Reconnect People, Fish, Land and Water
Incorporation of the Partnership for Water Sustainability in British Columbia as a not-for-profit society on November 19th 2010 was a milestone moment. Incorporation signified a bold leap forward. Two decades earlier, a group of like-minded and passionate individuals, including representatives of three levels of government, came together as a technical committee. Over time, this “water roundtable” evolved into The Partnership.
The umbrella for Partnership initiatives and programs is the Water Sustainability Action Plan for British Columbia. In turn, 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.
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. This enhances the effectiveness of the Partnership as “the hub for a convening for action network”. Although many on the Partnership leadership team have retired from their day jobs, the water-centric mission continues.
What Creating a Legacy Would Mean
Why was our Partnership formed?
In the first decade of this century, the provincial government and Real Estate Foundation of British Columbia (REFBC) jointly funded the work of the “BC water sustainability committee” through an arrangement with the BC Water & Waste Association (BCWWA).
By 2010, however, the committee was at a fork in the road. Ensuring success in delivering the Water Sustainability Action Plan for British Columbia through an expanding inter-governmental partnership network meant the time had come to morph the committee into a self-sustaining legal entity.
What is our vision?
The vision of the Partnership is that water sustainability will be achieved through implementation of green infrastructure policies and practices. How communities in BC get there relies on a change in mind-set.
What is our mission?
The Partnership mission is to facilitate that change with a focus on community and regional land planning, to promote strategies that integrate decisions about land use and conservation with water sustainability outcomes.
What is Our Structure?
In November 2016, the new Societies Act came into effect in British Columbia. It provided clarity regarding types of societies. This clarity helped the Partnership define its identity. The Partnership is not, and cannot be, a member-funded society. The reason is that The Partnership is funded mostly by government and provides services to government.
Directors are the only formal ‘members’ and are the only ones to have voting rights. The Directors are empowered to create non-voting categories of membership and to date have created four categories:
- Lifetime Members – individuals who have made outstanding contributions to the success of the Partnership, especially in the early years (10 to date).
- Champion Supporters – typically organizations that collaborate with and support the Partnership on a continuing basis (28 to date).
- Ambassadors – key individuals who, through their day jobs and/or community involvement, support and help advance the work of the Partnership.
- Associate Members – individuals with an interest in green infrastructure and/or water sustainability who are on the distribution list for the weekly Waterbucket eNews (close to 2500).
The Partnership’s Leadership Team is comprised of Directors and non-voting Founding Members and Ex Officio Members who are available to participate in discussions relating to any ideas, issues relating to the Partnership and its direction in delivering the program for the Water Sustainability Action Plan.