“Our focus is on what level of water saving can be achieved through landscaped-based measures such as soil amendments and irrigation system improvements. The City has maximized the saving that can be achieved by reducing indoor water use. By tackling outdoor use, the target is to reduce peak water demand by a further 15% by 2012,” reported Don Degen.
“In having one-on-one conversations about green infrastructure, my objective was to see the world through the eyes of elected officials. That is an important first step in figuring out how to translate technical information into a form that elected officials can readily absorb so that they can make informed decisions,” stated Kim Stephens.
The Greater Vancouver Regional District launched the Sustainable Region Initiative (SRI) in 2001 to identify public values regarding regional sustainability, the principles that should guide regional development, and the key actions necessary. Today, the SRI is the overarching framework for all GVRD activities.
“The Green Infrastructure Partnership and Water Sustainability Committee provide a progress report on what was learned through one-on-one conversations with an ‘ad hoc mayors and chairs focus group' representing three regions of BC,” stated Kim Stephens.
ARTICLE: Water Sustainability – BCWWA partners with the Province to deliver the Water Sustainability Action Plan
“The Water Sustainability Action Plan is aimed at building capacity by improving awareness about effective approaches to the sustainable use of water resources and demonstrating how to integrate these approaches into land and resource planning, development and management decisions at the regional, community through to site levels.” stated Ray Fung.
According to Eric Bonham, the consultation workshop, held as an adjunct to the Water in the City Conference in Victoria, provided a timely opportunity to test and validate an approach that can bridge the gap between talk (interest) and action (practice)in advancing a water-centric approach to community development.
“The Guide will fill a gap because what has been lacking is this – written information on green infrastructure that is written from the perspective of elected officials for elected officials. Before we can write a Communication Guide, we need to understand what elected officials already know plus what they would like to know about green infrastructure. Only then can we judge what level of information transfer will be useful to them,” stated Paul Ham.
“The landscape and livability of Vancouver Island is rapidly being transformed by settlement, economic growth and water supply pressures. This CAVI workshop provides the opportunity to participate in a real life process that has relevance to what Vancouver Island may look like in 50 years,thell.” stated Graeme Bethell.
BCWWA Water Sustainability Committee Partners with the Province to Deliver Water Sustainability Action Plan
“By drawing its members from a diverse range of disciplines and organizations, the committee functions across the boundaries and beyond the historical limits or constraints of the mandates, knowledge and expertise found in specific organizations. One of the criteria for membership is that individuals will feed back the WSC outcomes into their organizations”, added Ray Fung.
“Experience shows that big meetings don’t work in terms of creating change. The program design for Water and Cities is predicated on the realization that moving from talk to action starts with people having a conversation. Spontaneous communication in turn leads to dialogue; and it is dialogue that leads to consensus on what needs to be done,” stated Patricia Gallaugher.