CONVENING FOR ACTION AT GREENLINK VANCOUVER CONFERENCE: “Living Water Smart is about getting the practitioners and the people on the ground to make changes in the way they develop land and use water,” stated Ted van der Gulik, Ministry of Agriculture, when he referenced Beyond the Guidebook 2010 and its theme about implementing a new culture for watershed protection (October 2010)


Released in February 2004, the Water Sustainability Action Plan for British Columbia demonstrates what can be achieved through a ‘top-down & bottom-up strategy’. In retrospect, 2010 was a milestone year for ‘convening for action’ under the umbrella of the Action Plan. Much was accomplished by the Partnership for Water Sustainability in an extremely busy year.

The Partnership organized and provided program development for three flagship events under the umbrella of CAVI, Convening for Action on Vancouver Island. The Partnership also delivered program components within seven other major events organized by other organizations. The latter events were held in three regions, namely: Vancouver Island, Metro Vancouver and the Okanagan. 

At the Greenlink Conference held in Vancouver in October 201o, the Partnership delivered a module as part of the outreach for Living Water Smart, British Columbia’s Water Plan. The Water Sustainability Action Plan flows from Living Water Smart, released in 2008. The Action Plan is guided by the Living Water Smart vision, and the set of actions identified therein for building greener communities and adapting to a changing climate.

Greenlink 2010 provided a high-profile platform for continuing the roll-out of the “Beyond the Guidebook 2010″ guidance document which had been released only months before in June 2010.

Implementing a New Culture for Urban Watershed Protection and Restoration in British Columbia

The Partnership’s outreach spotlight in 2010 was on the release and rollout of the second in the Beyond the Guidebook series of guidance documents for rainwater management and restoration of hydrologic function in urban watersheds.

Stormwater Planning: A Guidebook for British Columbia, released in June 2002, laid the groundwork for ‘designing with nature’ to create greener communities, live water smart and prepare for climate change. Beyond the Guidebook 2010 built on the Guidebook foundation and illustrated how breakthroughs happen when decision-makers in government collaborate with grass-roots visionaries in the community.

Beyond the Guidebook 2010 describes how a ‘convening for action’ culture has taken root in British Columbia. Bringing together local government practitioners in neutral forums has enabled implementers to collaborate as regional teams. Their action-oriented focus has resulted in ‘how to do it’ examples that help decision-makers visualize what ‘design with nature’ policy goals look like on the ground.

To Learn More:

Download a copy of Beyond the Guidebook 2010: Implementing a New Culture for Urban Watershed Protection and Restoration in British Columbia

Visit the Beyond the Guidebook 2010 dropdown on the Rainwater Management community-of-interest.

Smarter Water Management

Sponsored by IBM, the breakout session on Smarter Water Management was initiated, organized and facilitated by Peter Williams of the IBM organization. Based in northern California, he is Chief Technology Officer for IBM’s Big Green Innovations program.

Peter Williams first approached Lynn Kriwoken of the Ministry of Environment. Lynn then recruited Ted van der Gulik of the Ministry of Agriculture and Kim Stephens to round out the panel.

“The team of Lynn, Ted and Kim provide insight into some of the issues around water management in British Columbia,” stated Peter Williams when he introduced the interactive format for the Smarter Water Management panel session (which was sponsored and organized  by IBM).

Watch Ted van der Gulik talk about changing practices at the site scale (8:00 minutes)

“The message is quite simple. Who is in better position to make decisions about water than the people who live in an area and are using the water. This way of thinking goes to the heart of our messaging for Living Water Smart. It is about getting the practitioners and the people on the ground to make changes,” stated Ted van der Gulik, Chair of an inter-governmental partnership responsible for development of the web-based Water Balance Model for British Columbia.

“The question that we ask, and it is a challenge, is this – what would you like this place to look like in 50 years? Once you have that vision of what it would look like, what steps will you take to get there? And you cannot make those steps 45 years from now. Those steps start today. Make the change today. The challenges we face and choices that we make today are going to impact us for a long time.

“In 2002,  Stormwater Planning: A Guidebook for British Columbia laid out a plan for doing a better job of developing land. Almost a decade later, Beyond the Guidebook 2010 tells the stories of what people have done, what they are going to do, and how they are going about it.”


Download a copy of Living Water Smart, the integrated presentation by Lynn Kriwoken, Ted vna der Gulik and Kim Stephens.