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2004 Action Plan guidance document

DOWNLOAD: “Water Sustainability Action Plan for British Columbia: Framework for Building Partnerships” – released in February 2004


“A roundtable of land and water champions created the Water Sustainability Action Plan. Timing is everything – a successful outcome requires that the right people be in the right place at the right time. Producing an Action Plan that was credible was made possible through a precedent-setting approach to collaboration that involved representatives of multiple  provincial government ministries. This helped us get the attention and blessing of Premier Gordon Campbell. Our approach recognized that the greatest impact on water and water resources occurs through our individual values, choices and behaviour,” stated Kim Stephens.

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IN MEMORIAM: Erik Karlsen (1945-2020) has a special place in the history of the Partnership for Water Sustainability. He was the ‘eminence grise’ during development and early years of implementing the Water Sustainability Action Plan for British Columbia


Over the course of his career in government, Erik Karlsen bridged the worlds of municipal affairs and environmental stewardship. For a generation of elected representatives, his was a familiar face in the local government setting. He was indeed one of a kind, and his ability to envision the big picture, yet identify practical steps going forward, was what made him stand out from the crowd and earned him much respect from his colleagues. Erik served the public interest – the public hopes and dreams for a better tomorrow, for the environment, for human communities, and for future generations – almost without equal.

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IN MEMORIAM: “Erik Karlsen had a long and unique career in the public service. He served the public interest almost without equal, with a style likely not to be seen again for a very long time. The Georgia Basin Initiative was so indicative of who Eric was and how he operated,” stated Joan Sawicki, a former BC Minister of Environment, Lands and Parks (during the period 1996 through 2000)


“I first met Erik in action when we were assigned to work together, from mid-1994 to 1996. I had just been appointed parliamentary secretary to Minister of Municipal Affairs, Darlene Marzari. So, she put us together – and the Georgia Basin Initiative was born. We were a very small staff at GBI – Judith Cullington, Charmaine Hall, and Brent Mueller. We were a small group but, with Erik’s energy and access to just about everybody everywhere, he created the illusion of something much larger,” stated Joan Sawicki.

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FLASHBACK TO 2005: “Water Sustainability Action Plan for British Columbia provides a partnership umbrella for on-the-ground initiatives,” stated Kim Stephens, lead person responsible for program delivery, a year after Premier Gordon Campbell approved release of the Action Plan


“The goal is to influence choices and encourage action by individuals and organizations so that water resource stewardship will become an integral part of land use and daily living,” stated Kim Stephens. “The Province’s commitment to the Action Plan speaks for itself. Both the Ministry of Environment and Ministry of Municipal Affairs have provided core funding over a multi-year period to sustain Action Plan efforts. In addition, and through participation in various inter-governmental partnerships, a number of Ministries have contributed substantial funding and in-kind support to help launch Action Plan elements.”

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WATER SUSTAINABILITY ACTION PLAN FOR BRITISH COLUMBIA:“After the Action Plan was released with the approval of the provincial government in February 2004, the branding graphic for the integrated scope of the partnership framework evolved from a jig-saw puzzle to a Venn diagram by 2007. This reflected the maturing of the Action Plan implementation program,” stated Ray Fung, Chair (2003-2008)


“The main goal of the Water Sustainability Action Plan is to encourage province-wide implementation of fully integrated water sustainability policies, plans and programs. The Action Plan recognizes that the greatest impact on water, land and water resources occurs through our individual values, choices and behaviour. The Action Plan promotes and facilitates sustainable approaches to water use, land use and water resource management at all levels – from the province to the household; and in all sectors,” stated Ray Fung.

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