PRESIDENT’S PERSPECTIVE (2018): “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


Reproduced below from the 2018 Annual Report is the Report from the President (Ted van der Gulik). To download a copy of the 2018 Annual Report, click here.

After retiring as the Senior Engineer with the Ministry of Agriculture, Ted has fully engaged with both the Partnership and Irrigation Industry Association (as chair of the Certification Board). He continues to undertake tasks that support the work of the Province to advance development of both the Agriculture Water Demand Model and the Agriculture Water Licensing Calculator.

While with the Ministry, Ted managed and provided direction to a team of professional Engineers and Agrologists. Team members were specialists in farm structures, waste management, mechanization, environmental management, irrigation and drainage.

Breadth and Reach of the Partnership

As in previous years, this past year has found the Partnership for Water Sustainability in BC in the midst of a number of new and old ventures with respect to promoting sustainable watersheds in BC.

Annual Water Sustainability Workshop:

The Partnership co-hosted (with the Nanaimo & Area Land Trust) a symposium in Nanaimo titled “Water Stewardship in a Changing Climate”. The symposium presented a collaboration of success stories on watershed stewardship, the water balance and restorative development. The workshop is an outreach and professional development event, held under the umbrella of the Georgia Basin Inter-Regional Education Initiative.

Georgia Basin Inter-Regional Education Initiative:

In March of 2017, the Partnership received grant funding from the federal / provincial Clean Water and Wastewater Fund.  The funding ended in March of 2018.  The project advanced Green Infrastructure strategies used by local governments in environmental protection and infrastructure design. The project comprised of three initiatives:

  • Ecological Accounting Protocol: A case study was completed in the Brooklyn Creek Watershed that outlined a financial picture that the local government could use to make fund stream restoration work into the future. The intent is to make sustainable service delivery more robust with the inclusion of the value and costs associated with the use of services from natural assets as municipal infrastructure.
  • Water Balance Methodology / Model / Express: Work on both the Water Balance Model and the Water Balance Model Express was carried out with grant funding. The intent of the PWSBC is to integrate the tools into municipal bylaws to move forward implementation.
  • Professional Development & Outreach: The PWSBC has initiated a program of teaching, training and mentoring that would ensure consistent understanding of WHY and HOW to apply methodologies and tools, and would build up practitioner capacity within local governments.

Water Sustainability Act:

The Partnership is responsible for the following:

  • Water Licencing Tool: The PWSBC has received funding from the Ministry of Agriculture to upgrade the Agriculture Water Licencing Tool. Originally developed in 2016 the tool has been very successful and the Province has requested that some upgrades be added. Upgrades include the ability to report monthly water use and a drawing tool that will allow the reports generated to be used as a farm plan with the water application. 

Agriculture Water Demand Model:

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.

Water Balance Model:

Additional work is being done with the Water Balance Model Express. A concerted effort is underway to use the tool as part of municipal bylaws.  This venture is being piloted in North Vancouver and Gibsons.

Waterbucket Website:

The site was upgraded at the end of 2017 and can be found at  The success of the website is reflected in the increase in the number of requests to be added to our weekly newsletter.  The database is now approaching 2200 registrants.

Concluding Remarks

As always the 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.

I thank the Partnership leadership team – Kim Stephens, Richard Boase, Eric Bonham, Glen Brown, Raymond Fung, Peter Law, Tim Pringle, Mike Tanner, John Finnie and Derek Richmond – for their insight and direction.