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About the Partnership

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“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.”

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What the Partnership Does


“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.”

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2019 Annual Report for the Partnership for Water Sustainability in British Columbia


“The Partnership originated as an inter-governmental initiative almost two decades ago, became the BC Water Sustainability Committee in 2003, and then 9 years ago on November 19, 2010 was incorporated as a not-for-profit society,” stated Ray Fung. “The mission of the Partnership is to develop tools and talent, and focus on outcomes that align regional and local actions with a provincial policy, program and regulatory framework for achieving water and watershed sustainability.”

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2019 REPORT FROM THE PRESIDENT: “The Partnership has a second 5-year agreement with the Ministry of Agriculture to make the Agriculture Water Demand Model operational province-wide,” stated Ted van der Gulik


“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. “The Partnership is responsible for three provincial tools that support ongoing implementation of the Water Sustainability Act. The three are the Agriculture Water Licencing Tool, Landscape Water Calculator, and Agriculture Water Demand Model.

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2019 REPORT FROM THE EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR: “The Partnership’s mission is to advance the whole-system, water balance approach to land development and sustainable service delivery,” stated Kim Stephens


“The Georgia Basin Inter-Regional Education Initiative (IREI) is the Partnership’s flagship program. Five regional districts are IREI partners: Metro Vancouver, Capital, Nanaimo, Cowichan Valley and Comox Valley. Combined, they represent 75% of BC’s population. The Partnership’s mandate is to provide value through collaboration and partnerships. The IREI provides local governments with a mechanism to collaborate, share outcomes and cross-pollinate experience with each other,” stated Kim Stephens.

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2019 REPORT FROM THE SECRETARY: “The new Societies Act has allowed the Partnership to undertake some of its work in a virtual but rapid response manner,” stated Derek Richmond


“The Partnership continues to operate effectively and with increased efficiencies since the introduction of the new Societies Act which came into effect in British Columbia in 2016. Filing of reports as a requirement of the Societies Act has become easier; and also provides for quick reviews, changes and sharing of information. As with other organizations operating under the Societies Act, we participated in a survey / review of the new Act and reported that we are able to function more effectively with its recent changes,” stated Derek Richmond.

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2019 REPORT ON THE PARTNERSHIP’S OPERATIONAL PLAN: “The Plan provides guidance that leads to commitment and working arrangements that extend to cooperation, coordination and co-evolution with shared goals,” stated Mike Tanner


“The Plan continues to help the Partnership to successfully engage partners, by being clear about our goals and why we are doing what we are doing and, how we are going to set about achieving them. This clarity of goals and objectives will allow partners in the local government and stewardship sectors to do what they want to do and ascertain how they will contribute to our mission – for example, in October the Partnership signed an MOU with Asset Management BC, thereby providing a framework for collaboration,” stated Mike Tanner.

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2019 REPORT ON VANCOUVER ISLAND SYMPOSIA SERIES: “Expectations were high as we approached Parksville 2019.  But they were clearly met as evidenced by the comments, reviews and survey results received,” stated John Finnie


“Parksville 2019 demonstrated that a group of some 200 biologists, planners, engineers, streamkeepers, politicians, administrators, students, volunteers, and others, all with different backgrounds, expertise and responsibilities, can share a common learning experience and agree on strategies for water and land stewardship, and stream restoration.  It was indeed a magical experience,” stated John Finnie. “Parksville 2019 was informative, educational and inspiring, and most participants left keen to attend the next in the series:  Comox Valley 2020.”

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2019 REPORT FROM THE EAP CHAIR: “EAP is a recent milestone along the ‘green infrastructure continuum’. The lynch-pin concept for EAP is the ‘natural commons’,” stated Tim Pringle


“Mainstreaming would comprise six more EAP Demonstrations, for a grand total of ten, that cover a broad range of land use situations within the Georgia Basin,” stated Tim Pringle. “The vision for the Stage 3 program is to create a ‘self-help’ way of doing business in the local government context. Local governments would then deploy solutions themselves, and rely less without reliance on outside service providers. Peer-based learning and sharing ultimately holds the key to mainstreaming EAP.”

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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.

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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,”

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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.

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