Creating Our Future: What Do We Want British Columbia to Look Like?
Living Water Smart, BC’s Water Plan
“A provincial policy framework is now in place that enables municipalities to ‘do business differently’ in order to design their communities to live in harmony with water,” states Lynn Kriwoken, Director, Innovation and Planning in the Water Stewardship Division of the Ministry of Environment, and the Province’s lead person for delivery of Living Water Smart, BC’s Water Plan.
Climate Change Adaptation
“By living water smart, communities will be more prepared for climate change and their quality of life will be enhanced. If we can show how to get the water part right, then other parts are more likely to follow.”
The ‘design with nature’ paradigm captures the essence of climate change adaptation. “Adaptation is about responding to the changes that will inevitably occur. Adaptation is at the community level and is therefore about collaboration.”
Making Green Choices
“A key message in Living Water Smart is that green development makes sense,” emphasizes Lynn Kriwoken. “New thinking about development leads to new benefits. These include more green spaces, more water and fish in the streams, improved community vitality, reduced demand for water, and reduced expenditure on infrastructure.”
“Living Water Smart is a provincial strategy; we must look at it as a shared responsibility,” adds Glen Brown, Executive Director with the Ministry of Community Development. “Actually, it is not one strategy; the Province has a number of strategies, including the Green Communities Project and the Climate Action Plan. These are the visionary documents that shape the Ministry of Community Development’s grant programs; they provide us with direction as to where the Province wants to go.”
“The Province is looking at raising the bar as far as what we are trying to accomplish with standards, provincial legislation and infrastructure grant programs.”