ARTICLE: Asset Management for Sustainable Service Delivery: Supporting the Vision for Integration of Natural Systems Thinking into “The BC Framework”

Note to Reader:

Local governments in BC are challenged with the question of how best to move forward with asset management and protection of watershed health in light of two considerations: a changing climate; and community expectations to provide higher levels-of-service at reduced levels-of-cost.

The Summer 2015 issue of Watermark Magazine (published by the BC Water & Waste Association) includes an article that describes how the Partnership for Water Sustainability in BC is championing “asset management for sustainable service delivery”.

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Beyond Traditional Municipal Infrastructure

BC Framework_logo_500pReleased in December 2014, Asset Management for Sustainable Service Delivery: A BC Framework is a game-changer.

It signifies the dawn of a new era for British Columbia local government in terms of how communities service urbanizing and redeveloping areas, and define how infrastructure is planned, financed, implemented, and maintained.

Natural Systems Thinking

A ‘new business as usual’ is emerging and extends beyond traditional municipal infrastructure to encompass services that nature provides, including hydrologic integrity and watershed health.

This article explains the BC Framework, introduces the ‘asset management continuum’ and foreshadows how the Georgia Basin Inter-Regional Educational Initiative (IREI) will integrate ‘natural systems thinking’ into the BC Framework – to protect watershed health, restore hydrologic integrity and tackle the ‘unfunded infrastructure liability’ that is the unwanted legacy of historical ‘stormwater management.’

Georgia Basin Inter-Regional Education Initiative

Launched in 2012, the IREI provides local governments on the east coast of Vancouver Island with a mechanism to share outcomes and cross-pollinate experience with each other as well as with local governments in the Metro Vancouver region.

The IREI program is developing the technical and educational foundation for implementing land servicing and drainage infrastructure standards of practice that support the Watershed Health Goal (as defined in Beyond the Guidebook 2015: Towards a Watershed Health Legacy in the Georgia Basin, to be released later in 2015).

Sustainable Service Delivery for Watershed Systems

In March-April 2015, the Boards of five regional districts passed resolutions of commitment to IREI program implementation through 2017. The five regional districts represent 75% of BC’s population.

Starting in 2016, the next phase of the IREI will demonstrate how local governments can progress along the ‘asset management continuum’ to incorporate Sustainable Service Delivery for watershed systems.

To Learn More:

To download and read the complete article, click on Asset Management for Sustainable Service Delivery: Supporting the Vision for Integration of Natural Systems Thinking into “The BC Framework”

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