TURNING IDEAS INTO ACTION: Implementing change in BC – “Beyond the Guidebook 2015” illustrated the process for moving a new idea or innovation from genesis to mainstream

Note to Reader:

Launched in 2012, the Georgia Basin Inter-Regional Educational Initiative (IREI) is endorsed by five Regional Boards representing 75% of the population of BC. In April 2015, all five – Capital Region, Metro Vancouver, Nanaimo Region, Cowichan Region and Comox Valley – recommitted through 2017.

Program delivery is led by the Partnership for Water Sustainability in BC, which serves as the secretariat for the IREI.

With release of Beyond the Guidebook 2015, the Partnership commenced branding of a new way of thinking, specifically: Sustainable Watershed Systems, through Asset Management.

Asset Management BC published the first article to describe the concept. Co-authored by Kim Stephens (Partnership Executive Director), Kate Miller (Cowichan Valley Regional District) and Richard Boase (District of North Vancouver), it was included in the Fall 2015 Newsletter.


Integrate Watershed Systems Thinking Into Asset Management

Where a local government regulates land use, a watershed is an integral part of the drainage infrastructure assets of the local government.

Asset Management for Sustainable Service Delivery: A Framework for BC makes the link between local government services, the infrastructure that supports the delivery of those services, and watershed health.

The article published in the Asset Management BC Newsletter provides context and describes why the BC Framework and two other provincial game-changers are drivers for Sustainable Watershed Systems, through Asset Management.

Implementing Change – from Genesis to Mainstream

By 2017, a program goal for the IREI is that all local governments would understand how to achieve Sustainable Watershed Systems, through Asset Management (supply source, stream, aquifer).

The goal is a modest one. It is achievable because it recognizes how an idea or innovation is adopted or accepted. Progress in leading and implementing change is incremental.

The figure below illustrates the process of adoption of a new idea or innovation over time.


The understanding provided by the above relationship has guided implementation of the Water Sustainability Action Plan (including the IREI program) for the past decade.

Everyone learns from stories and the most compelling ones are based on the experience of the champions who are leading implementation of watershed-based solutions.

Over the past decade, the Water Sustainability Action Plan has facilitated cross-pollinating of ideas and approaches in the local government setting.

The ongoing process of sharing and learning has influenced initiatives and outcomes within the five partner regional districts.

The rate of progress in implementing new ideas or standards of practice generally depends on the willingness of individual champions in local government to push the envelope in applying new approaches.

The number of water sustainability champions throughout British Columbia is growing, and they are collaborating.

To Learn More:

To download and read the complete article, click on Feast AND Famine: Moving Towards “Sustainable Watershed Systems, through Asset Management”