2015 Water Balance Forum: “The farther back you can look, the farther forward you are likely to see,” stated Sir Winston Churchill – famous quotable quote provides relevant historical analogy for implementing a water balance approach to restore a desired watershed condition (YouTube Video)
Note to Reader:
The focus of the opening segment of the Water Balance Forum was on storytelling. The objective in the second half of the segment was to build on a town-hall sharing session that followed the forum introduction.
Kim Stephens, Executive Director of the Partnership for Water Sustainability, provided historical context for development of an implementation framework for creating water-resilient communities. Watch the video below (22 minutes).
Why a Water Balance Forum
“We won’t change the world in the next couple of years. But we have to try,” stated Kim Stephens.
“By 2017 we would hope that everyone is beginning to understand where we need to go next.”
“We are tying it to asset management because we have a provincial initiative that is a factor in what everyone in local government does in their day job.”
“A sound-bite that guides what we do is this: Through sharing and learning, ensure that where we are going is indeed the right way.”
“We also need to know and understand where we have come from…in order to build on experience and lessons learned by doing.”
Beyond the Guidebook 2015
The 2015 Water Balance Partners Forum is the ‘event of record’ for release of Beyond the Guidebook 2015: Moving Towards “Sustainable Watershed Systems, through Asset Management”.
“Although it is actually the tag-line, we are referring to it as Beyond the Guidebook 2015 because the foundation piece is Stormwater Planning: A Guidebook for British Columbia,” continued Kim Stephens.
“It is the third in a series: 2007, 2010 and 2015. Basically these are snapshots. They celebrate the work by local government champions.”
“Most importantly, what this document is about is THE STORIES. For each of the five regions, there is a chapter, typically 10 pages in length. The stories are captured in order to be re-told, and so spread the word.”
“The five regional stories are important because they create an understanding of the CONTEXT, INTENT and RESULTS as they relate to the Water Balance Methodology and the Water Balance Express for Landowners.
“The Winston Churchill quote (below) touches upon a lot of what was presented in the Water Balance Partners Forum,” noted Kim Stephens.
“It was an effective way to lead into a discussion of the Shifting Baseline Syndrome. Daniel Pauly coined this phrase in 1995 to explain why each new generation allows the ecological baseline to decline.”
“If you don’t know what you had, then you don’t know what you lost.”
“On the other hand, if there is a living memory of the way things were, then it should be possible to implement standards of practice that would replicate and restore a desired watershed condition. It is about turning the clock back.”
“That is the significance in connecting the dots between Winston Churchill and Daniel Pauly.”
“For almost three decades, the Liquid Waste Planning process has been a regulatory driver in the Metro Vancouver region for watershed-based action.”
“As the timeline for ‘convening for action’ in Metro Vancouver illustrates, turning the clock back is a cumulative building blocks process,” concluded Kim Stephens.
To Learn More:
Download What will you do differently after you leave this forum? (2.9 MB). The presentation includes the slides inserted below.