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Asset Management for Sustainable Service Delivery: A BC Framework

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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Asset Management BC Newsletter (Fall 2016): “Asset Management takes LEADERSHIP,” states Gord Hume, author and former municipal Councillor


“Part of great municipal leadership today is also understanding the importance and urgency of smart asset management. If leaders are not focused on the protection, development and renewal of their municipal assets then their community becomes more vulnerable—and so does the next generation of residents and taxpayers,” wrote Gord Hume. “Leadership. Great leadership. Strong leadership. Canada’s municipalities need it, want it and deserve it.”

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$250 Billion Sink or Swim: How Canada Can Finance the Water Infrastructure Gap


The goal of ‘Sustainable Watershed Systems, through Asset Management’ is to forestall an unfunded taxpayer liability flowing from ‘changes in hydrology’. This means protect and manage the water balance of a watershed in the same way that engineered assets and the services they provide are managed. The foundation for this paradigm-shift was laid in the 1990s when Bill Derry (photo left) and Kim Stephens led a workshop program for BC municipalities.

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Clean Water & Wastewater Fund: Federal government, Province of BC and local governments commit to investing $450 million in infrastructure projects


The Clean Water and Wastewater Fund is a program that supports long term benefits in the rehabilitation of water, wastewater and stormwater systems, and for the planning and design of future facilities and upgrades to existing. “Water and wastewater infrastructure is essential to keeping waterways clean and communities healthy. This funding will support local governments in creating essential public infrastructure that future generations will depend on,” stated Premier Christy Clark.

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