Waterbucket eNews: Partnership for Water Sustainability launches a new season of “Celebrating the Champions” (September 2018 – June 2019)
“Local governments are implementers. This means they can be change leaders. They can integrate climate adaptation into the activities and actions of engineered and natural asset management – or flipping it around, integrate asset management into the activities and actions of climate adaptation. ‘Getting it right’ starts with recognition that hydrology is the engine that powers ecological services,” stated Kim Stephens. “Getting it right depends on provincial and local government alignment to require ‘design with nature’ standards of practice for servicing of land – so that communities decrease their ‘destructive footprint’ while at the same time increasing their ‘restoration footprint’.”
Gibsons is a town of 4,400 residents, situated at the south end of BC’s Sunshine Coast. The Town has published a free, easy-to-read guide about its’ experience in financial planning and reporting for natural assets as municipal infrastructure. “With the release of our guidance document, ‘Advancing Municipal Natural Asset Management’, we’re aiming to translate enthusiastic interest in our home-grown approach into real-world practice in municipalities and asset management organizations…and to show relevant parties how easy it is to start incorporating natural assets into their asset management plan,” stated Emanuel Machado.
Sustainable Watershed Systems – what is the provincial government role in helping BC communities “get it right”?
“The purpose of the document was to ‘tell the story’ of the 2008 Vancouver Island Learning Lunch Seminar Series in the words of those who embraced the concept and made it happen. The Learning Lunch series was precedent-setting. It came to fruition because of the commitment, the energy and the dedication of our local government partners in three regional districts – Cowichan, Comox and Nanaimo. We endeavoured to weave a seamless storyline that shows how the Learning Lunch series fits into a bigger picture,” stated John Finnie.
“The hard work of hope has resulted in a policy, program and regulatory framework that enables community-based action to adapt to the New Normal. Living Water Smart successes are defined by collaboration and a “top-down / bottom-up” approach. This brings together decision-makers and community advocates,” wrote Kim Stephens. “In Living Water Smart, the lynch-pin statement is: ‘All land and water managers will know what makes a stream healthy, and therefore be able to help land and water users factor in new approaches to securing stream health and the range of stream benefits’.”
“Being a very small community of approximately 850 parcels, another $5M is beyond us with our current commitment of $4.5M/15 year towards our aging distribution infrastructure,” stated Lynne Smith. “How can small communities have such a huge financial burden dropped on them without any financial assistance from the Provincial Government? As a group we continue to pursue an equitable solution for all mandated filtration systems, be they small or large. Some systems have received grants but others are left without any financial assistance.”
Eco-Asset Action in the Comox Valley: A community prepares to unpave a parking lot and put up a paradise
The excitement and energy generated by the 2017 Comox Valley Eco-Asset Symposium has helped to move forward the long-term vision for transforming a decommissioned sawmill site on the Courtenay River into a valuable habitat corridor that could also transform the city’s most troublesome flood liabilities into an eco-asset corridor for the whole community. “The Comox Valley is approaching a watershed moment in land restoration, and all of British Columbia can learn some important lessons here,” states Vanessa Scott.
Assessing the Worth of Ecological Services Using the Ecological Accounting Process (EAP) for Watershed Assessment
“By providing a value for the land underlying the stream and riparian zone, stakeholders have a much more realistic idea of the worth of the ecological services supplied by environmental assets,” stated Tim Pringle. “This form of financial information can then be used by local government to develop strategies guided by ‘Asset Management for Sustainable Service Delivery: A BC Framework’.” A key message, he said, is to draw a distinction between maintenance and management.
Mimic nature, restore the water balance, adapt to a changing climate: The “sponge city” imagery resonates; people intuitively get it.
“In order to increase the resilience of a natural system, it is important to find solutions beyond the level of the city and even nation. I’m talking about a whole global system, in which we think globally but must act locally,” says Kongjian Yu. He is famous for being the man who reintroduced ancient Chinese water systems to modern design. In the process he has transformed some of China’s most industrialized cities into standard bearers of green architecture.
“Strategically packaging projects for multiple funders and investors can attract more money and accelerate implementation based on policy and investor priorities, such as – critical infrastructure resilience, business continuity, reduced operating and capital costs, disaster prevention, affordable housing, health, and habitat protection,” stated Steve Winkelman.
Kanaka Creek Watershed Stewardship Centre – a new jewel in the crown of Metro Vancouver’s regional parks system
“The addition of the Kanaka Creek Watershed Stewardship Centre will offer education and grassroots engagement on the critical importance of watershed stewardship and environmental sustainability,” said Heather Deal, Chair of Metro Vancouver’s Regional Parks Committee. “We are thrilled to officially open this Centre in Maple Ridge for the enjoyment of all Metro Vancouver residents and visitors.”