Watershed Health, Rainwater Management and Sustainable Service Delivery are related priorities for communities on the east coast of Vancouver Island and in the Metro Vancouver region. “Inter-regional sharing, collaboration, alignment and consistency will accelerate effective implementation of watershed protection objectives within each regional district. The regions are linked by common interests, but are not dependent on each other,” stated Edwin Grieve, former Chair of the Comox Valley Regional District.
Beyond the Guidebook 2015
The Province has many different programs that provide local governments with guidance to achieve their community goals. “Develop with Care 2014, for example, brings together information and guidance from several provincial ministries. The document takes an integrative and collaborative approach so that the information and guidance is all in one place,” states Maggie Henigman, Ministry of Forests, Land and Natural Resource Operations.
According to Angus McAllister, pollster and researcher, water brings people together. “Through my polling research, I have learned that people are hardwired to water, at both the functional and emotional levels. It is no accident that we like to gather around water coolers and watering holes. Water brings people together. It is a natural starting point for any conversation about common interests, and by extension, our shared future,” he says.
Part D of Beyond the Guidebook 2015: Local Governments are "Convening for Action" in the Georgia Basin
Local governments are developing integrated solutions. “It is exciting to see local governments acting creatively to address the pressing environmental challenges of our time. Good work in planning, service delivery and infrastructure development – that fits the unique context of individual communities – is contributing to making our communities not only more sustainable but also better places to live,” states Dale Wall.
Towards Watershed Sustainability: Align with Provincial Policy & Regulatory Framework / Enable Action by Decision Makers at Local Level (to learn Why and How, read Part B – Beyond the Guidebook 2015)
“There is a provincial story. But nobody has been telling it. Part B of Beyond the Guidebook 2015 is intended to fill that gap. It connects the dots. It does this by linking the landmark initiatives that have been spearheaded by different divisions within different ministries. This should help convey how mandates, roles and responsibilities are aligned to achieve the Watershed Health Goal in BC,” writes Kim Stephens.
“During the late 1960s, BC began its multi-faceted and ongoing journey towards sustainability. By the 1980s, local governments were given enabling legislation to protect the environment,” states Erik Karlsen. “By the mid-1990s, inter-governmental partnerships were formed to address environmental challenges; and were supported by protocol agreements between the Province and the Union of BC Municipalities.”
Towards Watershed Sustainability: 2008 "Call to Action" connected the dots between the Water Balance, land development practices, a changing climate and "water-resiliency" in BC (Beyond the Guidebook 2015)
The 45 actions and targets in Living Water Smart, BC’s Water Plan establish expectations vis-à-vis how land will be developed (or redeveloped) and how water will be used. “Living Water Smart acknowledges that what government does is only part of the solution. Living Water Smart challenges all British Columbians to step up and be water stewards. Embrace shared responsibility. Create a legacy for those who follow in our footsteps,” states Lynn Kriwoken, Executive Director in the Ministry of Environment.
Towards Watershed Sustainability: Three landmark game-changers adopted by Province in 2014 enable watershed-based action in BC (Beyond the Guidebook 2015)
“Adaptation is local in application. The Province has developed information and tools to support practitioners and decision makers to take action at a local level. Sharing of knowledge and experience through ‘organic collaboration’ is also vital because peer-to-peer learning is what practitioners respect most,” states Thomas White, Manager, Climate Risk Management, Climate Action Secretariat (Ministry of Environment).
Towards Watershed Sustainability: BC's new Water Sustainability Act addresses seven policy areas (Provincial Driver #1 in 2014)
Looking into the future, collaboratively developed Water Sustainability Plans can integrate water and land use planning and can be combined with other local, regional or provincial planning processes to address water-related issues. “The scale and scope of each plan – and the process used to develop it – would be unique, and would reflect the needs and interests of the watersheds affected,” states Jennifer Vigano.
Towards Watershed Sustainability: “Develop with Care 2014″ promotes ways to retain and create environmental function and resilience as communities grow in British Columbia (Provincial Driver #2 in 2014)
Develop with Care 2014 is a tool to engage with local governments, planners, developers and others involved in land use about the provincial mandate and issues. “Develop with Care 2014 incorporates the integration piece that now makes the direct connection to the Built Environment and the local government mandate. A focus on the Built Environment provides an opportunity to look at environmental protection from perspective of land use, and get out in front of issues,” stated Helene Roberge.