to inspire them and lead to action. The desired outcome is implementation of on-the-ground changes in policies, programs, applied research, practitioner education and standards of practice that lead to full integration of land development and water management,” stated Erik Karlsen.

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


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.

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Flashback to 2012: Historical perspective on the first 5 years of the “Beyond the Guidebook Initiative”, released by the Partnership for Water Sustainability in conjunction with provincial government announcement


“There are a lot of times when we in local government like to blame or put on senior governments the responsibility to provide the framework for doing something…but there are things that we in local government can do. We need to choose to be enabled,” stated Ray Fung. “So, what we mean by shared responsibility is that everyone has a role, and everyone can act…. all levels of government, developers, regulators, bureaucrats, consultants, planners, engineers.”

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Celebrating a Decade of Success: “2005 Penticton Achieving Water Balance Workshop” was first regional event held under “Convening for Action in BC” umbrella


“In 2005, we started a conversation about a water balance way-of-thinking and acting which continues to this day,” stated Robert Hicks. “We built the workshop program around the Water OUT=Water IN paradigm. The equation is deceptively simple, yet it embodies the basic principles and concepts for dealing with uncertainty and managing risk. It allows us to draw attention to the elements of the water cycle.”

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Celebrating a Decade of Success: “Green infrastructure practices have moved from pilot project to neighbourhood and watershed scale approaches,” reflects Paul Ham, an early green infrastructure champion


“I see my years of chairing the Green Infrastructure Partnership as helping to get the ball rolling and ideas disseminated, on green infrastructure, all of which has subsequently been taken up by others to a much greater degree of implementation and success. Our efforts a decade ago moved the state of-the-art of green infrastructure to a more mainstream level,” said Paul Ham.

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Celebrating a Decade of Success: “We try to inspire communities to have a vision of their future, what they will look like on the ground in fifty years,” says Tim Pringle


“After ten years of involvement with the Partnership for Water Sustainability, I feel as committed as ever. At times, I find myself amazed at the collective expertise of the volunteers who work in Partnership initiatives. Their wisdom makes the work of the Partnership efficient; it allows a great deal to be done with very limited dollars. We collaborate with practitioners as equals and take services to their territories,” states Tim Pringle.

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Celebrating a Decade of Success: “The waterbucket.ca website allows our ‘convening for action’ partners to record their history even as they are creating it,” says Mike Tanner, waterbucket.ca Chair


“The waterbucket.ca website facilitates communication and integration across initiatives, regions, sectors and disciplines and links these in order to foster development and implementation of ‘Design with Nature’ practices. We share stories about how practitioners can reduce project (and environmental) costs by applying ‘Design with Nature’ principles,” explained Mike Tanner.

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Celebrating a Decade of Success: “Water-centric thinking, planning and doing have become more than just a vision,” says John Finnie, CAVI Past-Chair


“When CAVI began, we established a goal that Vancouver Island would be well on its way to water sustainability by 2010. CAVI has moved forward significantly and successfully promoted the message of water sustainability by engaging governments, developers and the community in water-centric thinking, planning and development activities,” states John Finnie.

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Celebrating a Decade of Success: “Bringing it all together – how highs came from lows,” reflects Derek Richmond, CAVI Chair


“For me, the watershed moment for the CAVI-Comox Valley Leadership Team occurred in 2010. The ‘ah-ah’ moment for all parties lay in recognizing the importance of getting things done right at the front-end; and that by aligning collective efforts on a watershed scale, a regional response to (minimizing) infrastructure liability could be achieved,” stated Derek Richmond.

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Water Sustainability Action Plan for British Columbia


“Sustainable communities are all about choices – choices that become reality very quickly, with lasting consequences. In the years ahead, much will depend on getting the choices right in British Columbia, especially in those communities that are experiencing growth and/or renewal,” states Lynn Kriwoken.

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