“Partnership for Water Sustainability in British Columbia” incorporated as a society
Mandate is to connect the dots between use of land, green infrastructure and water sustainability
The 2010 Land Awards Gala, an event hosted by the Real Estate Foundation of British Columbia on November 18, provided a platform for announcing formation of the Partnership for Water Sustainability in British Columbia.
“Founded upon the principle of collaboration, the Partnership is an autonomous society. The Partnership provides a legal entity for further evolution and delivery of program elements developed under the umbrella of the Water Sustainability Action Plan for British Columbia, released in February 2004,” states Richard Boase, Partnership Director and Co-Chair of the Water Balance Model Partnership.
The framework for “convening for action” for implementing the Action Plan is described in Beyond the Guidebook 2010: Implementing a New Culture for Watershed Protection and Restoration in British Columbia. Released in June, this provincial guidance document is the ‘telling of the stories’ of how change is being implemented on the ground in BC. These stories demonstrate that the practitioner and community culture is changing as an outcome of collaboration and partnerships.
Convening for Action in British Columbia
Since 2003, the Real Estate Foundation and the Province of British Columbia have jointly funded development and implementation of the Water Sustainability Action Plan. Under this umbrella, a partnership network has successfully demonstrated how to:
- Promote the vision and principles of ‘water-centric’ planning.
- Align federal, provincial, regional and local policies and actions about green infrastructure.
- Implement Living Water Smart, British Columbia’s Water Plan on the ground.
- Develop web-based tools that support better land use and infrastructure decisions.
- Connect the dots between our ethic for use of land and the consequences for water sustainability.
- Organize ‘convening for action’ forums that advance alignment, collaboration and integration.
- Move forward with a ‘regional team approach’ to ensure consistency and ‘do more with less’.
- Support the learning environment necessary to explore and embrace innovation.
- Build practitioner leadership to ‘design with nature’ to adapt to climate change.
- Make real the notion of ‘shared responsibility – choose to be enabled’.
The Partnership mandate is to build on the existing Action Plan foundation, connect the dots between our use of land and the consequences for water sustainability, and help implement Living Water Smart, British Columbia’s Water Plan and the Green Communities Initiative on the ground. The ‘twin engines’ of the Action Plan outreach and education program are the Water Balance Model and Water Bucket Website.
The Partnership vision 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. The Partnership mission is to facilitate that change.