GUIDANCE DOCUMENT: “Drinking Water & Watershed Protection in the Nanaimo Region – Right People in Right Place at Right Time, Over Time” (#9 in the Watershed Case Profile Series, released April 2021)

Note to Reader:

In April 2021,  the Partnership for Water Sustainability in British Columbia released the 9th in the Watershed Case Profile Series. It features the Regional District of Nanaimo and its Drinking Water and Watershed Protection Program (DWWP). It is a narrative about commitment to partnerships, collaboration, awareness and education. These are building blocks in creating a water-resilient future.

The Watershed Case Profile Series is unique. The series showcases and celebrates successes and long-term ‘good work’ in the local government setting in British Columbia. Our spotlight is on champions in communities which are breaking new ground and establishing replicable precedents.

Storylines touch lightly on technical matters, yet are grounded in a technical foundation. The objective in ‘telling a story’ is to engage, inform and educate multiple audiences – whether elected, administrative, technical or stewardship. Stories in the series are presented in a magazine style to make it easier to read, comprehend and absorb technical information. Stories are designed to connect dots.


Cathedral Thinking

“The phrase ‘cathedral thinking’ aptly describes the long-term commitment required by the community at large, successive Regional Boards, and generations of land and water professionals to achieve the design with nature sustainability vision that guides the program for drinking water and watershed protection in the Nanaimo region,” states Kim Stephens, Executive Director, Partnership for Water Sustainability in British Columbia.

“The thread that weaves through the DWWP storyline is the right people in the right place at the right time, over time. It is not a sprint; it is a marathon. It is not one individual; it is a team effort. The DWWP is now implementing its second 10-year Action Plan.”

“The ‘story of the DWWP’ is not a report with conclusions and recommendations. Rather, we share the human side of the story of the DWWP journey as it has unfolded over the past two decades. It is an inspirational story. Download a copy, enjoy it, and be inspired!”

To Learn More:


Visit the Rainwater Management community-of-interest to access other documents in the Watershed Case Profile Series.

Funding, People and Continuity

“The objective and mission of the DWWP program has always been about connecting land and water management. But the RDN couldn’t just leap straight there. We first had to build partnerships, trust, datasets and knowledge. We had to test ideas, learn, earn credibility, and deepen relationships across jurisdictions,” explains Julie Pisani, DWWP Program Coordinator.

“The RDN demonstrates commitment to watershed initiatives and water sustainability by delivering the DWWP Action Plan with a long-term reliable funding source through parcel tax. This allows us to effectively leverage support from partners, because we are in it for the long game and we are coming to the table with some resources to get started. Not fund the whole thing, but get it off the ground and generate collaboration.”

The 5Cs – communication, cooperation, coordination, and critical thinking and creativity – are also essential ingredients. The DWWP Service is the container to hold the 5Cs. What is the container? “It is funding, people and continuity,” says Julie Pisani.




Download a copy of Drinking Water & Watershed Protection in the Nanaimo Region – Right Place in Right Place at Right Time, Over Time