DOWNLOAD A COPY OF: “Living Water Smart in British Columbia: Asset Management for Sustainable Service Delivery in the District of Oak Bay” – released by the Partnership for Water Sustainability in January 2022
NOTE TO READER:
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. The edition published on January 18, 2022 featured “the story behind the story” of the District of Oak Bay’s Sustainable Funding Plan for Infrastructure Replacement. Oak Bay has translated an intergenerational perspective into a life-cycle plan of action for perpetual infrastructure renewal.
Asset Management for Sustainable Service Delivery in the District of Oak Bay
“The District of Oak Bay is leading by example with its inter-departmental approach to embedding a life-cycle lens, along with a sustainable service delivery culture, into a local government finance vision. Moreover, the Oak Bay experience is a powerful illustration of how the over-arching vision for Living Water Smart in British Columbia is influencing behaviour and outcomes at the local scale,” stated Kim Stephens, Executive Director, Partnership for Water Sustainability in British Columbia.
“Incorporated in 1906, Oak Bay has aging municipal infrastructure that is visibly wearing out. This reality has serious implications for levels of service. It also poses affordability as well as community willingness to pay challenges for financing a long-term program of replacement and/or renewal.”
“Through its Sustainable Funding Plan, Oak Bay is demonstrating what a difference it makes when municipal staff have clear direction from Council to achieve two outcomes: 1) stem the incremental erosion of levels of service in the short-term; and 2) translate an intergenerational perspective into a life-cycle plan of action for perpetual infrastructure renewal.”
“In the January 18, 2022 edition of Waterbucket eNews, we featured the “story behind the Oak Bay story” as shared by Christopher Paine, Director of Financial Services, and Daniel Horan, Director of Engineering and Public Works. They bring a fresh approach, energy, and innovative thinking to the sustainable infrastructure mission. The story of their collaboration is inspirational. Their enthusiasm is contagious!”
A Story of Interdepartmental Collaboration
“A significant portion of Oak Bay’s water, sanitary sewer, storm, and road assets are past their recommended useful life. Many other assets are well through their recommended useful life and are due for replacement imminently. Replacing these assets will come at a significant cost,” explained Daniel Horan, Director of Engineering and Public Works.
“Replacing these assets is considered critical if the District is aiming to sustain the current levels of service. Current funding levels are not sufficient to replace assets at the recommended pace. Council has expressed a desire to address this issue. Not addressing it will result in an increase in water main breaks, water quality challenges, sewer backups, and storm water issues with impacts to private property.”
“Tackling municipal infrastructure challenges requires teamwork, multiple skillsets, and a sustained effort over time to implement necessary changes. It is fun working with Chris Paine, Director of Financial Services. Our collaboration is a great example of a finance department and an infrastructure department working together.”
“We have real issues to tackle. But we also have the right tools in place. And we are making progress! Even if it is little baby steps at a time. It is very rewarding when you are progressing. The energy is there because problem-solving is exciting.”
TO LEARN MORE:
To read the complete story published on January 18th 2022, download a PDF copy of Living Water Smart in British Columbia: Asset Management for Sustainable Service Delivery in the District of Oak Bay.