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.
DOWNLOAD A COPY OF: “Living Water Smart in British Columbia: Blue Ecology offers HOPE and removes the FEAR” – released by the Partnership for Water Sustainability in September 2023
Michael Blackstock believes that a message of hope is paramount in these times of droughts, forest fires and floods. “Rather than looking through a cumulative effects lens, I also see the concept of ‘cumulative healing’ landing as a way to give back to water and land. Rather than wondering how much more can we take or impact land before we need to stop, instead we should ask how much longer should we let the water and land heal, before we ask for more,” states Michael Blackstock.
DOWNLOAD A COPY OF: “Living Water Smart in British Columbia: In 2023, history repeated itself in the Kelowna region” – released by the Partnership for Water Sustainability in September 2023
“Mother Nature has an amazing sense of timing. On the 20th anniversary of the evacuation of 27,000 people from Kelowna due to forest fires, history repeated itself in August in the Kelowna region, in particular West Kelowna. We have had two decades to prepare for the obvious and the inevitable. 2003 was the first of a series of teachable years, with the full onslaught of a changing climate hitting hard as of 2015. Climate change is accelerating. There is no time to re-invent the wheel, fiddle, or go down cul-de-sacs. Understand how the past informs the future and build on that experience,” stated Kim Stephens.
LOCAL GOVERNMENT POLICY IMPACTS RIPPLE THROUGH TIME: “The growing cost of neglect, combined with the urgency of the flood liability issue in particular, is the driver for linking municipal infrastructure asset management and stream health as cause-and-effect,” wrote Kim Stephens, Partnership for Water Sustainability, in an essay written for new politicians after the 2022 local government elections in British Columbia
“My over-arching message to those elected 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. A supporting message is this: 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,” stated Kim Stephens.
ARTICLE: “Local Governments invest in youth at Vancouver Island University – a conversation with Graham Sakaki, Regional Research Institute Manager” (Asset Management BC Newsletter, Summer 2023)
“The story behind the story is about the importance of embedding knowledge of EAP into the youth who are going to be the future of our local governments. The framework that we have set up ensures this will happen. Vancouver Island University, as a smaller university, is very focused on applied research and community engagement. This is a good fit for the EAP mission. There are lots of partnerships that exist for selfish reasons. But the EAP Partnership is selfless, and from all angles. It is a leap of faith for member local governments. Commitment to passing the baton is unwavering,” stated Graham Sakaki.
ARTICLE: “Our reflections on sharing a mission with Wally Wells” – by Paul Chapman and Kim Stephens (Asset Management BC Newsletter, Summer 2023)
“Our discussions lead to an expanded common vocabulary. Sustainable Service Delivery, Eco-Assets and Eco-Asset Management, the Ecological Accounting Process, Municipal Natural Asset Inventory, Riparian Deficit, and watershed stewardship are some of the words in our new common tongue. The rabid environmentalist, the cold-hearted accountant and the aloof engineer could come together and focus on a common goal – Water Balance. At a very key level, it is about our relationship with water and with each other. We design and build our communities based on our relationship to water,” stated Paul Chapman.
STORIES OF INTER-REGIONAL COLLABORATION: “Stream Systems and Watershed Stewardship in the Comox Valley: Moving Towards Sustainable Service Delivery” — 2nd in the series of stories behind the stories released by the Partnership for Water Sustainability in May 2023
“When people are engaged, they are interested in the oral history of the place. How people in the community are engaged is the education piece. The more they engage, the more they can be part of the solution because they understand the restrictions that we operate under as local government. It becomes quite a collaborative upbringing you could say. For the Village of Cumberland, it is really important as a smaller municipality to partner with other Comox Valley local governments and with local community groups,” stated Michelle Mason.
DOWNLOAD A COPY OF: “Living Water Smart in British Columbia: Moving Towards Sustainable Service Delivery in the Comox Valley” – released by the Partnership for Water Sustainability in May 2023
“I am a project person. I come from a project background and am used to the stages of a project – from conception through budgeting, procurement, construction, and commissioning. It is a very structured spectrum of activities. There is a defined beginning and end. But that is not the way it is in the world of water stewardship. It is a bit like a creek. It just meanders all over the place such that you just cannot seem to get things to completion even when the process is a good one. You learn that this is what it means to be on a journey,” stated Marc Rutten.
DOWNLOAD A COPY OF: “Living Water Smart in British Columbia: What organization serves only rural local governments, community leaders and First Nations?” – released by the Partnership for Water Sustainability in May 2023
“I prepared a report that reflected what I learned from my travelling roadshow in 2021. The report lists 18 issues of concern to rural and remote communities. The board said this is great. Now, as Executive Director, what could you do to solve these 18 problems? I was gob smacked. We had a strategic planning session in June 2022 to decide what the BC Rural Centre could realistically accomplish as an advocacy organization for rural constituencies. This is the genesis for holding the Keeping It Rural Conference a year later in early June 2023,” stated Barry Janyk.
RURAL CONSTITUENCIES WANT A VOICE: “Zoom towns made possible by high-speed internet in rural communities have allowed vast numbers of people to vacate their city condo for a family home in a rural setting,” stated Barry Janyk, Executive Director of the BC Rural Centre
“For the past decade rural communities had been devising clever population attraction strategies and finding occasional success in achieving incremental growth. Coincidental with the expansion of broadband communications, the global COVID pandemic and the predicted demographic upheaval, living in urban areas became less attractive. Many folks who had been considering leaving urban centres quickly did. We characterize the three main groups moving to the really small communities as digital nomads, amenity migrants, and retirees,” stated Barry Janyk.
DOWNLOAD A COPY OF: “Living Water Smart in British Columbia: Trust is the currency of collaboration in the Comox Valley” – released by the Partnership for Water Sustainability in May 2023
“The thing too about the speed of trust in our community is the stewardship sector and its strength. It has always been strong. And that has long been part of the messaging out of the Comox Valley. Trust is so critical in forming relationships with interested parties such as the stewardship sector. After the years of understanding each other’s perspectives, we can have a conversation about solutions. I can ask them questions because they have ears to ground, and they can ask me about and give input to regulatory changes,” stated Nancy Gothhard.