WATER SUSTAINABILITY ACTION PLAN: Community-of-practice for ‘Convening for Action in British Columbia’ – “Having the waterbucket.ca website as a communication platform allows the Action Plan partners to ‘tell our story’ and ‘record our history’ as a work-in-progress,” stated Ray Fung (2006)
“Convening for Action is a provincial initiative that supports innovation on-the-ground. From the perspective of those leading and/or participating in regional programs, having this community-of-interest provides the opportunity to ‘tell our story’ and ‘record our history’ as a work-in-progress,” states Ray Fung. “It will turn ideas into action by building capacity and understanding regarding integration of long-term, strategic planning and the implementation of physical infrastructure.”
DOWNLOADABLE RESOURCE: The Partnership for Water Sustainability in British Columbia – Our Story (March 2018)
“Future planners, engineers, scientists, politicians and citizens alike will be called upon to demonstrate both vision and pragmatism, working as a team towards consensus, commitment and collaboration for the common good. Such collaboration is essential and must cross all political and community boundaries given that climate change is no respecter of such creations. The Partnership has accepted this challenge and its implementation,” stated Eric Bonham.
Green, Heal and Restore the Earth: Ian McHarg’s “Design with Nature” vision has influenced implementation of British Columbia’s Water Sustainability Action Plan
In his 1969 book, Design With Nature, Ian McHarg pioneered the concept of environmental planning. “So, I commend Design with Nature to your sympathetic consideration. The title contains a gradient of meaning. It can be interpreted as simply descriptive of a planning method, deferential to places and peoples, it can invoke the Grand Design, it can emphasize the conjunction with and, finally it can be read as an imperative. DESIGN WITH NATURE!,” wrote Ian McHarg.
DOWNLOAD A COPY OF: “Living Water Smart in British Columbia: EAP, the Ecological Accounting Process is Game-Changing!” – released by the Partnership for Water Sustainability in October 2021
“Streams and other water assets are Natural Commons Assets. Everyone has expectations, enjoys and uses them, and so on. There is an implied contract to maintain and manage them so that they will be there in the future. But from an asset management point of view, we do not have the metrics and so we do not measure ecological services. While we know their impacts, we just don’t know the order-of-magnitude of harm or problems that those impacts have. EAP at least gives us an order-of-magnitude measure,” stated Tim Pringle.
DOWNLOAD A COPY OF: “Living Water Smart in British Columbia: Blue Ecology Virtual Seminar on Creating a Climate for Change” – released by the Partnership for Water Sustainability in October 2021
“Are you prepared and willing to change your definition of water in science? And if you are, what would the change in definition look like? This is what reconciliation really gets down to when we are talking about interweaving Indigenous knowledge and Western science. No longer is it ceremonial. Is Western science prepared, for example, to add the moon to the hydrologic cycle? From the Indigenous perspective, we believe it should be there,” stated Michael Blackstock.
DOWNLOAD A COPY OF: “Living Water Smart in British Columbia: Ramifications of Groundwater Licensing Crisis for BC Economy” released by the Partnership for Water Sustainability in October 2021
“For months now, the Partnership has been raising the red flag regarding the consequences of government NOT making a last ditch, all-out effort to urge historical groundwater users to apply for their licences before the deadline. Commit $30 million annually over a 10-year period – to deal with both the fallout of a less-than-successful launch of the groundwater licensing system AND the requirements necessary to meet the objectives of the Water Sustainability Act,” stated Ted van der Gulik in his presentation to the Select Standing Committee on Government Finance.
DOWNLOAD A COPY OF: “Living Water Smart in British Columbia: A Tribute to Buzz Holling” released by the Partnership for Water Sustainability in October 2021
Buzz Holling had profound and far-reaching influence during his lifetime, having made major contributions to the theory of predation, the concept of ecological resilience, the concept of panarchy, and adaptive management. “The only way to approach such a period — where uncertainty is very large and one cannot predict what the future holds – is not to predict, but to act inventively and exuberantly in diverse, adventures in living and experiment,” said Buzz Holling. One of his talents was his ability to bring people together to understand, assess and act on new solutions to complex problems of people and nature.
DOWNLOAD A COPY OF: “Living Water Smart in British Columbia: Bowker Creek Blueprint is a Beacon of Inspiration” released by the Partnership for Water Sustainability in September 2021
“The fact that we have been given direction by City Council to move the Bowker Blueprint forward and look for opportunities to daylight the creek means everything. Unless you have the high level ‘this is what we want to do’ permission, pushing it up from the bottom really does not work. It really feels like there is momentum right now. Even if it takes another 50 or 100 years for us to get the creek daylit, the fact is we are in place where we are moving steps closer,” stated Brianne Czypyha.
DOWNLOAD A COPY OF: “Living Water Smart in British Columbia: Lack of Groundwater Licensing is a Crisis in the Making” released by the Partnership for Water Sustainability in September 2021
BC’s Water Sustainability Act (WSA) is once-in-a-generation, transformational legislation. The 6-year transition period for groundwater licensing ends on March 1, 2022. The dilemma is that a mere 1 in 5 historical groundwater users have applied for a licence. “If ‘someone’ does not ‘fix’ the groundwater licensing problem, it will get messy for everyone after March 1, 2022. It seems inevitable that government will be forced to act against unlicenced groundwater use. There are a few scenarios that have already come forward in the past few years that indicate what the future may look like,” stated Ted van der Gulik.
CONTEXT AND HISTORY REALLY DO MATTER: “In the moment, extreme events can be overwhelming. But the big picture situation is by no means hopeless. My key message is to view climate change as another variable, not a driver. Understand the system context because climate adaptation is about water, whereas climate mitigation is about carbon,” stated Kim Stephens, Executive Director, Partnership for Water Sustainability in BC (Sept 2021)
“The risks are real. Droughts affect all of us. BC is on fire and streams are drying up. We do not have the luxury of time to implement solutions. And we certainly cannot afford to reinvent the wheel due to generational and/or corporate amnesia. Context and history really do matter because it takes a career to develop perspective and understanding of what works and what does not. Because there is no silver bullet, communities need to do many little things to adapt to the new climate reality,” stated Kim Stephens.
DOWNLOAD A COPY OF: “Living Water Smart in British Columbia: Adapting to Climate Realities / Context and History Do Matter!” released by the Partnership for Water Sustainability in September 2021
“Every generation is handed a world that has been shaped by their predecessors – and then seemingly forgets that fact. New generations have a habit of collectively forgetting how positive social change comes about through the dogged activism of minorities once shunned. But if the most recent generation is forgetful about the positive steps and changes handed to them by their forebears, then so too can they fail to notice how those predecessors have damaged the world too,” stated Richard Fisher.
HIDDEN VALUE OF INTERGENERATIONAL COLLABORATION: “My experience is that collaboration between the generations is easier than most people think and the generational differences are not that wide. Also, intergenerational teams are much more innovative,” stated Kate Rushton, UK-based community strategist
“Two years ago I attended my first intergenerational innovation challenge. It was not my last. Afterwards, I occasionally thought about this new way of working. It sparked my interest in intergenerational co-creation. Not only as a way to build bridges between generations but as a way to innovate in general. By using an older adult’s experience-based knowledge, which is known also known as deep smarts, and the younger generation’s fresh eyes and new perspectives intergenerational co-creation can help create more rounded solutions,” stated Kate Rushton.
DOWNLOAD A COPY OF: “Living Water Smart in British Columbia: Communicating with Plain Language is a Guiding Principle,” released by the Partnership for Water Sustainability in September 2021
“By focusing on Vancouver, New York City, Auckland, Sydney, Copenhagen, and Amsterdam I plan to capture a global picture. One area I am particularly interested in is communication, or the lack thereof. In the sciences, one of the largest challenges to research is science communication. A lot of fantastic studies are misinterpreted outside of scientific circles because the language, style and meaning of science writing is very different to non-specialists. With climate change studies, this can lead to a serious disconnect between climate change policy and the supporting research,” stated Charles Axelsson.