Communities are starting to recognize the value of natural assets and their role in local government service delivery, and include natural assets in their asset management programs. "The BC Framework links local government services, the infrastructure that supports service delivery, and watershed health," states Brian Bedford. “It is a powerful tool for local governments to focus community planning and infrastructure decision-making."
“Local governments are starting to recognize that watersheds are natural assets that have value, ecosystem services have a role in municipal service delivery, and so they need to be integrated into their asset management programs. Watershed systems are infrastructure assets. They need to be managed and protected as such," states Kim Stephens.
“Stream health and what happens on the land are connected. In the early 1990’s, the ‘Coho Salmon crisis’ raised the alarm that changes in hydrology caused by land development were resulting in small stream salmon demise. The stewardship sector was the catalyst for restorative action in BC," stated Peter Law. "Today, community organizations partner with local governments to monitor and restore local watershed health."
“The Rising to the Challenge conference was a milestone event. Because Australian practitioners are at a fork in their journey, they are looking to learn from BC experience. They are curious about our 'whole systems' approach to water balance management," stated Kim Stephens. "I introduced Australians to three 'big ideas' that underpin where we are heading in BC, namely: Primacy of Hydrology, Shifting Baseline Syndrome, and Cathedral Thinking."
"The role of Asset Management BC is to ensure consistency of understanding and application of Sustainable Service Delivery methodologies and tools to meet the goals of the provincial policy and regulatory framework. Over time, the program led by the Partnership for Water Sustainability would support implementation of fully integrated Sustainable Service Delivery by providing the technical foundation for Sustainable Watershed Systems," wrote Wally Wells (photo) and Kim Stephens.
The goal of the 2016 BC Landscape Architects Conference is to examine the influence water has in all aspects of our lives and landscapes. “It would be valuable to introduce conference attendees to the findings of Beyond the Guidebook 2015 and what is necessary for us as design professionals to contribute to the restoration of watershed health wherever we are practising," stated Al Neufeld.
"Climate change is exacerbating an existing vulnerability (a seasonal water imbalance). When we are vulnerable on the IN side of the equation, we then have to build in resiliency on the OUT side. But where will we do that, recognizing that everything is in flux? The answer is that we look for the little things that will yield cumulative benefits in the built environment. This is key," says Kim Stephens.
"A watershed is an integrated system, is infrastructure, and must be viewed as an asset that provides municipal services. Watershed systems thinking covers the continuum from water supply to drainage, and encompasses human and/or ecosystem needs. Where a local government regulates land use, a watershed is an integral part of the drainage infrastructure assets of the local government," says Kate Miller.
"Local governments regulate how land is developed, drained and serviced. This means local governments have the authority and ability to determine and implement watershed-based volume targets that would help to prevent drainage impacts in wet weather and also maintain an adequate water supply in dry weather for human and/or ecosystem needs," stated Richard Boase.
“The asset management process is a continuum; and nature is an integral part of a community’s infrastructure system. The process starts with the engineered assets that local governments provide. Communities will progress along the continuum incrementally as their understanding grows. By also accounting for and integrating the services that nature provides, over time they can achieve the goal of Sustainable Service Delivery for watershed systems," states Wally Wells.
A scenario comparison tool to assess green infrastructure effectiveness, achieve a lighter 'water footprint' and protect stream health. Learn More
The Water Conservation Calculator illustrates how specific water conservation measures can yield both fiscal and physical water savings for communities. Learn More
This Landscape Irrigation Scheduling Calculator uses real-time daily evapotranspiration (ET) rates determined from climate stations located within British Columbia. Learn More
This Agricultural Irrigation Scheduling Calculator uses real-time daily evapotranspiration (ET) rates determined from climate stations located within British Columbia. Learn More
The BC Agriculture Water Calculator enables water licensing for all irrigation purposes, whether agricultural or landscape. All non-domestic users of groundwater in BC are required to obtain a licence. Learn More