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Beyond the Guidebook 2015

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.”

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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.”

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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.”

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BEYOND THE GUIDEBOOK 2015: To download a copy of "Sustainable Watershed Systems, through Asset Management"……


Five Regional Districts representing 75% of BC’s population are partners in the Georgia Basin Inter-Regional Educational Initiative (IREI). A program deliverable is the Beyond the Guidebook 2015. It is a progress report on how local governments are ‘learning by doing’ to implement affordable and effective science-based practices. It is the third in a series that builds on Stormwater Planning: A Guidebook for British Columbia.

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BEYOND THE GUIDEBOOK 2015: Moving Towards "Sustainable Watershed Systems, through Asset Management"


“Beyond the Guidebook 2015 introduces Dr. Daniel Pauly’s Shifting Baseline Syndrome to explain why communities unwittingly accept incremental and cumulative environmental degradation. It then adapts this thinking to focus on how communities can turn the clock back to replicate desired conditions. This outcome would be achievable through an approach that is being branded as Sustainable Watershed Systems, through Asset Management,” explains Kim Stephens.

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Beyond the Guidebook 2015: The Shifting Baseline Syndrome is….


Shifting Baseline Syndrome refers to a gradual change in the accepted norm for ecological conditions. “Every generation will use the images that they got at the beginning of their conscious lives as a standard and will extrapolate forward. And the difference then, they perceive as a loss. But they don’t perceive what happened before as a loss. You can have a succession of changes. At the end you want to sustain miserable leftovers. And the question is, why do people accept this?,” stated Daniel Pauly.

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Why 'Beyond the Guidebook 2015'?


In BC, a ‘learn-by-doing’ process is opening minds and building confidence that communities can re-set the ecological baseline and can replicate a desired watershed condition. According to Kim Stephens: “The Guidebook vision is that community development activities and further alteration of the Built Environment will result in cumulative benefits, not impacts. In 2002, the Guidebook identified a path forward for local governments.”

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Beyond the Guidebook 2015: Look at a Watershed as a Whole System.…


The pioneer work of Richard Horner and Chris May provided a reason and a starting point for revisiting urban hydrology in BC.“So many studies manipulate a single variable out of context with the whole and its many additional variables,” states Horner, an adjunct professor at the University of Washington. “We, on the other hand, investigated whole systems in place, tying together measures of the landscape, stream habitat and aquatic life.”

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Beyond the Guidebook 2015 presents Time-Lines and Milestones for each regional "convening for action" story


“Each regional time-line identifies milestones in the building blocks process. In addition, there is an overall or over-arching provincial storyline that links the five regional stories. Provincial milestones provide the basic structure and backbone that carries through each of the stories within the story. The aspect or element that unifies the regional stories is the ‘convening for action’ program which is what inter-regional collaboration is about,” states Kim Stephens.

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Beyond the Guidebook 2015: Time-Line for Comox Valley shows how "regional team approach" has evolved over past decade


“Adoption of the regional strategies has resulted in much for municipal staffs to absorb and digest about doing business differently, while at the same time they are tasked with keeping the wheels of government rolling to meet ongoing commitments,” stated Kevin Lagan. “The Comox Valley-CAVI Regional Team convenes for action around this paradigm: Water is the finite resource; however, management of development is the control.”

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