"Coined in 2010, the term Sustainable Service Delivery was introduced by the Province to integrate financial accountability, infrastructure sustainability and service delivery. While the BC Framework was only launched in early 2015, it has garnered both national and international attention. Other provinces, as well as the Federation of Canadian Municipalities, are integrating the BC Framework into their respective work," wrote Glen Brown.
Provincial programs provide direction as to where the Province wants to go with Living Water Smart and the Green Communities Initiative. “At the end of the day, planners and engineers and other disciplines must come together to determine the issues and solutions. No statute will help them do that. Living Water Smart is about motivating and inspiring everyone to embrace shared responsibility," stated Lynn Kriwoken.
“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.
"By serving as a communication vehicle to share information and experiences, we believe Water Bucket is helping to effect changes on the ground in water and land development practices in British Columbia," stated Mike Tanner.
“Within the GTA, it is clearly articulated that asset management, and its implementation by local governments, is a priority by all parties. There is recognition by all levels of government that asset management is integral in providing local government services, and managing the infrastructure needed to support those services, in a sustainable manner," wrote Glen Brown.
On May 22, 2014, it was announced that the Administrative Agreement on the Federal Gas Tax Fund in British Columbia (the GTA) had been signed between Canada, British Columbia and UBCM. "Leading into our negotiations with Canada and BC, we reached out to the membership to gather feedback on the first nine years of the program. What we heard is that there was a desire to see the program streamlined, and more room provided for local decision making," said UBCM President Rhona Martin.
The effects of the work are spreading throughout Gary, Indiana’s neighborhoods. “They’re sprucing up their own properties,” Brenda Scott-Henry said. “One guy said he’s going to put up a white picket fence, have a barbecue and invite his family over to look at the site. We have neighbors taking care of three, four, five lawns on a block just to keep it looking good.”
“The asset management process is a continuum; and nature is an integral part of a community’s infrastructure system. The process starts with the engineered assets that local governments provide. Communities will progress along the continuum incrementally as their understanding grows. By also accounting for and integrating the services that nature provides, over time they can achieve the goal of Sustainable Service Delivery for watershed systems," states Wally Wells.
“Wetlands can provide a number of benefits to society, including: flood control, water treatment, and carbon storage. This workshop will explore gaps and opportunities to protect and conserve wetlands and work towards healthier watersheds. Topics were selected to support key municipal and regional staff and lead conservation groups working in the Okanagan," states Neil Fletcher.
A watershed is an integrated system, is infrastructure, and must be viewed as an asset that provides municipal services. “Where a local government regulates land use, a watershed is an integral part of the drainage infrastructure assets of the local government. More specifically, the three pathways (surface, shallow lateral flow, groundwater) by which rainfall reaches streams are infrastructure assets. They provide ‘water balance services’," stated Kim Stephens.
"We must remember that we have inherited our prosperity and the responsibilities that go with it. Blaming past councils for deferring infrastructure investment is an exercise in futility. Now is the time for the leadership to assume the political risks, accept responsibility, and move forward," wrote Christina Benty (former Mayor of Golden, BC) in the Fall 2015 Asset Management BC Newsletter.
"Provision of Sustainable Service Delivery is the 'New Paradigm'. It is our singular aim. Sound Asset Management practices prevent in-service failure of assets which consequently cause service delivery interruptions. Therefore, Asset Management is the means to achieve the aim. Shifting to this 'New Paradigm' gives us an opportunity to align the existing nature of our services with the needs of future users," wrote David Allen.
“Natural capital assets, such as green space, aquifers, foreshore area and creeks, can be as effective as engineered (or grey) infrastructure in water management. When considering the civil function that many of our natural assets perform, in many instances at a fraction of the cost of engineered assets, it makes good sense to recognize and manage them in a manner that reflects their true worth," concluded Dave Newman.
"Canadian municipalities must innovate to address at least three major, interconnected issues now and over the coming years. The Town of Gibsons, just north of Vancouver, is pioneering a strategy that could contribute to the efforts of municipalities in BC and elsewhere to address these issues. The Gibsons 'eco-asset strategy' is proving to be an effective financial and municipal management approach," stated Emanuel Machado.