WHAT DO YOU WONDER / AT A GLANCE: “This page provides a snapshot of what the reader needs to know in order to have a sense of how the Partnership originated, who we are, and why we do what do in developing tools and resources, delivering programs and facilitating peer-based education under the umbrella of the Water Sustainability Action Plan,” states Ray Fung, Founding Member and Director and a former Chair of the predecessor BC Water Sustainability Committee

Note to Reader:

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. Although the Partnership is a non-for-profit legal entity, the Partnership is creating a collaborative network rather than building a conventional organization. The difference in visions is fundamental. 

Water Sustainability Action Plan for British Columbia

The Partnership for Water Sustainability in BC is a non-profit society that delivers services in collaboration with government. The Partnership was incorporated under the BC Societies Act on November 19, 2010. This was a transformative decision.

“Morphing of the ‘BC water sustainability technical committee’ into ‘The Partnership’ was a logical step to ensure continuity, longevity and sustainability in evolving tools, resources and programs developed under the umbrella of the Water Sustainability Action Plan for British Columbia (Action Plan),” states Ray Fung, Chair of the Water Sustainability Action Plan from 2003 through 2008. He is a Founding Member and a current Director of the Partnership.

Action Plan Informed “Living Water Smart, BC’s Water Plan”

“The Action Plan is guided by the vision that on-the-ground initiatives inform Provincial policy through the shared responsibility model. The Partnership plays a bridging role among the provincial government, local government and community stewardship sectors. It is the hub for a convening for action network in the local government setting. We deliver Action Plan initiatives and programs through partnerships.”

“When the Action Plan was released in 2004, it brought together six Action Plan Elements. The Water Balance Model, an online decision support tool, was the centrepiece initiative. The success of this initiative lent immediate credibility. There was a track record of intergovernmental cooperation, communication, coordination, collaboration and funding.”

“Action Plan experience informed development of Living Water Smart, British Columbia’s Water Plan, released in 2008, as well as the parallel Green Communities Initiative. The Action Plan is nested within Living Water Smart. In 2008, Living Water Smart was the provincial government’s call to action, and to this day transcends governments. The partnership umbrella provided by the Action Plan has allowed the Province to leverage partnerships to greatly enhance the profile and impact of Living Water Smart.”

About the Partnership for Water Sustainability in BC

The Partnership’s guiding philosophy is to help others be successful. When our partners and collaborators are successful, we are successful. 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.

Conceptual Framework for Inter-Generational Collaboration

Technical knowledge alone is not enough to resolve water challenges facing BC. Making things happen in the real world requires an appreciation and understanding of human behaviour, combined with a knowledge of how decisions are made. It takes a career to figure this out. And so experience, knowledge, and wisdom is the magical combination that the Partnership leadership team brings to the vision, mission, and goals for achieving water sustainability.

Going forward, making the right decisions depends upon benefitting from, and building on, the experience of elders with knowledge plus the wisdom that has been gained through decades of experience. Thus, a Partnership goal is to build bridges of understanding and pass the baton from the past to the present and future. However, inter-generational collaboration is a two-way street. Minds must be open and receptive to accepting the inter-generational baton and embracing the wisdom that goes with it.

Application of Experience, Knowledge and Wisdom

The umbrella for Partnership initiatives and programs is the Water Sustainability Action Plan for British Columbia. In turn, the Action Plan is nested within Living Water Smart, British Columbia’s Water Plan. Released in 2008, Living Water Smart was the provincial government’s call to action, and to this day transcends governments.

Incorporation of the Partnership for Water Sustainability in British Columbia as a not-for-profit society on November 19, 2010 was a milestone moment. Incorporation signified a bold leap forward. Two decades earlier, a group of like-minded and passionate individuals, including representatives of three levels of government, came together as a technical committee. Over time, this “water roundtable” evolved into The Partnership.

TO LEARN MORE, VISIT: https://waterbucket.ca/about-us/

DOWNLOAD: https://waterbucket.ca/atp/wp-content/uploads/sites/9/2020/11/PWSBC_Story-of-First-Decade_Nov-2020.pdf