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 greater common good.  To learn about the Partnership’s genesis and history, visit About Us.

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.

The Action Plan is nested within Living Water Smart, British Columbia’s Water Plan. Released in 2008, Living Water Smart was the provincial government’s call to action, and to this day transcends governments.

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 from the Partnership

About Our Programs & Resources

What do you wonder about  British Columbia’s Partnership for Water Sustainability?

Guided by a vision to reconnect people, fish, land and water

The Partnership’s guiding philosophy is to help others be successful. When they are successful, we are successful.  The Partnership is led by a team of mission-focused volunteers, elders and collaborators. These individuals bring experience, knowledge and wisdom to the Partnership roundtable …more

British Columbia’s Partnership for Water Sustainability is on YouTube

Explore the videos on the waterbucket YouTube channel

Videos help bring to life the history of programs under the Water Sustainability Action Plan for British Columbia. They represent a treasure trove of information. They capture moments in time. Videos are linked to stories posted on this site. This adds a human dimension – real people sharing their experiences …more

British Columbia’s Partnership for Water Sustainability is also on Twitter

Access stories of interest from around the globe

Are you interested in breaking news on relevant topics, such as our changing climate? If so, follow the Partnership on Twitter to stay current with emerging issues. In this way, you can access a diversity of perspectives. Then you can assess the relevance and significance of B.C. initiatives in a global context …more

Living Water Smart in British Columbia:       The Series

Embrace ‘design with nature’ approaches, build greener communities, and adapt to a changing water cycle (balance) 

A set of downloadable documents share experience, knowledge and wisdom. The goal is to build bridges of understanding and pass the baton from the past to the present and future…more

Nanaimo 2018 Symposium: Local Government Collaboration with Stewardship Sector

First Annual Vancouver Island Symposium on Water Stewardship in a Changing Climate

Engagement of community through stewardship is a credible formula to be encouraged and mainstreamed at every opportunity. Recognition that the whole is greater than the sum of the parts is the energy that stokes creativity and determination…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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BC Landscape Calculator

BC Landscape Calculator

Uses a provincial 500-metre gridded climate dataset to establish the allowable ‘water budget’ for outdoor water use for each and every property in BC.

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