“The drought, forest fires and floods that British Columbia experienced in 2003 have created a teachable moment for change in the way we view water in this province,” stated Ray Fung.
Turning Ideas Into Action
BC Hydro’s Conservation Community of Practice demonstrates a “top-down & bottom-up” approach to leading change
“We define conservation quite broadly, to include more than just conserving energy or reducing greenhouse gas emissions. Our long-term goal is build connections between and within communities that result in advancing existing and creating new community-based commitments to actions that support the creation of a conservation culture,” stated Pia Nagpal.
Inter-Regional Education Initiative: from ‘proof of approach’ on Vancouver Island in 2012 to full-scale implementation in 2013
“The inter-regional program will link activities so that everyone can share experiences, benefit from lessons learned, and align efforts with the Living Water Smart and Green Communities initiatives. Collaboration, alignment and consistency in application will create opportunities for everyone to be more effective,” states Kim Stephens.
“Numerous groups and organizations implicitly share a vision for integrated water management. Partnerships hold the key to building broad-based support for improving water management practices, and integrating water management with land use,” states Kim Stephens.
To understand where we are heading, we need to understand where we have come from. Historical context is important. The ‘design with nature’ paradigm is borrowed from the seminal book by Ian McHarg because it captures the essence of climate change adaptation. Adaptation is about responding to the changes that will inevitably occur. Adaptation is at the community level and is therefore about collaboration.
“Convening for Action is our mantra. When we gather, it is for a purpose. There must be an action item or an outcome. Our aim is to move from talk to action by developing tools, building capacity, and providing training,” states Ray Fung. He was Chair of the Water Sustainability Committee when it developed the Action Plan in partnership with the Province.
When we attend forums such as the “Showcasing Green Infrastructure Innovation Series”, we want to use what we have learned so that we can take action and make a difference.
“While we are very good at measuring settlement, mainly in financial terms, we have not been that effective in quantifying the ecological impacts. This disconnect in measuring what matters has historically resulted in an unbalanced approach when making development and infrastructure decisions,” stated Tim Pringle.
2010 UBCM Annual Convention provided forum for reporting out on implementation success of Water Sustainability Action Plan
“Because our vision is to advance water-centric green infrastructure, it was essential that we have high-level political endorsement. UBCM provided us with a platform to showcase what we have accomplished on the ground,” stated Ted van der Gulik.
Implementing a New Culture for Urban Watershed Protection and Restoration in British Columbia: ‘ISMP Course Correction Series’
“Cities are all about choices – choices that become reality very quickly, with lasting consequences. Over the 21st century -the urban century – much will depend on getting the choices right,” stated former Premier Mike Harcourt. The 5-part series is designed to inform local governments and others about the paradigm-shift to landscape-based ‘RAINwater’ from pipe-and convey ‘STORMwater’; and what this means for watershed-based planning.