Green Infrastructure Partnership and Water Sustainability Committee Convene for Action at BCWWA Annual Conference
Convening for action theme supports “Working Towards Sustainable Communities”
The Green Infrastructure Partnership (GIP) and the BCWWA Water Sustainability Committee (WSC) collaborated to organize a half-day session on Convening for Action in British Columbia at the Annual Conference of the BC Water & Waste Association (BCWWA) in Penticton in April. The session comprised five cascading presentations.
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For a comprehensive story that provides a synopsis of each presentation, click on 2007 Annual Conference of the BC Water & Waste Association
Sharing a Vision
The GIP and WSC have developed a close working relationship, in part because the WSC is a member of the Partnership Steering Committee, and is serving as the managing partner.
“The WSC and Green Infrastructure Partnership collaborated to organize the Action Plan session because desired outcomes for water sustainability and green infrastructure are common to both, and can be achieved through infrastructure standards that reflect a full and proper understanding of the relationship between land and water”, noted Kim Stephens (Program Coordinator for the Water Sustainability Action Plan for British Columbia), the Moderator for the Convening for Action half-day program. The session attracted an audience totalling 130.
The mission of the Green Infrastructure Partnership is to provide leadership and encourage others to implement ‘design with nature’ design practices and regulation province-wide. Implementation by local governments will be voluntary, but once the decision is made to embrace green infrastructure, implementation will need clearly defined standards.
Convening for Action in British Columbia
In his prepared remarks delivered at the opening ceremony, Minister of Environment Barry Penner singled out the accomplishments of the Water Sustainability Committee in delivering the Water Sustainability Action Plan for British Columbia through partnerships with his Ministry, the Green Infrastructure Partnership and others. The Minister made the following observation: “Under the umbrella of the Water Sustainability Action Plan, the BCWWA through the Water Sustainability Committee has established the Water Bucket website (www.waterbucket.ca), a resource-rich, interactive location for information about water sustainability in British Columbia. In addition, Convening for Action pilot programs in the South Okanagan, Vancouver Island and Greater Vancouver are promoting water-centric approaches to community planning and land development.”
According to Kim Stephens, “Infrastructure design is changing. Cumulative benefits are achievable, one property at a time, through changes in the policies, programs, practices and standards that determine how land is developed and water is used. By implementing design with nature infrastructure practices and regulation, the ‘convening for action’ vision is that British Columbia will be well on the way to achieving water sustainability by 2010.”