CHAMPION SUPPORTER: recognition of the City of Kelowna (May 2022)

Note to Reader:

The Partnership for Water Sustainability in British Columbia is a non-profit society that delivers services in collaboration with government. . Operationally, however, the Partnership functions as the hub for a network that is guided by the collaborative leadership model. This approach reflects the Partnership genesis, first as a technical committee and then as a roundtable.

The Champion Supporter designation is the Partnership’s way of formally recognizing organizations whose enduring commitment enables the Partnership to foster and support collaborative leadership in the local government setting by “convening for action” in the interests of the common good.

Mayor Colin Basran (L) and Kim Stephens (R), Executive Director of the Partnership for Water Sustainability in BC

City of Kelowna is a Champion Supporter of the Partnership for Water Sustainability

“The City of Kelowna was a founding member of the original inter-governmental Water Balance Model Partnership that morphed into the Partnership, a legal entity, more than a decade ago. This scenario modelling and decision support tool was developed as an extension of Stormwater Planning: A Guidebook for British Columbia, released in June 2002 by the provincial government,” stated Kim Stephens, when he presented the certificate of recognition to Mayor Colin Basran.

“Kelowna was one of a select group of local governments whose case study experience was incorporated in the Guidebook. It is therefore timely that we will shortly be celebrating the 20th anniversary of the Guidebook. The occasion is an opportune time to highlight the City’s valued contribution.”

City’s contribution to the BC Landscape Water Calculator

“In the early years, a succession of City staff supported and/or contributed to the work of the Partnership. With retirements and departures, however, there was an interruption in the relationship until Alan Newcombe returned in 2014 and initiated a process of re-engagement,” continued Kim Stephens,

“Most recently, the City of Kelowna stepped up to be in the first cohort of local government partners to operationalize the BC Landscape Water Calculator in three regions (Okanagan, Fraser Valley and Vancouver Island).”

“With each application, there is a new twist. Each time, we evolve the tool to meet the needs of our partners. Everyone benefits. This is the power of the collaborative approach. The Kelowna version is oriented to contractors who must submit reports as a requirement of the QWEL program.

Landscape Water Conservation Reporting in Kelowna

“Over the past decade, collaboration with the City of Kelowna was a natural fit to both build the BC Landscape Water Calculator and undertake a pilot demonstration application,” stated Ted van der Gulik, Partnership President in June 2021.

“The City has implemented innovative approaches to management of water use and landscape irrigation, such as the QWEL program. The City has an oversight system in place to ensure that landscape design and irrigation design work together to achieve water efficiency.”

“QWEL, the Qualified Water Efficient Landscaper certification program, is a great way for homeowners to ensure that landscape and irrigation contractors have water conservation in mind, consider native landscape material, and provide top notch workmanship in their services,” adds Ed Hoppe, Water Quality and Customer Care Supervisor, City of Kelowna.

“The City’s approval process for integration of landscape and irrigation system design is keyed to three requirements. First, use of turf-grass is limited to a maximum of 60% of the site. Secondly, irrigation systems must be sized so that water use would not exceed the allowable annual water budget. Thirdly, a Landscape Water Conservation Report must be submitted for the City’s approval.”


Download a PDF copy of Living Water Smart in British Columbia: Operationalizing the BC Landscape Water Calculator