“Looking back, 2021 is an extraordinary year of accomplishment for the Partnership. We continued to elevate our game and in so doing demonstrated what is possible. We provided leadership for a range of initiatives of provincial importance. Successes were achieved through the power of collaborative leadership. The process involves bringing the right people together in constructive ways with good information, such that they create authentic visions and strategies for addressing the shared concerns of their organizations and communities,” stated Ted van der Gulik.
The City of Abbotsford was a founding member of the original inter-governmental Water Balance Model Partnership that morphed into the Partnership, a legal entity. Beginning in 2002, a succession of City staff has supported and/or contributed to the work of the Partnership. Most recently, the City of Abbotsford stepped up to be in the first cohort of local government partners to operationalize the BC Landscape Water Calculator in three regions. “The City is honoured that the Partnership for Water Sustainability has awarded the City Champion Supporter recognition. This reflects well on City staff who are doing good work,” stated Mayor Henry Braun.
CHAMPION SUPPORTER: recognition of eVision Media for design and enhancement of waterbucket.ca website to showcase success stories and celebrate champions who lead by example (October 2021)
The Partnership for Water Sustainability values everything that Susan Friesen and her staff have done for the past decade to help us ensure the success of the waterbucket.ca website. “Knowing the waterbucket.ca user-base was wanting to find information easily, we redesigned the home page with not only a more contemporary look and feel but also to facilitate it being a portal to all of the different content-rich sections of the site. Now site users can enjoy a faster, easier and mobile-friendly experience,” stated Susan Friesen.
WATCH THE VIDEO: “The Partnership for Water Sustainability has its roots in government – provincial, federal, and most importantly, local government. Over three decades, the Partnership has evolved – from a technical committee in the 1990s,to a water roundtable in the first decade of the 2000s, to a legal entity in 2010,” stated Kim Stephens, Partnership Executive Director, in his remarks as part of the Bowen Island Climate Conversation (July 2021)
“Incorporation of the Partnership for Water Sustainability as a non-profit society allows us to carry on the Living Water Smart mission. We are growing a network, not building an organization. In terms of my professional career as a water resource engineer and planner, I have been in the right place at the right time, and with the right people. In a nutshell, my responsibilities revolve around delivering the Water Sustainability Action Plan through partnerships and collaboration, through a local government network,” stated Kim Stephens.
“When any project is seen as ‘The City’, residents are quick to criticize or complain, elected officials are quick to pass these complaints to staff and staff are quick to ‘backpedal’ — especially if a project is a departure from past practice. No surprise, then, that many municipal officials and staff across all jurisdictions are subject to fear of public embarrassment in relation to rain gardens. By contrast, when rain garden projects are seen as ‘volunteer streamkeepers and school kids’, residents are more willing to cut us some slack if there are issues at the outset,” stated Deborah Jones.
Kim Hyatt made significant contributions to DFO in significant and lasting ways, including his work on the Wild Salmon Policy, advice relating to salmon restoration and recovery under the Columbia River Treaty and climate change impacts to salmon populations. His passion for discovery and excitement for innovation resulted in a number of long-standing relationships with First Nations and external organizations—relationships that Kim built on trust, commitment, and honest communication.
Lynn Kriwoken played an instrumental role in the creation and launching of the Water Sustainability Action Plan. A true visionary, Lynn saw how the Water Sustainability Action Plan would provide an umbrella for on-the-ground initiatives that would inform provincial policy through the shared responsibility model. There was a natural fit. Her advocacy within government was essential to securing a flow of provincial funding that got the ball rolling and resulted in a self-fulfilling prophecy. Without Lynn Kriwoken, there would not have been an Action Plan. It really is that simple.
Shared responsibility is a foundation piece for Delta’s rain garden program. “Everyone in the process, students, designers, managers and constructors, must understand and care about the big-picture goal. This requires an ongoing educational process that instills an ethic. This is a team effort. Nothing would have happened without all working together and continuing to work together. Creating a watershed health legacy will ultimately depend on how well we are able to achieve rain water management improvements on both public and private sides of a watershed,” stated Hugh Fraser.
“It really is important for all us to be focused on the future. The Drinking Water & Watershed Protection program has mapped out the next 10 years with Action Plan 2.0, but our vision really needs to remain focused on a much longer time horizon. 10 years is not enough. 100 years is what we need to be looking at. Program success depends on our ability to leverage our resources with those of others to achieve common goals, and to understand what those common goals are,” stated Randy Alexander.
“Each ISMP, or Integrated Stormwater Management Plan, area is unique and must be approached from the perspective of what is required in that watershed. So the key message is that there is no one way for ISMP/watershed approaches; rather, it is a matter of looking at what is needed in each watershed and community, and then basing the approach on those needs. If an ISMP is balanced and holistic, it is a potentially powerful tool because it does enable a local government to address HOW to achieve a watershed vision,” stated Carrie Baron.