2009 Power Smart Forum features panel session on “Convening for Action in British Columbia”
Showcasing Partnerships, Collaboration, Innovation and Integration
In October, BC Hydro hosted the three-day 2009 Power Smart Forum at Canada Place. With almost 950 participants, close to 50 sessions and 100 speakers, attendance at the 2009 Forum is the best on record. The Forum program comprised four streams:
- Information Technology.
The Community/Government stream featured a session on Convening for Action in British Columbia: Doing Business Differently – Living Water Smart. The presentation team comprised Kim Stephens, Mike Tanner and Ted van der Gulik – representing the Water Sustainability Committee of the British Columbia Water & Waste Association (BCWWA).
The BCWWA session in the afternoon was preceded by an all-morning workshop about Partnering for Community Based Change.
About the Water Sustainability Committee:
The Water Sustainability Committee, a roundtable representing government and non-government organizations, is providing leadership, facilitation and organizational services for delivery of program elements under the umbrella of the Water Sustainability Action Plan for British Columbia.
The organizations represented on the Water Sustainability Committee have a specific interest or mission in implementing the Water Sustainability Action Plan. This includes BC Hydro Power Smart.
Doing Business Differently – Living Water Smart in British Columbia
“The water sustainability breakout session at the Power Smart Forum showcased how partnerships, collaboration, innovation and integration are helping local governments apply a water-centric lens to make the best choices for sustainable, healthy and vibrant communities throughout British Columbia,” explains Pia Nagpal, a Community Engagement Program Manager with BC Hydro. A member of the BCWWA Water Sustainability Committee, Pia Nagpal was responsible for organizing and coordinating the session.
“We posed the following question to set the context and provide a challenge for those attending the session: How do we align our efforts at three scales – provincial, regional and local – to do business differently, prepare communities for change and choose to be water smart?”
“The breakout session showcased best choices for living water smart: this is what we want to achieve, and this is how we will get there. The importance of establishing a vision combined with practical steps to reach the goal was emphasized.”
“We are pleased that the feedback on the session has been so positive. Clearly, the linked presentations by Kim Stephens, Mike Tanner and Ted van der Gulik resonated with those who attended.”
A first for the Power Smart Forum
“BC Hydro appreciated that the BCWWA Water Sustainability Committee took part in the Forum and added an element of education which has not been present at the Forum before.”
“This was the first year for the Community/Government stream, and BC Hydro is looking forward to expanding it even more next year,” reports Pia Nagpal.
An Integrated Presentation
The water sustainability package was integrated and seamless in linking vision, education and tools.
“To initiate change so that we do business differently means….we set the vision based upon community values, support the vision with information and education, provide practical tools, seek partnerships and engage local decision makers,” explains Eric Bonham, Chair of the Highlands Stewardship Foundation on Vanouver Island, and also a member of the BCWWA Water Sustainability Committee.
Kim Stephens provided the provincial context when he explained why and how partnerships, collaboration, innovation and integration are being encouraged under the umbrella of the Water Sustainability Action Plan for BC. He emphasized that the Action Plan provides neutral forums for advancing a ‘regional team approach’ to prepare communities for climate change and create greener communities.
Mike Tanner described how the Water Bucket Website is a vehicle for documenting and then sharing what takes place in Action Plan forums. “We are writing our history as we create it. We have found it extremely effective to publish news-style stories…Our experience is that the use of photos and images is engaging; and attributing quotes to individuals in a conversational style has more impact than dry technical writing,” he explained.
Ted van der Gulik introduced four web-based decision support tools: Water Balance Model, Water Conservation Calculator, Agriculture Water Demand Model, and Irrigation Scheduling Calculator. He also did a live, online demonstration of how to use the Irrigation Scheduling Calculator.
Links to YouTube Videos:
Video clips have been posted on YouTube so that interested readers have the opportunity to see/hear firsthand the key messages conveyed by the Presentation Team. The picture quality is less than ideal due to the reality of lighting conditions in the venue. Nevertheless, the videos do capture the essence of the water sustainability story.
Kim Stephens: Vision – “action on the ground”
Mike Tanner: Education – “sharing information”
Ted van der Gulik: Tools – “making informed decisions” – Part 1
Ted van der Gulik: Tools – “making informed decisions” – Part 2
Links to PowerPoint Presentations:
Doing Business Differently – Living Water Smart in BC
Doing Business Differently – Water Bucket Website
Ted van der Gulik:
Doing Business Differently – Water Management Tools
Partnering for Community Based Change
“The workshop in the morning was about learning with and from each other about how to advance existing collaborations and to identify opportunities for developing new community based partnerships,” explains Pia Nagpal.
“The focus was on the barriers and benefits of multi-partner collaborations and how working together can help us move from awareness to achieving sustained behavioural change. The water sustainability session then provided an illustration of how change is actually happening on the ground.”
“The hope was that attendees would leave the morning workshop with insights and commitments to specific actions to further conservation efforts. Moving beyond awareness to action – stages in the behavioural change process – this is what Kim Stephens, Mike Tanner and Ted van der Gulik talked about in the afternoon session.”
Posted October 2009