ARTICLE: “What would you tell newly elected local government representatives about Sustainable Service Delivery through asset management? – A water sustainability perspective “(Winter 2023 issue of Asset Management BC Newsletter)

Note to Reader:

The Winter 2023 edition of the Asset Management BC Newsletter includes an article by Kim Stephens, Executive Director of the Partnership for Water Sustainability in BC. The theme for the Winter 2023 edition is Asset Management for Sustainable Service Delivery: Why Should Council Care? In his article, Kim Stephens shines the spotlight on stream systems in supporting the Elected Officials Seminar Series (EOS). It is held every four years after the local government elections.


Water Sustainability Perspective on Sustainable Service Delivery

“My over-arching message to those who were elected to municipal councils and regional boards in October 2022 is succinct: Get the water part right in a changing climate, and you will be amazed how other parts of the community resiliency puzzle then fall into place,” wrote Kim Stephens.

“A supporting message that drills down from this big picture view is expressed this way: Our land ethic has consequences for water. This means elected representatives need to understand why development practices disconnect the water balance pathways that power stream-ecology. They also need to understand why a water-first approach to green infrastructure can reconnect the two.”

As an elected representative, are you now wondering what these two statements mean in practice, and how they relate to Sustainable Service Delivery?

“With this introductory essay, my objective is simply to provide you with a conceptual framework, call it a mind map, that will help start you on your personal journey of discovery as an elected representative.”

“As you gain an appreciation of the ways in which policy decisions play out, please keep this thought in the forefront of your thinking, the decisions that councils and boards make today ripple through time, for better or worse.”

“If I now have your attention, let’s shine the spotlight on streams. Have you considered that a stream system is the most important natural asset within a local government’s domain of responsibility?”

“Would knowing this make you more likely to champion effective “green infrastructure” policies that preserve the integrity of stream systems and thus provide higher levels of drainage service?”


To read the complete article, download the Winter 2023 issue of the Asset Management BC Newsletter.