Moving Toward a Water Balance Way-of-Thinking and Acting in British Columbia: Evolution and Governance of BCWWA Water Sustainability Committee

Note to Reader:

Incorporated in November 2010, the Partnership for Water Sustainability in British Columbia is an autonomous society that metamorphosed from the Water Sustainability Committee (WSC) of the BC Water & Waste Association.

Mike tanner(120p)“The Partnership is building on the foundation that is provided by the Water Sustainability Action Plan for British Columbia. The WSC has handed the baton to the Partnership,” states Mike Tanner, a member of the Partnership’s Board of Directors.

The article below is reproduced from the community-of-interest that the Water Bucket previously hosted for the former WSC. The article was written in 2008 to provide an historical perspective; and therefore provides relevant background on how the WSC has evolved from technical committee to stand-alone society.

Partnership for water sustainability in bc - logo (360p)

BCWWA water sustainability committee (380p)

WSC Evolution Over Two Decades

In 1992, the Committee was founded as the Water Conservation Committee. Individuals who have served as Chair are listed as  follows:

  • 1992 – 1994: Mike Brady
  • 1994 – 1996: Kim Stephens
  • 1996 – 1998: Mike Warren
  • 1998 – 2001: Mike Darbyshire
  • 2002 – 2003: Kim Stephens
  • 2003 – 2008: Raymond Fung
  • 2008 – 2010: Glen Brown

Water Use Efficiency Committee (1994 – 2002)

In 1994, the Committee renamed itself the Water Use Efficiency Committee (WUEC) to be consistent with the National Action Plan on Municipal Water Use Efficiency. During the 1990s, the WUEC membership comprised professionals who were active in the water industry and represented:

  • all levels of government;
  • Public water purveyors in the various regions of the province; and
  • the complete size range of municipalities.

In 1997, the Committee partnered with the Ministry of Environment, Lands and Parks to develop A Water Conservation Strategy for British Columbia. The  Committee then entered into a 3-year Partnership Agreement with Environment Canada and the Province in 1998 to promote  implementation of the Strategy province-wide.

WSC working session in 2005 (380p)

Water Sustainability Committee (2003 – 2010)

In late 2002, the Committee renamed itself the Water Sustainability Committee (WSC) as part of a restructuring and renewal process that:

  1. Broadened and cross-fertilized its membership to encompass government organizations, non-government organizations, the private sector, and academia.
  2. Recruited individuals with diverse backgrounds and experience at three scales – provincial, local and neighbourhood.
  3. Developed links and partnerships with groups outside the water  industry.

In 2003, the WSC embarked on another partnership with the Province and others to develop and implement the Water Sustainability Action Plan for British Columbia.

WSC working session in 2005 (380p)

WSC Governance (2003 – 2010)

During the periond 2003 through 2010, the  business of the Water Sustainability Committee was managed by a Steering Group whose roles and responsibilities are summarized below:

  • The Chair provided leadership, articulated the vision for the WSC, and inspired the members to achieve the vision.
  • The Past-Chair spoke on behalf of the Steering Group in the absence of the Chair.
  • Two Vice-Chairs represented the WSC on the BCWWA Leadership Council and provided project management oversight for designated Project Partnerships.
  • The Vancouver Island Liaison served as an information conduit between the WSC and the CAVI Leadership Team so that the Steering Group was kept informed of the decisions and action items arising from the business of the CAVI Leadership Team in implementing Convening for Action on Vancouver Island(CAVI).
  • The Program Coordinator facilitated the internal and external activities of the WSC, represented the WSC in collaborating with partner organizations, and coordinated implementation of the Water Sustainability Action Plan.

WSC working session in 2004 (380p)

Written in October 2008. Re-posted in May 2011.