OUR MISSION: Develop Tools. Develop Talent. Focus on Outcomes.

The Partnership for Water Sustainability in British Columbia (the Partnership) is the hub for a “convening for action” network in the local government setting, is responsible for delivering the Water Sustainability Action Plan program through partnerships and collaboration, and embraces a vision for shared responsibility where all the players align their efforts for the common good.

The Partnership plays a bridging role between provincial and local governments, and between local governments and the stewardship sector; and is the steward for Stormwater Planning: A Guidebook for British Columbia, a provincial guidance document released in 2002.

Under the Action Plan umbrella, the Partnership collaborates with government and others to develop methodologies, tools and resources to support implementation of the Whole-System, Water Balance Approach to land use, infrastructure servicing and asset management.

About the Water Sustainability Action Plan

Released by the provincial government in February 2004, the Water Sustainability Action Plan provides a partnership umbrella for advancing on-the-ground initiatives in the local government setting.

In the early years, initiatives were inspired by and built on the conceptual foundation provided by A Water Conservation Strategy for British Columbia, released in 1998. Ian McHarg’s “Design with Nature” vision has influenced Action Plan implementation. The desired outcome is to achieve settlement, economy and ecology in balance.

Visit these Communities of Practice to learn about success stories and more:

Latest News

Initiatives & Events

British Columbia’s Partnership for Water Sustainability is on YouTube

Explore the videos on the waterbucket YouTube channel

The channel is a repository for archival material, with videos dating back more than a decade. This provides a living record of our history as we have created it through programs such as: Georgia Basin Inter-Regional Education Initiative (IREI); Water Balance Model; CAVI-Convening for Action on Vancouver Island …more

Parksville 2019: Second Annual Vancouver Island Symposium on Water Stewardship in a Changing Climate (April 2-3-4)

Theme: Make Better Land Use Decisions & Move Towards Restorative Development

While British Columbia communities may not be able to restore lost biodiversity, they can certainly halt its decline and “make where we live better”. Join delegates from the east coast of Vancouver Island and beyond, and attend a ‘watershed moment’ in the City of Parksville …more

Georgia Basin Inter-Regional Education Initiative (IREI)

Mimic the Natural Water Balance & Protect Stream Health

The IREI promotes “sharing & learning” and cross-pollinating of experience among local governments in five regional districts on the east coast of Vancouver Island and in the Lower Mainland regions of British Columbia …more

Sustainable Watershed Systems, through Asset Management

Learn about implementation of a whole-system, water balance approach in British Columbia to protect and/or restore stream and watershed health

The approach simplifies things down to an understanding of the consequences of changes in duration of flow …more

Water Balance Express for Landowners


Using the Express, the homeowner can quickly size and test landscape-based solutions – such as rain gardens and absorbent soil – that slow, sink and spread rainwater …more

Ecological Accounting Process (EAP) Initiative

Making it Straightforward for Communities to Calculate “THE WORTH” of Ecological Services and Incorporate in Financial Plans

EAP is one of the twin technical pillars for the whole-system, water balance approach. EAP deals with a basic question: what is a creekshed WORTH, now and in future, to the community and various intervenors …more

About the Partnership for Water Sustainability in British Columbia

The Partnership is a legal entity, incorporated in 2010 as a not-for-profit society, and delivers services on behalf of government. It originated as an inter-governmental partnership, formed in 2002 to fund and develop the Water Balance Model as a web-based decision support tool. The Water Balance Model was created as an extension of Stormwater Planning: A Guidebook for British Columbia. The objective? Facilitate application of the Water Balance Methodology. The desired outcome? Protect stream health in urbanizing watersheds.  When the Water Sustainability Action Plan was released in 2004, the Water Balance Model was the centrepiece initiative. Similarly, the waterbucket.ca website was also an Action Plan initiative. The objective? Record our history as we create it. Showcase success stories. Celebrate the champions who lead by example. Action Plan experience informed development of Living Water Smart, British Columbia’s Water Plan, released in 2008, as well as the provincial government’s companion Green Communities initiative, also in 2008.

Water Balance Family of Tools + External Resources

Inter-governmental collaboration and funding enable the Partnership for Sustainability in British Columbia to collaborate with others to develop (and share) approaches, tools and resources; as well as provide teaching, training and mentoring.

The educational goal of the Partnership for Water Sustainability in British Columbia is to build practitioner capacity within the local government setting to implement a whole-system, water balance approach branded as Sustainable Watershed Systems, through Asset Management.

Comprehensive and coordinated use of the decision support tools and calculators listed below, which includes calculators developed by others (i.e. the bottom four), would help communities achieve this desired outcome.


Water Balance Model Online

A planning tool for assessing green infrastructure effectiveness at neighbourhood or individual property scales. Compare scenarios for runoff reduction.

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Water Balance Express

Water Balance Express

An interactive tool for homeowners. Click and drag components. Learn what it means and how to slow, spread and sink rainwater that runs off hard surfaces.

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Continuous and multi-year simulation modelling of hydrologic processes and water quality. Model has watershed, receiving stream and BMP components.

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