DOWNLOAD A COPY OF: “Living Water Smart in British Columbia: Creating a Culture for Urban Watershed Restoration” – released by the Partnership for Water Sustainability in November 2021


Waterbucket eNews celebrates the leadership of individuals and organizations who are guided by the vision for Living Water Smart in British Columbia to build greener communities and adapt to a changing climate; and embrace “design with nature” approaches to reconnect people, land, fish, and water in altered landscapes.

The edition of Waterbucket eNews published on November 30, 2021 featured historical resources readily accessible and downloadable from the website. These documents help focus attention on the importance of oral history as an effective way to pass on experience and understanding over time as the intergenerational baton is handed off.

Creating a Culture for Urban Watershed Restoration in BC

“For the past two decades, the Partnership for Water Sustainability has been building a library of resources on the website. Many of these resources have provided the curriculum backbone for the peer-based educational program delivered by the Partnership under the umbrella of the Water Sustainability Action Plan for British Columbia. With the passage of time, however, knowledge of the existence and significance of historical resources is easily lost. This is one of the consequences of generational amnesia, stated Kim Stephens, Executive Director, Partnership for Water Sustainability.

“Reminding our audiences about Beyond the Guidebook 2010: Implementing a New Culture for Urban Watershed Protection and Restoration in British Columbia is part of creating an oral history. This is a different kind of Guidebook. It tells the stories of how change is implemented, through long-term commitment, and by ‘designing with nature’ on-the-ground in British Columbia. People learn through stories.”

“On February 10, 2009 the Ministry of Community Development sent out a circular to all Municipal and Regional District Chief Administrative Officers, Engineers and Planners about Beyond the Guidebook as provincial initiative. The Circular explained how a number of provincial initiatives support and/or complement each other. Rollout of Beyond the Guidebook 2010 commenced with a study session at the 2010 Annual Convention of the Union of BC Municipalities.”

Guiding Principles

Beyond the Guidebook 2010 drew on BC case study experience to illustrate how success will follow when local government elected representatives, administrators, and practitioners:

  1. Choose to be enabled.
  2. Establish high expectations.
  3. Embrace a shared vision.
  4. Collaborate as a ‘regional team’.
  5. Align and integrate efforts.
  6. Celebrate innovation.
  7. Connect with community advocates.
  8. Develop local government talent.
  9. Promote shared responsibility.
  10. Change the land ethic for the better.

“Changing the way communities conserve, use and develop land depends on establishing higher expectations and challenging decision-makers and practitioners to embrace shared responsibility. It takes time to change the culture, no matter what the setting,” continued Kim Stephens.

“By 2010, as documented in Beyond the Guidebook 2010, it was evident that British Columbia was at a tipping point in the local government setting. There were strong reasons for optimism. Implementation of a new culture based on “designing with nature” appeared to be within our collective grasp.”


To read the complete story published on November 30th 2021, download a PDF copy of Living Water Smart in British Columbia; Creating a Culture for Urban Watershed Restoration.