“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.
“In 2018, the Partnership redefined the role of membership in our society. This change was a result of legislated changes to the BC Societies Act. As we move forward into the next decade, our leadership team will continue to strengthen our partnerships with “not for profit” organizations to achieve two objectives – assist us in our mission; and benefit from our tools and expertise. In particular, we see the stewardship sector of BC – whose members work to monitor, protect and restore natural aquatic ecosystems – as an important partner,” stated Peter Law.
“The Partnership originated as an inter-governmental initiative almost two decades ago, became the BC Water Sustainability Committee in 2003, and then 9 years ago on November 19, 2010 was incorporated as a not-for-profit society,” stated Ray Fung. “The mission of the Partnership is to develop tools and talent, and focus on outcomes that align regional and local actions with a provincial policy, program and regulatory framework for achieving water and watershed sustainability.”
“Collaboration across varied disciplines is no longer an option, but essential, particularly so in light of the climate change challenge, and the Partnership’s strength has been its ability to cultivate successful partnerships that make an effective difference on the ground,” stated Eric Bonham, founding member of the Partnership Leadership Team, and a former Director in two provincial Ministries (Environment; Municipal Affairs).
“Changes to the BC Societies Act have meant changes to our Constitution and By-laws to bring us into alignment with the new Act and to carry out some house-cleaning to be more effective and efficient in our general operations. Part of these changes have meant a clarification around ‘membership’ and to review the need for additional directors. The board currently comprises seven (7) directors. These changes were discussed at a directors’ meeting in October and were passed by special resolution,” stated Derek Richmond.
“The journey to a water-resilient future would be guided by Cathedral Thinking,” states Kim Stephens. “The concept dates back to medieval times. It aptly describes the inter-generational commitment that would be required to achieve a ‘design with nature’ vision – one that integrates water balance solutions into land use decisions, and restores ecosystem values.”
The Partnership’s Annual Report provides a synopsis of program activities and accomplishments over the past year, as well as a look ahead to 2016 and beyond. “In 2015, we are celebrating the 5th anniversary of the incorporation of the Partnership as a legal entity. We are building on a foundation that was laid more than a decade earlier. We embrace shared responsibility. We are excited by what can be accomplished through collaboration and partnerships,” states Kim Stephens.
“The Partnership will continue to implement the Water Sustainability Action Plan for British Columbia in 2015; and will look for new opportunities and activities that can help us celebrate our successes. Success can only be accomplished through the integration of efforts of practitioners, including our many partners in the provincial government, local governments and non-profit societies,” stated Ted van der Gulik.
“We are in for the long haul. Watersheds are fundamental to our settlements. By working to balance watershed health with settlement prosperity, communities can sustain their well-being. We are helping to support communities to understand this equation and move to implementation,” stated Tim Pringle.
“The Convening for Action in BC initiative continues to be the Partnership’s primary strategy to support the implementation of water sustainability strategies at the community level. The various tools – Water Balance Model, Waterbucket and Water Conservation Calculator – and action initiatives (Metro Vancouver, Kamloops and Vancouver Island) define Convening for Action,” stated Tim Pringle.