WATER SUSTAINABILITY ACTION PLAN: Community-of-practice for ‘Convening for Action in British Columbia’ – “Having the waterbucket.ca website as a communication platform allows the Action Plan partners to ‘tell our story’ and ‘record our history’ as a work-in-progress,” stated Ray Fung (2006)
“Convening for Action is a provincial initiative that supports innovation on-the-ground. From the perspective of those leading and/or participating in regional programs, having this community-of-interest provides the opportunity to ‘tell our story’ and ‘record our history’ as a work-in-progress,” states Ray Fung. “It will turn ideas into action by building capacity and understanding regarding integration of long-term, strategic planning and the implementation of physical infrastructure.”
DOWNLOADABLE RESOURCE: The Partnership for Water Sustainability in British Columbia – Our Story (March 2018)
“Future planners, engineers, scientists, politicians and citizens alike will be called upon to demonstrate both vision and pragmatism, working as a team towards consensus, commitment and collaboration for the common good. Such collaboration is essential and must cross all political and community boundaries given that climate change is no respecter of such creations. The Partnership has accepted this challenge and its implementation,” stated Eric Bonham.
Green, Heal and Restore the Earth: Ian McHarg’s “Design with Nature” vision has influenced implementation of British Columbia’s Water Sustainability Action Plan
In his 1969 book, Design With Nature, Ian McHarg pioneered the concept of environmental planning. “So, I commend Design with Nature to your sympathetic consideration. The title contains a gradient of meaning. It can be interpreted as simply descriptive of a planning method, deferential to places and peoples, it can invoke the Grand Design, it can emphasize the conjunction with and, finally it can be read as an imperative. DESIGN WITH NATURE!,” wrote Ian McHarg.
A VISION WITH A TASK IS THE HOPE OF THE WORLD: “Jody Watson is a great example of how one individual with a long term vision and determination can make a difference,” stated Eric Bonham at the Partnership for Water Sustainability Forum held in Nanaimo (October 2023)
The Partnership for Water Sustainability’s Watershed Moments Award honours the memory of the late Rob Lawrance, former Environmental Planner with the City of Nanaimo. Just like Rob did throughout his career, Jody Watson champions the embedding of ecosystem values within Capital Regional District municipal planning, processes and projects, “The award draws attention to the vision for connecting people and place by recognizing the passion and commitment of those who excel in contributing to the success of the Watershed Moments idea and vision,” stated Eric Bonham.
DOWNLOAD A COPY OF: “Living Water Smart in British Columbia: A vision with a task is the hope of the world” – released by the Partnership for Water Sustainability in November 2023
Jody Watson provided inspirational leadership as chair of the Bowker Creek Initiative (BCI) for 13 years from 2005 through 2018. Without determined champions, nothing gets started and nothing happens. Champions motivate others. “The BCI is more than the people sitting around the BCI table. The BCI represents an extensive network that includes three Councils, every department, 11 community associations, and the CRD too. This network is a true community-driven collaboration made up of people with a lot of heart, grit, commitment, and dedication,” stated Jody Watson
DOWNLOAD A COPY OF: “Living Water Smart in British Columbia: Enhancing biodiversity through green infrastructure solutions in Surrey” – released by the Partnership for Water Sustainability in November 2023
“At the time, all this stuff was happening when we were doing our regular jobs. We were quite jealous of how other municipalities were highlighting what they were doing. If it was not for the Partnership for Water Sustainability and the waterbucket.ca website, we would not have taken the time to report on what we were doing! We were just doing the job. It was always, one day we should write about it. I remember thinking if we could just write this stuff down. And the only place that we did it was through the Partnership,” stated Rémi Dubé.
CITY OF SURREY GREEN INFRASTRUCTURE JOURNEY: “There are a half-dozen people in the organization who have similar experience or expertise. I think that is part of passing the baton piece; I am able to learn from others and we can solve issues together,” stated Samantha Ward, Drainage Manager
When Carrie Baron retired as Drainage Manager in 2021, she passed the drainage baton to Samantha Ward. “I come from a different set of experiences. We all bring our past into our current role and then move forward. Other people who are new to the City of Surrey are doing the same thing. We are constantly evolving and growing in that sense. One thing that always struck me about Surrey was the forward thinking and how progressive the ideas were that were coming out. I always found it refreshing because Surrey was pushing the envelope of the day,” stated Samantha Ward.
DOWNLOAD A COPY OF: “Living Water Smart in British Columbia: Shifting the ecological baseline to replicate a healthy watershed requires boldness” – released by the Partnership for Water Sustainability in November 2023
Carrie Baron has always been a trailblazer. She could always be counted upon to lend her credibility to a good idea. Her efforts helped get multiple regional, intergovernmental, and inter-regional initiatives off the ground. three words define Carrie Baron’s engineering career: leadership, innovation and science. “We were lucky that we had the framework and the people in place at Surrey. We worked hard to get environment and drainage and notions of sustainability embedded over time, whether it was in stormwater bylaws or the Sustainability Charter,” stated Carrie Baron.
DOWNLOAD A COPY OF: “Living Water Smart in British Columbia: Surrey’s green infrastructure evolution – from pilot projects to watershed-based actions” – released by the Partnership for Water Sustainability in November 2023
Paul Ham spent 34 years with the City of Surrey, retiring as General Manager of Engineering. Without Paul Ham’s quiet and unassuming leadership behind the scenes, would the green infrastructure movement in British Columbia have successfully launched a generation ago? Somebody had to go first and establish the landmark precedent. That is what Surrey did with the East Clayton Sustainable Community. Green infrastructure at a community scale! It all started with East Clayton.
DOWNLOAD A COPY: “Living Water Smart in British Columbia: A message of hope is paramount in these times of droughts, forest fires and floods” – released by the Partnership for Water Sustainability in October 2023
“I frequently hear comments and concerns about getting buy-in to asset management within the organization and with the elected officials. Recently I spoke to a mayor who said, ‘I do not understand what this is about’ and added ‘we are already too busy with a very small staff!’. Communications (and miscommunication) continue to be our biggest barrier. This quote sums up some of our issues: The asset management community has lost sight of Sustainable Service Delivery strategies because it is lost in the details of Asset Management,” stated Wally Wells.
DOWNLOAD A COPY OF: “Living Water Smart in British Columbia: Our land ethic has consequences for water” – released by the Partnership for Water Sustainability in October 2023
“With climate change, we must have all hands on deck. Engaging citizen lake stewards throughout the province would extend the ability of government, as we face climate change. It is a growing agency, with huge potential, of embracing provincial direction with engagement of its citizens. There is magic when government actually engages community and community members share a passion for protecting and enhancing aquatic habitat. I speak from my experience in government when I was manager of the Urban Salmon Habitat Program in the 1990s,” stated Eric Bonham.
OUR LAND ETHIC HAS CONSEQUENCES FOR WATER: “Our relationship with water has to change,” stated Dr. Shannon Waters, Medical Health Officer for the Cowichan region, at the 2023 Annual Conference of the BC Lake Stewardship Society
Dr. Shannon Waters spoke of the need for a more holistic relationship with water, through the integration of indigenous knowledge and western science. To relate to water as “kin” rather than a “commodity” for “Water is Life”, (Hulit un tst tu’ qa’). This pragmatic endeavour aligns different perspectives, age groups and disciplines to, with common purpose, address the reality of climate change, ensuring the implementation of practical solutions from the local to the global, based upon knowledge, wisdom, respect, responsibility, and relationships.
METRO VANCOUVER GREEN INFRASTRUCTURE JOURNEY: “What was possible in the 2000s would not be possible in the 2020s. Those who are in the front lines of local government are embattled, stretched to the limit, and under-appreciated,” stated Kim Stephens (October 2023)
“A lot of things that took place in the 2000s are the building blocks which people have forgotten. As Darrell Mussatto, former mayor of the City of North Vancouver, points out in his story behind the story, the loss of understanding in the Metro Vancouver region is real. In the 2000s, politicians and staff were aligned. This fueled political commitment to take action to achieve a shared vision. To find a path forward in these challenging times, you have to understand your oral history and frame it accordingly! Where we have landed on is risk management,” stated Kim Stephens.