Georgia Basin IREI: "The Ecological Accounting Protocol is the lynch-pin for achieving Sustainable Watershed Systems through a whole-system, water balance approach," stated Kim Stephens at a meeting of Metro Vancouver's Stormwater Interagency Liaison Group (Nov 2016)
Note to Reader:
Metro Vancouver, its member municipalities, and provincial and federal environmental agencies formed the Stormwater Interagency Liaison Group (SILG) in 2002 under its provincially approved Liquid Waste Management Plan to facilitate the co-ordination and sharing of common research related to stormwater management.
This co-ordinated approach created a template for developing watershed-specific, flexible and adaptive strategies, known as Integrated Stormwater Management Plans (ISMPs).
In November 2016, Kim Stephens (Executive Director, Partnership for Water Sustainability in BC) was invited by Metro Vancouver to present a status report to SILG about the Georgia Basin Inter-Regional Education Initiative (IREI). Download a copy of IREI Status Report, the presentation by Kim Stephens.
Sustainable Watershed Systems
The Georgia Basin region comprises the east coast of Vancouver and Lower Mainland (Metro Vancouver).
The Partnership for Water Sustainability is the hub for a “convening for action” network in the local government setting, and is responsible for delivering the IREI. Five regional district partners represent 75% of BC’s population.
“The project Sustainable Watershed Systems, through Asset Management describes a whole-system, water balance approach to community development and infrastructure servicing,” stated Kim Stephens at the SILG meeting.
The project comprises three categories of mutually reinforcing and integrated deliverables, explained Kim Stephens, namely:
- Ecological Accounting Protocol (EAP);
- Water Balance Methodology / Model / Express; and
- Professional Development & Outreach (capacity-building).
“EAP is the lynch-pin for the project,” emphasized Kim Stephens.
“The twin pillars of the IREI are the Water Balance Methodology (existing) and the EAP (under development). The two are inter-connected.”
“My objective in meeting with SILG was to plant seeds. Six months from now we will see whether and/or how the seeds have taken root.”
To Learn More:
Download the Primer on Water Balance Methodology for Protecting Watershed Health, the fifth in a series of guidance documents that form the basis for knowledge-transfer via the IREI. The foundation document for the series is Stormwater Planning: A Guidebook for British Columbia, released in 2002.
Download Sustainable Watershed Systems: Primer on Application of Ecosystem-based Understanding in the Georgia Basin, released in September 2016. It is written in a magazine-style to help multiple audiences – whether elected, administrative, technical or stewardship – ask the right questions.
The BC Framework
“Asset Management for Sustainable Service Delivery: A BC Framework links local government services, infrastructure that supports service delivery, and watershed health,” Kim Stephens told SILG.
“The BC Framework sets a strategic direction that would refocus business processes to properly manage the water balance within the built environment, and result in optimum infrastructure design.”
“Benefits of optimum design include less flooding, less stream erosion, more streamflow when needed most.”
To Learn More:
Visit Sustainable Service Delivery on the Green Infrastructure community-of-interest.
Asset Management Continuum
“As understanding grows, local governments will progress incrementally along the Asset Management Continuum for Sustainable Service Delivery,” stated Kim Stephens.
“A goal of the Province and Union of BC Municipalities is to enhance the capabilities of local governments to think holistically and implement a life-cycle approach to infrastructure decision-making for core engineered assets. This means water supply, sewerage and roads. Training is being undertaken by Asset Management BC.”
“In parallel, the Partnership for Water Sustainability is proceeding in parallel with a program of teaching, training and mentoring to advance watershed sustainability outcomes.”
“Basically, the Partnership’s mission is to prepare local governments for Step Three on the Asset Management Continuum (see image below).”
“Within two years, our goal is that local governments will understand WHY they need to transition to Sustainable Watershed Systems, and HOW they can accomplish this through asset management.”
To Learn More:
Click on Introducing the “Asset Management Continuum for Sustainable Service Delivery in British Columbia” to read an announcement posted in December 2015