Blue Ecology Workshop (November 2017) – An event to raise awareness of the vision for “Sustainable Watershed Systems, through Asset Management”, a program funded by the governments of Canada and British Columbia
Note to Reader:
The workshop is an outreach and professional development event, held under the umbrella of the Georgia Basin Inter-Regional Education Initiative, and designed to further the conversation in Metro Vancouver about moving towards “Sustainable Watershed Systems, through Asset Management”.
Commencing with release of Moving Towards “Sustainable Watershed Systems, through Asset Management” in November 2015, an initiative has been underway to transform how local governments and others think about the drainage function and to recognize ‘watersheds as infrastructure assets’.
The following article is reproduced from the March 2017 announcement by the governments of Canada and British Columbia about program funding to advance this initiative.
Sustainable Watershed Systems,
through Asset Management
In March 2017, the governments of Canada and British Columbia announced program funding for Sustainable Watershed Systems, through Asset Management.
The Cowichan Valley Regional District (CVRD) acted on behalf of the partners to receive the capacity-building grant from the Clean Water and Wastewater Fund (CWWF).
Sustainable Watershed Systems would be the outcome in Step Three, as illustrated above, on the Asset Management Continuum for Sustainable Service Delivery,
But it is not a wait-and-see proposition. Even as local governments are progressing through Steps One and Two for their core infrastructure, they need to be laying the groundwork so that they would be ready to implement Step Three.
Georgia Basin Inter-Regional Educational Initiative
Collaborating under the umbrella of the Georgia Basin Inter-Regional Education Initiative (IREI), the Cowichan Valley Regional District is one of five regional districts sharing and learning from each other about how to implement “Sustainable Watershed Systems, through Asset Management”.
The other IREI partners are Capital Region, Nanaimo Region, Comox Valley and Metro Vancouver. Together, the five represent 75% of British Columbia’s population. The not-for-profit Partnership for Water Sustainability in BC is the IREI secretariat.
To Learn More:
Asset Management for Sustainable Service Delivery:
A BC Framework
“Achieving sustainable service delivery is the primary objective of asset management. The province, in partnership with the Union of British Columbia Municipalities and Asset Management BC, developed the BC Framework to support local governments moving towards service, asset and financial sustainability,” said the Honourable Peter Fassbender, Minister of Community, Sport and Cultural Development.
“The BC Framework sets a strategic direction that would refocus business processes on outcomes that reduce life-cycle costs and risks. It links local government services, infrastructure that supports service delivery, and watershed health.
“No longer is asset management only about hard engineered assets such as watermains, sewers and roads. The BC Framework encourages local governments to manage their natural assets in the same way they manage their hard engineered assets.
“The program goals for the Georgia Basin Inter-Regional Education Initiative are aligned with this strategic direction. Work needs to be done today to ensure we have a secure water future. Benefits are long-term.
“Successful implementation provincewide of Sustainable Watershed Systems, through Asset Management, would represent an evolution in how infrastructure is planned, financed, implemented and maintained in British Columbia,” concluded Minister Fassbender.
To Learn More:
GEORGIA BASIN INTER-REGIONAL EDUCATION INITIATIVE: “Collaboration is leading to precedents for integrating watershed systems with land use and infrastructure decisions,” stated Jon Lefebure, Chair of the Cowichan Valley Regional District
GEORGIA BASIN INTER-REGIONAL EDUCATION INITIATIVE: “Understanding leads to action. Getting there is a step-by-step process,” stated Ted van der Gulik, President, Partnership for Water Sustainability in BC
Download Asset Management for Sustainable Service Delivery: A BC Framework, released in December 2014.