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Asset Management for Sustainable Service Delivery: A BC Framework

LOOK THROUGH THE WORTH LENS: “At the end of the day, community and citizen decisions about how much to invest in restoration of watershed function boil down to this aspect of human nature: ‘what is it worth to me?’,” stated Tim Pringle when he described the philosophy guiding the Ecological Accounting Process


“By providing a value for the land underlying the stream and riparian zone, stakeholders have a much more realistic idea of the worth of ecological services,” stated Tim Pringle. “This form of financial information can then be used by local government to develop strategies guided by ‘Asset Management for Sustainable Service Delivery: A BC Framework’.” A key message, he said, is to draw a distinction between maintenance and management. “Maintenance prevents degradation, whereas management is about enhancement,” he said.

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DESIGN WITH NATURE: “Developing a more thorough understanding of the community’s natural assets aligns with the city’s overall asset management efforts,” stated Courtenay CAO David Allen


“We’re very pleased to have been selected for a natural asset pilot project here in Courtenay, and it puts us on the leading edge nationally for this approach,” noted David Allen. “We’ve already seen the effects of several floods in low-lying areas in recent years, and it makes sense to maximize the potential of our natural environment to reduce the potential impact of these events on residents and businesses.”

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Asset Management for Sustainable Service Delivery: “Alignment with the BC Framework would enable and support the transition of drainage practice from ‘voodoo hydrology’ to a water balance approach,” says Kim Stephens, Partnership for Water Sustainability


“Among land and drainage practitioners, how water gets to a stream and how long it takes is not well understood. Unintended consequences of this failure to ‘get it right’ include degraded urban streams, more flooding, more stream erosion, less streamflow when needed most, and an unfunded infrastructure liability,” states Kim Stephens. “In 2006, American engineer and textbook author Andy Reese coined the term voodoo hydrology to both describe drainage practice and draw attention to the need for changing the way drainage engineers practice their trade.”

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Asset Management BC Creates Formal Partnership to Help Drive Integrated Asset Management


“The partnership brings together core groups, all with a strong commitment individually and collectively to asset management,” stated Wally Wells. “Over several years, the knowledge base of asset management increased and was shared primarily through Asset Management BC (AM BC), including the development of tools and offering training programs. As asset management became a requirement in funding programs, AM BC became the focus for information including the core BC document ‘Asset Management for Sustainable Service Delivery: A BC Framework’. “

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ARTICLE: “Blue Ecology is aligned with the whole-system, water balance vision for restoring ‘Sustainable Watershed Systems, through Asset Management’,” wrote Kim Stephens in an article published in the Asset Management BC Newsletter (September 2017)


“Hydrologists and water managers can help build a brighter future by rediscovering the meaning of water, and interweaving the predominant Western analytical models with the more intuitive indigenous models. Blue Ecology’s philosophy is meant to be the bridge between these two cultural ways of knowing,” stated Michael Blackstock. He developed Blue Ecology, an ecological philosophy that is recognized by UNESCO.

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ASSET MANAGEMENT FOR SUSTAINABLE SERVICE DELIVERY: Governments of Canada and British Columbia fund Georgia Basin Inter-Regional Education Initiative


“The BC Framework sets a strategic direction that refocuses business processes on outcomes that reduce life-cycle costs and risks. It links local government services, infrastructure that supports service delivery, and watershed health,” stated the Hon. Peter Fassbender, Minister of Community, Sport and Cultural Development. “The program goals for the Georgia Basin Inter-Regional Education Initiative are aligned with this strategic direction.”

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DOWNLOAD: “Sustainable Watershed Systems, through Asset Management” – Local stream stewardship volunteers may yet be the difference-maker (Partnership for Water Sustainability in BC, Feb 2017)


“As we learn more about what influences early salmon life history, stewardship groups are asking questions of their local governments about the linkages between small stream habitat destruction and land developments. Now, the scope of their involvement and influence is expanding beyond the creek channel,” stated Peter Law. “Looking ahead, an informed stewardship sector could help accelerate implementation of the whole-system approach.”

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Sustainable Service Delivery: At the FLOWnGROW workshop in Kelowna, Kim Stephens described how to get to Step Three on the Asset Management Continuum by implementing a Whole-System, Water Balance Approach


“Over the past year, we have begun to frame where we want to get to in British Columbia in terms of sustainable watershed systems. We are saying it is a three-step process, If you don’t already have an asset management plan, then you cannot make that leap all the way to Step Three,” stated Kim Stephens. “What the Partnership is trying to do right now is to get them ready in terms of where they need to be a couple of years down the road.”

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“A provincial framework is in place and British Columbia is moving from asset management to Sustainable Service Delivery,” stated Kim Stephens in his presentation to municipal engineers at the 2016 Annual APEGBC Conference


“No longer is asset management only about hard engineered assets,” stated Kim Stephens. “Already facing a $200 billion challenge for renewal of hard infrastructure, ‘Asset Management for Sustainable Service Delivery: A BC Framework’ provides a financial driver for local governments to integrate watershed systems thinking and climate adaptation into asset management.”

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Asset Management for Sustainable Service Delivery: “Nature’s assets provide vital community infrastructure services,” explained Kim Stephens at a meeting of Metro Vancouver’s Stormwater Interagency Liaison Group (Nov 2016)


“The Ecological Accounting Protocol is the lynch-pin for Sustainable Watershed Systems, through Asset Management,” stated Kim Stephens. “The three pathways by which rainfall reaches streams are ‘infrastructure assets’. The pathways provide ‘water balance services’. With this frame of reference, local governments would then use the Ecological Accounting Protocol to develop a more complete financial picture.”

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