Reducing Our Water Footprint: Nanaimo Water Pricing Workshop connects dots to Beyond the Guidebook 2010
Sustainable Water Management
In September 2010, the Regional District of Nanaimo (RDN) is hosting Worth Every Penny: An Introduction to Conservation-Oriented Water Pricing and Sustainable Service Delivery.
“There are two parts to this sharing and learning event,” states John Finnie, General Manager of Regional & Community Utilities with the RDN. “In the morning, the spotlight is on conservation-oriented water pricing; and in the afternoon, the focus shifts to sustainable service delivery.”
Water Pricing – An Untapped Option
“Water pricing is a hot issue in communities across the country. Yet it remains an almost totally untapped option for helping ensure our water service infrastructure — the pipes, pumps and reservoirs — is well maintained and up to date,” continues Kirk Stinchcombe, co-author of Worth Every Penny: A Primer on Conservation-Oriented Water Pricing.
“Moving to effective water pricing will take time and probably a bit of courage on the part of municipal leaders. But we need to remember that it makes sense from both business and environmental points of view.”
“Effective conservation-oriented water pricing can help reconcile growing communities with the health of local watersheds and engage individuals and businesses to change their behaviour and begin reducing their water footprints,” empahsizes Oliver Brandes, also a Worth Every Penny co-author.
Sustainable Service Delivery
“Sustainable Service Delivery is another emerging issue in BC. Changing and/or additional demands mean the local government workload is expanding. Local governments are being challenged to maintain and/or replace existing infrastructure over time and to ‘do more with less’,” adds Glen Brown, Executive Director with the Ministry of Community & Rural Development.
“Money – it should be about how to get the most value out of every dollar spent. Too often, thinking stops after the initial capital investment is made. Yet everyone needs to be thinking in terms of life-cycle costs, including future recapitalization of the investment.”
Connecting the Dots
“As part of the sharing and learning at the workshop, we will tell the story of the RDN’s Action for Water to illustrate the connection between conservation, providing for future growth and the ecological impacts of water consumption,” states Mike Donnelly, Manager of Water Services with the RDN.
“We are highlighting Action for Water Water because the program is comprehensive and holistic in scope, and is keyed to integration of water and land planning.”
“In short, the Nanaimo Water Pricing Workshop will connect the dots between water pricing, sustainable service delivery and ‘Beyond the Guidebook 2010’. The desired outcome for the workshop is that participating practitioners will understand why ‘conservation-oriented water pricing’ is a tool to achieve a larger end,” concludes John Finnie.
To Learn More:
Kirk Stinchcombe, Oliver Brandes, Glen Brown and Mike Donnelly comprise the faculty for the Nanaimo Water Pricing Workshop.
Part of the rollout to stimulate a national dialogue on sustainable water management, the Nanaimo Water Pricing Workshop is decribed as the first of its kind in Canada. The workshop program is a unique blend of research and practice.
To read a set of articles about the workshop content, click on Nanaimo Water Pricing Workshop: Connecting the dots to Sustainable Service Delivery
For details of the actual program, click on Draft Agenda for Nanaimo Water Pricing Workshop