2010 UBCM Annual Convention provided forum for reporting out on implementation success of Water Sustainability Action Plan
Leading Change in British Columbia
In September 2003, the Urban Forum at the Annual Convention of the Union of British Columbia Municipalities (UBCM) was the scene for the launch of the web-based Water Balance Model. This set in motion a chain of outcomes that has given local governments and practitioners the tools and experience to better manage land and water resources.
“Because our vision is to advance water-centric green infrastructure, it was essential that we have high-level political endorsement. UBCM provided us with a high-profile platform at its Urban Forum. In 2003, the support of two mayors was key to making this happen: Mayor Barry Janyk of the Town of Gibsons and Mayor Clint Hames of Chilliwack were the WBM champions,” recalls Ted van der Gulik, Chair of the Inter-Governmental Partnership that developed and is responsible for the Water Balance Model.
“Mayor Janyk, Dipak Basu (City of Chilliwack) and Kim Stephens tag-teamed to tell the WBM story at the UBCM Urban Forum. Dipak provided the core content; he showcased Chilliwack examples.”
To Learn More:
To download a PDF copy of the 2003 presentation to UBCM, click on Designing with Nature – Walking the Talk for Sustainable Community Design (16MB)
To learn more about the role played by Mayor Barry Janyk, click on A Look Back to the SmartStorm Forum Series: Genesis for the Water Balance Model.
Outreach & Continuing Education Program
The 2003 UBCM Convention initiated an Outreach and Continuing Education Program (OCEP) that promotes a ‘water-centric’ approach to community planning and development. The twin engines driving OCEP are the Water Balance Model and the Water Bucket Website.
“Seven years later, the 2010 UBCM Annual Convention provided us with a platform to showcase we what have accomplished on the ground under the umbrella of the Water Sustainability Action Plan for British Columbia. Glen Brown and Raymond Fung provided the provincial and local government perspectives, respectively,” states Ted van der Gulik.
To Learn More:
Convening for Action in British Columbia
“Glen and Ray spoke on behalf of the ‘convening for action’ team and shone the spotlight on Beyond the Guidebook 2010: Implementing a New Culture for Urban Watershed Protection and Restoration in British Columbia,” adds Kim Stephens, Executive Director of the Partnership for Water Sustainability in British Columbia, the legal entity now responsible for delivering the Action Plan program.
“The UBCM setting was a great way to provide local government elected representatives with a progress report; and connect the dots from 2003 to 2010. We were able to point with pride to the benefits of an educational (rather than prescriptive) approach to leading and managing change.”
The Partnership for Water Sustainability is the evolution of many initiatives around water sustainability in British Columbia. The Partnership is building on and continuing the work that has gone on before under the umbrella of the Water Sustainability Action Plan.
To Learn More:
Water Sustainability Action Plan
“Released in 2004, the Wate Sustainability Action Plan is the local government implementation interface for two over-arching provincial initiatives: Living Water Smart, BC’s Water Plan, and the Green Communities Initiative. The program goals for these intiatives constitute a ‘call to action’ on the part of local governments,” states Glen Brown, Executive Director with the Ministry of Community & Rural Development.
“A decade ago, we made a conscious decision to follow an educational rather than prescriptive path in BC. We realized that changing the way we develop land depends on establishing higher expectations and challenging practitioners to embrace shared responsibility.”
“Beyond the Guidebook 2010 is the ‘telling of the stories’ of how local governments have responded to the challenge; and how a water-centric approach to green infrastructure and community development is taking root in BC.”