“The majority of the workshop presentations were delivered by members of the “convening for action” partnership network, and were about case studies that are featured in Beyond the Guidebook 2010,” reports Ted van der Gulik. “British Columbia made a conscious decision to follow an educational rather than prescriptive path to change the way that land is developed and water is used. A ‘design with nature’ policy framework enables local governments to build and/or rebuild communities in balance with ecology.”
The District of North Vancouver’s Bold Vision for a Municipality-Wide Integrated Rainwater Management Plan
Through its Official Community Plan Update, the District is advancing a vision for restoring the rainfall absorption capacity of our watersheds, one property at a time, over time. “To draw attention to the urgent need for action on single-family residential properties, we have created a set of images to illustrate why and how watershed health is at risk,” stated Richard Boase.
Since 2004, the Water Sustainability Action Plan for British Columbia has championed the way-of-thinking and acting embodied in the phrase ‘design with nature’. This paradigm is borrowed from the seminal book by Ian McHarg because it 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. His premise is simple: “that the shaping of land for human use ought to be based on an understanding of natural process.”
“Released in 2002, Stormwater Planning: A Guidebook for British Columbia is a pioneer application in North America of ‘adaptive management’ in a rainwater management setting. In fact, this is one of the five guiding principles for ISMPs. In the Guidebook, adaptive management means: We change direction when the science leads us to a better way,” stated Kim Stephens.
Beyond the Guidebook 2010: Road Map for Moving from Awareness to Action in BC to Protect Watershed Health
“Major breakthroughs happen when decision makers in government work with grass-roots visionaries in the community to create desired outcomes,” stated Eric Bonham. “Everyone needs to agree on expectations and how all the players will work together, and after that each community can reach its goals in its own way.”
Convening for Action in British Columbia: Water Balance Model and Water Bucket Website are the twin engines for Outreach & Continuing Education Program
“watebucket.ca is the key to the communications strategy for the Water Sustainability Action Plan. The website is designed to provide the complete story on integrated land and water management – why, what, where and how,” states Mike Tanner. “Water Bucket stories establish expectations about program curricula and event outcomes. To get the word out, we work with our partners to craft email-type news releases that are complete with embedded links. We are finding that these news releases are taking on a life of their own.”
Chilliwack, Surrey, Kelowna and Courtenay: Four cities in four regions of British Columbia were early adopters in embracing the Water Balance Model
“It is essential that we continue to promote the efficient use of water and provincial environment policy that would protect the very important watersheds that are under constant pressure for other uses,” stated Mayor Sharon Shepherd.
“The Water Sustainability Action Plan has allowed the Province to leverage partnerships to greatly enhance the profile and resulting impact of Living Water Smart,” states Kim Stephens. “The Action Plan partners are playing a key delivery role in two of the five Living Water Smart theme areas, namely: community planning and development; and efficiency, outreach, public awareness. In effect, the Action Plan partners are functioning as the on-the-ground Living Water Smart implementation arm with local government. This means that the Living Water Smart team can focus their work effort on legislative reform.”
“Beyond the Guidebook 2010 is the story of what has been accomplished on the ground since 2004, through partnerships and collaboration. It speaks to the convention theme, Forging Gold Medal Standards, because 2010 is a year that will not soon be forgotten in British Columbia. This is the perfect time to capitalize on forward momentum in our communities,” stated Kim Stephens.
The 2010 Land Awards Gala provided a platform for announcing formation of the Partnership as a not-for-profit society. “The Partnership will continue to evolve and deliver program elements developed under the umbrella of the Water Sustainability Action Plan for British Columbia,” stated Tim Pringle.