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Partnership History

A SHORT HISTORY OF THE PARTNERSHIP FOR WATER SUSTAINABILITY IN BRITISH COLUMBIA: Titled “Celebration of Our Story: Genesis / First Decade / What Next,” this legacy document was published in conjunction with the 10th anniversary of Partnership incorporation (November 19, 2020)


“The Partnership is the evolution of many initiatives around water sustainability in BC. The Partnership does its work under the umbrella of the Water Sustainability Action Plan. This has led to growing collaboration regarding the role of water sustainability in shaping our communities. Water sustainability is a metaphor for managing the built environment sustainably. Incorporating the Partnership as a legal entity is a natural outcome. This demonstrated record of collaboration is our strength going forward,” stated Tim Pringle.

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PARTNERSHIP CELEBRATES 10-YR ANNIVERSARY: “We live and breathe collaboration. This plays out in everything that the Partnership does. Building trust and respect starts with a conversation. Listen, listen, listen. Conversations lead to dialogue. In turn, dialogue leads to consensus,” wrote Kim Stephens, Executive Director (November 2020)


“Our partnerships & collaboration journey actually commenced some two decades before incorporation of the Partnership as a legal entity in November 2010. A group of like-minded and passionate individuals, including representatives of three levels of government, came together as a committee and created a ‘water roundtable’ that evolved over time into The Partnership. And what was the mission of this water roundtable? Champion a water-centric approach to use and conservation of land. Develop tools, resources and programs to support water-centric planning,” stated Kim Stephens.

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INAUGURAL BC LAND CHAMPION AWARDS GALA: The launch event for the Partnership for Water Sustainability in British Columbia, with Tim Pringle honoured with the first BC Land Champion Award, and appointed as the Partnership’s founding President (November 2010)


The original plan was that Premier Gordon Campbell would launch the Partnership for Water Sustainability with an announcement at the inaugural BC Lands Award Gala. Arrangements had been completed and the gala was booked in the Premier’s schedule. His scheduled participation was a direct outcome of the Province and REFBC having made a long-term financial commitment to support our on-the-ground initiatives under the umbrella of the Water Sustainability Action Plan. Unfortunately, Gordon Campbell resigned as Premier a couple of weeks before the event.

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PARTNERSHIP CELEBRATES 5-YR ANNIVERSARY: “The vision for the website was, and is to provide a resource rich, highly interactive ‘destination location’ website,” says Mike Tanner, a founding Director


“To date, over a quarter million visitors have viewed and used the information and tools contained on the waterbucket.ca website. While this may not seem to be a large number compared to YouTube hits, over 90% of our visitors are using our site to access information that directly assist them in planning and facilitating change within their communities,” states Mike Tanner.

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PARTNERSHIP CELEBRATES 5-YR ANNIVERSARY: “The core strength of the Partnership for Water Sustainability, as the name suggests, has been the development of creative partnerships,” states Eric Bonham


“Over the last five years water issues have become increasingly prominent within BC and beyond. The Partnership has been at the forefront of this understanding and has, through workshops, partnerships and through the development of educational material, provided practical information, shared with others, to address this concerning trend,” states Eric Bonham.

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PARTNERSHIP CELEBRATES 5-YR ANNIVERSARY: “We are creating a ‘sharing of experience’ about land development practices and stream health,” observes Peter Law, a founding Director


“The reason I joined the Partnership for Water Sustainability in the early days of ‘incorporation’ was to be an advocate for educating local communities, land decision makers and the stewardship communities about the need to move from awareness to action. We need to both reduce the demand for water and protect stream health from the adverse consequences of land development practices,” recalls Peter Law.

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PARTNERSHIP CELEBRATES 5-YR ANNIVERSARY: “Never forget, it all started with a conversation,” says John Finnie, Past-Chair, CAVI-Convening for Action on Vancouver Island


“Sharing challenges and successes and understanding how to achieve those successes has demonstrated what can be accomplished through partnerships and collaboration. Many of our initiatives and success stories have stemmed from the realization that what happens on the land does indeed matter and that a systems approach to watershed health does work. Let’s continue along this path,” states John Finnie.

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ACTION PLAN 10-YR CELEBRATION: “The waterbucket.ca website allows our ‘convening for action’ partners to record their history even as they are creating it,” says Mike Tanner, waterbucket.ca Chair


4TH IN A SERIES: “The waterbucket.ca website facilitates communication and integration across initiatives, regions, sectors and disciplines and links these in order to foster development and implementation of ‘Design with Nature’ practices. We share stories about how practitioners can reduce project (and environmental) costs by applying ‘Design with Nature’ principles,” explained Mike Tanner.

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ACTION PLAN 10-YR CELEBRATION: “Water-centric thinking, planning and doing have become more than just a vision,” says John Finnie, CAVI Past-Chair


3RD IN A SERIES: “When CAVI began, we established a goal that Vancouver Island would be well on its way to water sustainability by 2010. CAVI has moved forward significantly and successfully promoted the message of water sustainability by engaging governments, developers and the community in water-centric thinking, planning and development activities,” states John Finnie.

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