“Now that the new Societies Act (2016) has provided the Partnership with clarity regarding our identify, it allows the Board of Directors to focus on the Partnership mission,” stated Derek Richmond, Partnership Secretary
“The Partnership’s Constitution is now aligned with the new Societies Act. 2018 was our first full year operating under the new act,” stated Derek Richmond. “Changes in municipal staffing and recent municipal elections have enabled us to renew and strengthen old relationships and also develop new relationships. This re-enforces the importance of collaboration between all parties and the opportunity to review and embrace the foundation of our past success through collaboration, cooperation and coordination.”
“The vision of the Partnership is that water sustainability will be achieved through implementation of green infrastructure policies and practices,” states Tim Pringle, Past-President. “Because the Partnership is the hub for a ‘convening for action’ network, we are positioned to facilitate alignment of regional and local actions with provincial goals. By providing education, research, technical training and tools, we can help communities move from awareness to action.”
RESILIENCE + CHANGE: Session on “Tools, Resources & Funding for Local Governments” at UBCM Annual Convention updated British Columbia local government elected representatives about the ‘convening for action’ leadership role played by Partnership for Water Sustainability (Sept 2019)
Big or small, rural or urban, our communities are experiencing change at an unprecedented rate. From climate change to economic pressures, local governments are on the front lines managing the local impact of complex issues. In an uncertain future, local leaders have a duty to learn from each other and from the past and to find new approaches to plan and thrive. “One-on-one conversations with mayors and councillors from towns around BC was an effective way to inform them about the Partnership’s work,” stated Richard Boase.
YOUTUBE VIDEO > Reflections on the 2015 Drought: “Southwest British Columbia dodged a bullet,” stated Kim Stephens in an interview published by The Province newspaper
On a positive note, Kim Stephens said the water issue is gaining a prominence in the public’s mind which it has never had. “People in general have not appreciated how vulnerable we’ve always been. They’re beginning to see how essential it is,” he said. Stephens advises the public to stay positive and not succumb to a negative state of mind. “Drought is not the end of the world. Australia survived a seven-year drought. People get through it,” he said. “The clock is ticking. Communities need to leverage this teachable year and seize opportunities to change how the water resource is viewed and managed,”
2019 SUSTAINABILITY LEADERSHIP CONGRESS IN VANCOUVER: “The Partnership for Water Sustainability in British Columbia is looking to bridge a ‘demographic gap’ and pass on our knowledge and wisdom through an intergenerational exchange,” stated Kim Stephens, Executive Director
In June 2019, the newly created Intengine Global Change Foundation will host hundreds of young sustainability leaders and established industry-wide professionals, for the first annual Sustainability Leadership Congress. “The Partnership is participating in the Congress because the Intengine Foundation’s vision for intergenerational capacity-building aligns with the commitment by the Partnership to identify and mentor emerging talent in the local government setting,” stated Kim Stephens.
The long-term support provided by Mayor Darrell Mussatto contributed to the effectiveness of the Partnership for Water Sustainability as the hub for a ‘convening for action’ network in the local government setting. As Chair of Metro Vancouver’s Utilities Committee, there were several pivotal moments when the support of Mayor Mussatto and the Utilities Committee meant that the Partnership for Water Sustainability could carry out its capacity-building mission.
“Collaboration across varied disciplines is no longer an option, but essential, particularly so in light of the climate change challenge, and the Partnership’s strength has been its ability to cultivate successful partnerships that make an effective difference on the ground,” stated Eric Bonham, founding member of the Partnership Leadership Team, and a former Director in two provincial Ministries (Environment; Municipal Affairs).
“PWSBC success is accomplished by partnering with the provincial government, local governments, non-profit societies and practitioners. Our successes are only possible with their support and efforts,” stated Ted van der Gulik, President
“The Partnership finished a five year agreement with the Ministry of Agriculture to deliver the Agriculture Water Demand Model program in March of 2018. In May of 2018 another five year agreement was established in an effort to make the AWDM operational for the entire province. The new agreement will allow for additional work on digitizing soils data, update climate data to 2018 and develop an online version of the AWDM,” reported Ted van der Gulik.
“In 2018, a Partnership priority was to build enduring relationships with the stewardship sector,” stated Kim Stephens, Executive Director
“We are convinced that community empowerment and sustainable partnerships with local government are key to adapting to the ‘new normal’ – and that is, warmer and wetter winters, longer and drier summers,” stated Kim Stephens. “A decade of effort, by partnerships of local governments and community stewards, is demonstrating success on the ground where it matters. They are on a pathway to reconnect hydrology and ecology.”
“The Plan and ensuing activities are designed to ensure alignment with the mission, vision and values of the Partnership,” stated Mike Tanner, Chair, Operational Plan Committee
“The Plan provides guidance that leads to commitment and working arrangements that extend to cooperation, coordination and coevolution with shared goals. One of the priority goals is to enhance the capabilities of the online Water Balance suite of tools to support the Ecological Accounting Process (EAP) as well as expanding their use,” stated Mike Tanner. “The Plan will also help the Partnership use the resources available most effectively to achieve desired outcomes.”
“Water Sustainability. Habitat Enhancement. Land Security. These are important focal points for the Parksville 2019 Symposium on Water Stewardship in a Changing Climate,” stated John Finnie, Chair
“The themes for this year’s symposium are Sustainable Stream Restoration and Restorative Land Development. Stand-alone initiatives but intrinsically linked to a Design with Nature philosophy. The partner co-hosts have brought together experts in the field to speak, and to educate and challenge participants about the critical importance of recognizing that what happens on the land in the creekshed does matter to streams,” stated John Finnie. “The first symposium in 2018 struck a chord. So we bring you Parksville 2019.”