STRUCTURE AND GOVERNANCE OF THE PARTNERSHIP: “Directors are the only formal ‘members’ and are the only ones to have voting rights,” stated Ted van der Gulik, President and Board Chair, Partnership for Water Sustainability in British Columbia


In November 2016, the new Societies Act came into effect in British Columbia. It provided clarity regarding types of societies. This clarity helped the Partnership define its identity. The Partnership is not, and cannot be, a member-funded society. The reason is that The Partnership is funded mostly by government and provides services to government.

Directors are the only formal ‘members’ and are the only ones to have voting rights. The Directors are empowered to create non-voting categories of membership and to date have created four categories:

  • Lifetime Members – individuals who have made outstanding contributions to the success of the Partnership, especially in the early years (10 to date).
  • Champion Supporters – typically organizations that collaborate with and support the Partnership on a continuing basis (28 to date).
  • Ambassadors – key individuals who, through their day jobs and/or community involvement, support and help advance the work of the Partnership.
  • Associate Members – individuals with an interest in green infrastructure and/or water sustainability who are on the distribution list for the weekly Waterbucket eNews.

The Partnership’s Leadership Team is comprised of Directors and non-voting Founding Members and Ex Officio Members who are available to participate in discussions relating to any ideas, issues relating to the Partnership and its direction in delivering the program for the Water Sustainability Action Plan.

The Partnership is led by a team of community-minded and mission-focused elders. Although many on the team are retired from their jobs, they continue their water-centric mission as volunteers. These individuals bring experience, knowledge and wisdom to the Partnership roundtable. This enhances the effectiveness of the Partnership as “the hub for a convening for action network”.