Water Sustainability Action Plan evolves into a comprehensive program for ‘Convening for Action’
BCWWA Water Sustainability Committee provides program delivery through partnership with Province
Released in 2004, the Water Sustainability Action Plan for British Columbia is sponsored by the Province of British Columbia, and the Action Plan elements are being delivered through partnerships and regional pilot projects and programs.
The Action Plan is a partnership umbrella for an array of on-the-ground initiatives that promote a ‘water-centric’ approach to community planning and development. The Action Plan comprises inter-connected program elements that give local governments and practitioners the tools and experience to better manage land and water resources.
Through outreach and education, the guiding vision is to influence land and water practitioners to learn about and use practices that better balance the necessary relationships of settlement activity and ecological assets in local and regional landscapes.
Under the Action Plan umbrella, the Water Sustainability Committee of the BC Water & Waste Association is the managing partner and is responsible for providing leadership, facilitation and organizational services for program delivery. The Water Sustainability Committee is a roundtable of organizations that have a specific interest or mission in implementing the Action Plan.
In 2004, the Action Plan was represented by a ‘puzzle piece’ that comprised six elements and provided branding. To capture the evolution of the Action Plan, the graphic shown above has replaced the ‘puzzle piece’. The inter-connected elements fall into four areas of activity as shown.
Convening for Action in British Columbia
In 2004, Convening for Action in British Columbia was one of the six elements in the ‘puzzle piece’. Over the last three years, it has evolved into a ‘made in BC’ process for moving British Columbians from awareness to action.
“Convening for Action is our mantra”, states Raymond Fung, Chair of the Water Sustainability Committee, “When we gather, it is for a purpose. There must be an action item or an outcome. Our aim is to move from talk to action by developing tools, building capacity, and providing training.”
There are three regional pilots for Convening for Action. “In the South Okanagan, we have helped bring a voice to water issues. In Greater Vancouver, practitioners working for local governments told us they did not want more documents that simply go on a shelf; rather, they wanted to network and share their experiences. On Vancouver Island, we have an ambitious program to bring people together and apply/adapt what we have learned in the Okanagan and in Greater Vancouver”, explains Ray Fung.
The Convening for Action vision is that water sustainability in British Columbia will be achieved through implementation of green infrastructure policies, practices and standards.