Leading Change in Canada: Federation of Canadian Municipalities Showcases BC’s Water Sustainability Action Plan


Mission Possible in British Columbia

Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery. At the 2011 Sustainable Communities Conference, organized by the Federation of Canadian Municipalities (FCM), innovators from across Canada shared their breakthrough examples of municipal sustainability in an interactive session titled Steal This Idea!

Each innovator hosted a roundtable. Kim Stephens, Executive Director for the Partnership for Water Sustainability in British Columbia, introduced delegates to the Water Sustainability Action Plan for British Columbia. His roundtable topic was Mission Possible: A 50-Year Vision for Urban Watershed Restoration.Kim stephens (120p) - dec 2010

“At the start of the session, each of us was asked to give a one-minute overview of our topic. This provided delegates a basis for selecting which roundtables were most relevant to their interest. There were three rotations. Each time, the roundtable hosts would make a short presentation to jumpstart a discussion,” explains Kim Stephens.

To Learn More:

To download a copy of the handout that guided the roundtable conversation at the table hosted by Kim Stephens, click on FCM Sustainable Communities Conference 2011 – Handout for “Steal This Idea!” Session.

Settlement Change in Balance with Ecology

“In British Columbia, the Partnership for Water Sustainability has a vision for reconnecting communities with the land. Simply put, we believe if we respect the land, WATER SUSTAINABILITY will follow. Getting there requires a change in mind-set…. and LAND ETHIC,” stated Kim Stephens in his topic overview.

“We are CONNECTING THE DOTS between land use planning, development, watershed health AND infrastructure asset management. When communities are guided by a DESIGN WITH NATURE philosophy, water sustainability can be achieved. It will be achieved by implementing GREEN INFRASTRUCTURE policies and practices.”

“We describe this as MISSION POSSIBLE….. because those operating in the local government setting can now access tools and experience…… that will enable them to make a difference.  Our approach is TOP-DOWN / BOTTOM-UP. It is keyed to three words: ALIGNMENT, COLLABORATION, INTEGRATION.”

“We are CONVENING FOR ACTION. When we gather, it is for a purpose. There must be an outcome. We are challenging those in local government: WHAT DO YOU WANT THIS PLACE TO LOOK LIKE IN 50 YEARS? To get there, you will have to start now. Actions ripple through time.”

“Water sustainability is the lens to focus attention on how we can manage the BUILT ENVIRONMENT more sustainably. We will be successful when SETTLEMENT CHANGE IS IN BALANCE WITH ECOLOGY. This is how we will restore the health of our URBAN WATERSHEDS.”

To Learn More:

To read the complete story posted elsewhere on the Waterbucket website, click on Mission Possible: A 50-Year Vision for Urban Watershed Restoration