FLASHBACK TO 2003: Genesis for the “Water Sustainability Action Plan for British Columbia”

Note to Reader:

The article below is brought forward from 2004 because it provides historical context for the “Water Sustainability Action Plan for British Columbia”, released in February 2004.

The genesis for the Action Plan dates back to March 2003 when the vision and partnership concept first took shape for doing a 5-year update on A Water Conservation Strategy for British Columbia, released in 1998. Funding for Action Plan development was provided by the Province of British Columbia.

Through a partnership with the Province which included core funding, program delivery was carried out by the Water Sustainability Committee (WSC) of the British Columbia Water & Waste Association (BCWWA) from 2004 through 2010. The WSC provided the leadership, facilitation and organizational services necessary for successful program implementation.

At the end of 2010, the WSC metamorphosed into the Partnership for Water Sustainability in British Columbia, an autonomous society.

Framework for Building Partnerships

In 2003, the Ministry of Water, Land and Air Protection (WALP) provided the original Water Sustainability Committee (WSC) of the BC Water & Waste Association with core funding so that the WSC could spearhead development of the Water Sustainability Action Plan for British Columbia in partnership with the Province.

The original WSC had an integrating role in collaborating with other organizations to create a lasting legacy. By drawing its members from a diverse range of disciplines and organizations, the WSC functioned across the ‘boundaries’ and beyond the historical ‘limits’ or ‘constraints’ of the mandates, knowledge and expertise found in specific organizations.

In February 2004, the WSC and Province jointly released Water Sustainability Action Plan for British Columbia: Framework for Building Partnerships.  The main goal was to encourage province-wide implementation of fully integrated water sustainability policies, plans and programs.

2003 – A Teachable Moment

“The drought, forest fires and floods that British Columbia experienced in 2003 have created a teachable moment for change in the way we view water in this province,” stated Ray Fung, WSC Chair (2003-2008) when the Action Action was released. “Capitalizing on this opportunity, the purpose of the Water Sustainability Action Plan for British Columbia is to promote and facilitate sustainable approaches to water use and water resource management.”

“Sustainable communities are all about choices – choices that become reality very quickly, with lasting consequences. In the years ahead, muchwill depend on getting the choices right in British Columbia, especially in those communities that are experiencing growth and/or renewal,” continued Lynn Kriwoken. She represented the former Ministry of Water, Land and Air Protection on the WSC. She is currently an Executive Director in the Ministry of Environment.

To Learn More:

To download a copy of the Action Plan plus supporting appendices, click on the links below:

As illustrated by the graphic below, the Water Sustainability Action Plan initially comprised six elements that holistically linked water management with land use, development and resource production. The Action Plan was developed and is being implemented as a shared responsibility.

Originally posted in March 2003
Brought forward and updated in May 2013