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.”
“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 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.”
“Local governments need ‘real numbers’ to deliver outcomes and support decision making,” stated Tim Pringle, Chair, Ecological Accounting Protocol (EAP) Initiative
“The concept of natural capital and natural assets can be a challenge to integrate effectively into asset management practices,” stated Tim Pringle. “EAP deals with a basic question: what is a creekshed WORTH, now and in future, to the community and various intervenors? Ecological services are diverse, and provide environmental, social and traditional (core) services to the community via a natural asset – in this case, a creek/riparian area.”
INFLUENCING CHANGE IN BRITISH COLUMBIA: “In effect we are being challenged to re-assess our thinking regarding how we practice water management in the 21st century,” stated Eric Bonham when commenting on the legacy of the Partnership for Water Sustainability
“Future planners, engineers, scientists, politicians and citizens alike will be called upon to demonstrate both vision and pragmatism, working as a team towards consensus, commitment and collaboration for the common good. Such collaboration is essential and must cross all political and community boundaries given that climate change is no respecter of such creations. The Partnership has accepted this challenge and its implementation,” stated Eric Bonham.
“Changes to the BC Societies Act have meant changes to our Constitution and By-laws to bring us into alignment with the new Act and to carry out some house-cleaning to be more effective and efficient in our general operations. Part of these changes have meant a clarification around ‘membership’ and to review the need for additional directors. The board currently comprises seven (7) directors. These changes were discussed at a directors’ meeting in October and were passed by special resolution,” stated Derek Richmond.