In May 2015, water utility staff from Canal Flats contacted Joe McGowan at the City of Cranbrook and requested peer-to-peer training support from Cranbrook utility personnel with expertise in Closed Circuit Television (CCTV) sewer camera operation.
Convening for Action in the Columbia Basin
Nestled in the Rocky Mountain Trench, the Town of Golden was an early champion of “Asset Management for Sustainability”
“We must remember that we have inherited our prosperity and the responsibilities that go with it. Blaming past councils for deferring infrastructure investment is an exercise in futility. Now is the time for the leadership to assume the political risks, accept responsibility, and move forward,” wrote Christina Benty (former Mayor of Golden, BC) in the Fall 2015 Asset Management BC Newsletter.
“The lessons learned by Basin communities are relevant to any community trying to reduce peak demand driven by irrigation. To measurably reduce irrigation demand through residential water conservation outreach, you need a strong tool kit that includes good data and great personalities who are meeting people right at their homes and places of work,” said Neal Klassen.
Leading by Example in the Columbia Basin: Water Smart Champion Pilots Innovative Approach to Peer-to-Peer Water Utility Training
All across BC, water utility operators in rural areas face challenges in keeping up with mandatory certifications. The Columbia Basin region is piloting a new approach that may transform water operator training. “This new training model will allow the Basin’s resident-experts to teach the practical skills they know so well, which will further their own expertise, while also earning CEUs without stepping into a classroom,” states Joe McGowan.
“In just two years of program implementation, 23 Water Smart communities have reduced community water demand by an average of 12 per cent, with some achieving savings of more than 30 per cent. How? By focusing their conservation activities where the potential savings are biggest: reducing leakage in the distribution system,” reports Meredith Hamstead.