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: History and application of a science-based road map for either protecting or restoring stream system integrity” – released by the Partnership for Water Sustainability in March 2023
In the 1990s, Puget Sound research correlated land use changes with impacts on stream system condition. This was the springboard for BC to develop methodologies and metrics for science-based solutions. “It was when I decided to take advantage of a Fellowship Program to do my PhD that I hooked up with Rich Horner. This was at the start of the Puget Sound research project and proved to be good timing. We looked at why salmon stocks were declining in Puget Sound. We established that the loss of riparian and watershed land cover has a real impact before water quality does,” stated Chris May.
DOWNLOAD A COPY OF: “Living Water Smart in British Columbia: Communities need annual budgets to tackle the Riparian Deficit along streams” – released by the Partnership for Water Sustainability in March 2023
The requirement for an Asset Management Plan addresses the disconnect between land use oversight and direct responsibility for maintenance and management of stream corridor condition. “The oversight question is one that we are addressing with EAP, the Ecological Accounting Process. Local governments have real data to quantify the financial value of streams as physical assets. This metric allows them to put streams into the basket of local government asset management responsibilities,” stated Tim Pringle.
DOWNLOAD A COPY OF: “Living Water Smart in British Columbia: Build bridges of understanding, pass the baton!” – released by the Partnership for Water Sustainability in March 2023
“Over the past 30 years, a series of provincial government initiatives established a direction for water sustainability, including Stewardship of the Water of BC in 1993, the Fish Protection Act in 1997, and the Water Conservation Strategy for BC in 1998. The high-water mark is Living Water Smart, British Columbia’s Water Plan, released in 2008. The Water Sustainability Act is another key piece; the Partnership is committed to furthering its implementation and collaborating with the provincial government to fill gaps and improve the legislation.,” stated Kim Stephens.
A 3-YEAR STRATEGY FOR ENSURING CONTINUITY OF THE PARTNERSHIP NETWORK: “Growing and sustaining the network is very much about finding those to whom we can pass the baton. At the end of the day, however, ensuring continuity of the network is really about how organizations continue within the network,” stated Ted van der Gulik in his President’s Perspective (Annual Report 2022, Partnership for Water Sustainability in BC)
“A Partnership strength is the real-world experience we bring because of our multiple initiatives under Living Water Smart Actions. Under that vision, various building blocks processes have evolved over the decades. The Watershed Security Strategy and Fund, an initiative of the current provincial government, is the obvious mechanism to revisit, understand, learn from, and leverage past successes in the building blocks continuum. We have tools to help do the job. We can achieve better stewardship of BC’s water resources for present and future generations,” stated Ted van der Gulik.
DOWNLOAD A COPY OF: “Living Water Smart in British Columbia: Town of Comox – beacon of inspiration for water balance approach to land development” – released by the Partnership for Water Sustainability in March 2023
“The Drainage Infrastructure Protection and Runoff Control bylaws were a key shift. Jim Dumont had a key role in helping us think through the implementation details. Creating the bylaws definitely shows that the Town is serious. We have to follow our bylaws now. It’s the law!” stated Shelley Ashfield. The Town had to re-invent what have been accepted development practices. Historical failure by designers to apply the fundamentals of a water balance approach perpetuates degrading of urban streams.
DOWNLOAD A COPY OF: “Living Water Smart in British Columbia: Measure streamflow and close a data gap in community planning” – released by the Partnership for Water Sustainability in February 2023
“When it comes to measuring streamflow, there is a real risk of groups or individuals or ministries out-sourcing work that they do not understand. For this reason, a program goal is to educate these groups so that they get value for the dollar when work is done for them by third parties,” stated Neil Goeller. “It is a process to teach them what hydrology looks like, and what hydrometrics look like. There are so many aspects to it – how do you collect this data, what does it look like when you collect it, what is the value of the data, and what do you do with the data once you have it.”
DOWNLOAD A COPY OF: “Living Water Smart in British Columbia: Community-based science raises water balance awareness on Salt Spring Island” – released by the Partnership for Water Sustainability in February 2023
“I am a geologist, and it has been my passion since age 8. And geology links quite naturally into an understanding of water resources. And so, when I retired to Salt Spring Island, I became heavily involved in some of the community-based science work that is underway on the island. We can do some fantastic science work, we can even achieve some ‘accuracy’ with our numbers, and we can say this is what we are going to base our planning decisions on. Unfortunately, if the public is not on board because they do not understand it, you are screwed,” stated Dr John Millson.
DOWNLOAD A COPY OF: “Living Water Smart in British Columbia: Watershed Moments Team Award honours legacy of Rob Lawrance (1964-2022)” – released by the Partnership for Water Sustainability in February 2023
Rob Lawrance grew up in the Cowichan Valley where he began his stewardship journey. In his time with the City of Nanaimo, he grew the responsibilities of Environmental Planner to include community collaboration. He played a key role in almost every major waterway stewardship initiative in Nanaimo and connected community stewardship passion with municipal capacity. In 2021, Rob retired from the City and moved to Blaine, Washington. Tragically, he passed away in May 2022 while participating in the cyclocross leg of the Bellingham Ski to Sea relay race.
DOWNLOAD A COPY OF: “Living Water Smart in British Columbia: Adapting to floods and droughts in the Cowichan region” – released by the Partnership for Water Sustainability in January 2023
“Early in my career, working with agencies across Western Canada gave me an appreciation for the urgent need for collaboration between organizations. When I joined CVRD in mid-2013, I had a strong sense that this would be a place where I could work in a more collaborative setting.. There was a willingness to foster a collaborative framework between partnering organizations so that together we can respond to climate threats to our water resources. As local government, one of the roles that we can play is to support that stewardship culture,” stated Keith Lawrence.
DOWNLOAD A COPY OF: “Drinking Water & Watershed Protection in the Cowichan Valley Regional District / Adapt to a Changing Climate” — the 1st in the Stories of Inter-Regional Collaboration Series, released by the Partnership for Water Sustainability in January 2023
“In the Cowichan Valley we have a dominance of electoral areas with proudly distinct communities, capable and engaged municipal partners, and a leadership that is characterized by true independence and internal reliance. This has resulted in a rich tapestry of watershed planning across our region. There is no one model. Rather, we have a range of applications that are sensitive to the environment in which it was formulated and to the core drivers and champions that brought it forward. We truly have a rich basis in which to begin the process of stepping back, learning and reflecting on our next steps,” stated Kate Miller.