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.
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 CONSITUENCIES 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.
DOWNLOAD A COPY OF: “Living Water Smart in British Columbia: Healthy Waters Program for salmon, whales, and people” – released by the Partnership for Water Sustainability in May 2023
“The new Healthy Waters program will support sampling and analysis for a variety of contaminants of concern at up to 12 flagship BC watersheds. We will engage, share and train Indigenous community members, conservation teams and local authorities, thereby leveraging capacity in support of water quality monitoring and stewardship. The program aims to monitor water quality, effectively documenting water contaminants from the mountains to the sea,” stated Dr. Peter Ross.
DOWNLOAD A COPY OF: “Living Water Smart in British Columbia: Erik Karlsen and the Streamside Protection Regulation” – released by the Partnership for Water Sustainability in May 2023
During the period 1996 through 2001, the BC government tasked Erik Karlsen with the lead role in developing the wording of an Order in Council to enact Section 12 of the Fish Protection Act. It was a unique position, as this legislation was a Ministry of Environment initiative, but led by Erik, who was the Director of Regional Growth Strategies in the Ministry of Municipal Affairs. Over a period of two years, Erik Karlsen chaired a committee of experts in a process that focused on the science, the policies, the costs, the benefits with a goal of gaining consensus from all sectors.
DOWNLOAD A COPY OF: “Living Water Smart in British Columbia: Shelly Creek in Parksville is a “living laboratory” – released by the Partnership for Water Sustainability in April 2023
Peter Law has put his time and energy into Shelly Creek, as do many other stream stewards in their watersheds around BC, such that Shelly Creek has become a “living laboratory” for the local Parksville community to enjoy. “Enhanced riparian greenways like Shelly Creek Park allow fish to survive in natural conditions without encroachment issues. That 1990s decision to create an enhanced linear park showed great foresight. The proof of the pudding is that it saved the resident Cutthroat trout population during the heat dome and extreme drought of 2021,” stated Peter Law.
DOWNLOAD A COPY OF: “Living Water Smart in British Columbia: Fifty Years – and miraculously still here: BC’s Agricultural Land Reserve” – released by the Partnership for Water Sustainability in April 2023
Most British Columbians do not know a British Columbia without the ALR. “With only about 5% of BC’s land area capable of agricultural use, 50 years ago it was estimated we were losing 6000 hectares per year to non-farm uses. It was clear that local governments could not withstand development pressures upon this scarce provincial resource, In 1973, the Agricultural Land Reserve not only preserved the land for food production for present and future generations, but it preserved the option to plan our settled communities to be more resilient and sustainable,” stated Joan Sawicki.
DOWNLOAD A COPY OF: “Living Water Smart in British Columbia: Looking at green roofs through a water balance lens” – released by the Partnership for Water Sustainability in April 2023
Given how our climate is changing – with longer, drier summers being BC’s new reality – communities must adapt to a changing seasonal water balance. Harvy Takhar’s connected blue-green roof (BGR) may well prove to be an important piece in a long-term strategy for water balance management. “BGR systems are a novel nature-based solution for climate change adaptation and mitigation that provides multiple benefits to the urban environment,” stated Harvy Takhar. He has re-energized an aspect of green roof research that had lain dormant for two decades.