“On behalf of Council, thank you to the Partnership for the Champion Supporter recognition honouring the great work done by City of Kelowna staff in supporting you! I am blessed with the best municipal staff in the country and this is another example of that,” stated Mayor Colin Basran. 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).
“The Champion Supporters category of membership in the Partnership is our way of formally recognizing agencies and organizations that provide the Partnership with substantial financial and/or in-kind support. Their support is vitally important because that is what enables the Partnership to develop tools and deliver programs under the umbrella of Convening for Action in British Columbia. Their demonstrated commitment to achieving a shared vision for water sustainability allows the Partnership to carry out our mission,” states Kim Stephens,
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.
COVID has changed and challenged how we do outreach and peer-based education. In the age of COVID, how does one inspire an audience over a computer? Addressing this existential challenge was the starting point for re-imagining the third in the Vancouver Island Water Stewardship Symposia Series as a virtual event. David Mackenzie stepped up and opened minds as to what could be. This is the moment, he said, to leverage technology and reach far beyond those in the symposium room. Be bold, he urged.
“This award is really recognition of our staff, in particular our CAO, and the work that he and others have done in this very important area. The current Council was elected in 2018 and we are continually being educated in terms of natural assets and natural assets management. It is a true feather in the cap of the Town of Gibsons that we are getting recognition outside the community. At some point, I hope that (the Town’s accomplishments) will be recognized as strongly within the community. There is still work to be done in that area,” stated Mayor Bill Beamish.
The long-term support provided by Mayor Darrell Mussatto contributed to the effectiveness of the Partnership for Water Sustainability as the hub for a ‘convening for action’ network in the local government setting. As Chair of Metro Vancouver’s Utilities Committee, there were several pivotal moments when the support of Mayor Mussatto and the Utilities Committee meant that the Partnership for Water Sustainability could carry out its capacity-building mission.
Design with nature, a whole-system approach, learn by doing and adapt. These three phrases capture the essence of how the Township builds neighbourhoods. “There are many staff members that have made this happen,” stated Mayor Jack Froese. “Council makes policy and we approve policies. And then it is our wonderful staff that carry out the policies. And so, I certainly want to recognize the work that they have done.” The stewardship ethic for creating liveable neighbourhoods in Langley is shaped by “cathedral thinking”, that is – a far-reaching vision, a well thought-out blueprint, and a shared commitment by all.
The Regional District of Nanaimo (RDN) is recognized for the leadership that its Drinking Water & Watershed Program is providing. Success is helping to foster a new ‘land ethic’ among land and water practitioners in the region. Bill Veenhof (photo), RDN Chair, thanked the Partnership’s Kim Stephens for providing the RDN Board with an appreciation of how the RDN program is helping other regions overcome the disconnect between information and implementation. In 2012, Board support for the Georgia Basin Inter-Regional Education Initiative (IREI) enabled the Partnership to align efforts and implement the “proof of approach”.
“It is evident that there are many champions in local government; and it is important that we recognize and celebrate what they are doing. This is all part of creating our future. And when we ask ‘what will this community look like in 50 years’, we can point to the green infrastructure examples and then we will know what it will look like in 50 years,” stated Mayor Lois Jackson. Delta has supported the work of the Partnership since 2002, in particular the Water Balance Model initiative.