FLASHBACK TO 2007: Water Sustainability: from awareness to action in British Columbia – through partnerships, partnerships, partnerships! (article published in Environmental Science & Engineering magazine about a conference forum)

Note to Readers:

Partnerships, partnerships, partnerships! This was the key message at a half-day reporting out session on ‘Water Sustainability – Convening for Action in British Columbia’, held as part of the 2007 Annual Conference of the British Columbia Water & Waste Association (BCWWA). 

The Convening for Action session at the BCWWA Conference provided implementation updates on how a water-centric approach to community planning and development is being advanced under the partnership umbrella of the ‘Water Sustainability Action Plan for British Columbia’.

After the conference, Environmental Science & Engineering magazine published an article that introduced a national audience to the BC vision for “convening for action”.


Convening for Action in BC

2007_Kim-Stephens_120p“Infrastructure design is changing. Cumulative benefits are achievable, one property at a time, through changes in the policies, programs, practices and standards that determine how land is developed and water is used,” wrote Kim Stephens, article author.

“By implementing design with nature infrastructure practices and regulation, the ‘convening for action’ vision is that British Columbia will be well on the way to achieving water sustainability by 2010.

Water is the Integrator

“Water is the piece that integrates everything that we care about. You will note that we are using the phrase water stewardship, not water management. Stewardship is about replacing self interest, dependency and control with service, responsibility and partnership,” stated Lynn Kriwoken, Director of the Ministry of Environment’s Water Stewardship Division. In her presentation, she quoted extensively from James Hoggan’s research on Communicating Sustainability.

“Stewardship is an obligation that we all have”, added Ray Fung, Chair of the Water Sustainability Committee, “And the key to moving from awareness to action is to form partnerships. Partnerships provide a good way to share risks. The Water Balance Model is a prime example of spreading the risk by banding together.”

Regional Pilots

At the conference, and in his co-presentation with Lynn Kriwoken, Ray Fung provided context for each of the three regional pilots for Convening for Action.

“In the South Okanagan, we have helped bring a voice to water issues.

:In Greater Vancouver, practitioners working for local governments told us they did not want more documents that simply go on a shelf; rather, they wanted to network and share their experiences.

“On Vancouver Island, we have an ambitious program to bring people together and apply/adapt what we have learned in the Okanagan and in Greater Vancouver.”

To Learn More:

Download Water Sustainability: from awareness to action in British Columbia to read the complete article published in September 2007 by Environmental Science & Engineering Magazine.

Water-Sustainability-Action-Plan_about the Venn diagram