Beyond the Guidebook 2015: Environment Deputy Minister lauds work of the Partnership for Water Sustainability in BC

"Beyond the Guidebook 2015 is a milestone accomplishment, and was made possible with provincial funding assistance,” wrote Wes Shoemaker. "The ministry acknowledges that the Partnership is also adding depth to the Guidebook through the Beyond the Guidebook Report Series and the Beyond the Guidebook Primer Series. The work of the Partnership is supporting the Province’s Living Water Smart vision and Green Communities initiative."

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.

Towards Watershed Sustainability: What Happens on the Land Matters (Beyond the Guidebook 2015)

“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.

Towards Watershed Sustainability: Implement ‘Design with Nature’ practices to build green and resilient communities in British Columbia (Beyond the Guidebook 2015)

"Some communities are already anticipating and adapting to our changing climate, and they are using existing planning legislation and tools. Being able to start with good information about projected future conditions is key to assessing the risks and vulnerabilities of a particular location," says Cathy Leblanc. "Each community is different and by developing its own strategies for mainstreaming adaptation into its decisions and operations, it will become more resilient.”

Towards Watershed Sustainability: “Asset Management for Sustainable Service Delivery” is aligned with BC’s capital grants program (Provincial Driver #3 in 2014)

Several years in the making, the BC Framework is aligned with the asset management requirements for the Province’s capital grants programs, and is therefore a game-changer. "We can view asset management as a continuum. Communities will progress along it incrementally as their understanding grows," states Liam Edwards. "They can achieve the goal of Sustainable Service Delivery for watershed systems.”

Towards Watershed Sustainability: “Sustainable Service Delivery for Watershed Systems, through Asset Management” applies to land uses that local government regulates (Beyond the Guidebook 2015)

"The Union of BC Municipalities (UBCM), in partnership with the Province and Asset Management BC, developed the BC Framework. It sets strategic direction for asset management and its implementation in BC," states Wally Wells. "The BC Framework defines asset management as a continuous process (not a discrete task). The PLAN is only a part of the overall process. The PROCESS deals with all of the components necessary to manage the built and natural environments as integrated components."