“A notable accomplishment was implementation of Year One of the CAVI, Convening for Action on Vancouver Island initiative, a three-year program. The over-arching objective is to move towards water sustainability in BC by implementing green infrastructure policies, practices and standards. To that end, a goal is to reach out to land and water practitioners and educate them about practices that better balance the relationship between settlement activity and ecological assets in local and regional landscapes,” stated Ray Fung.
In April 2008, the WSC announced that Glen Brown had succeeded Raymond Fung as Chair of the WSC. Glen will build upon Ray’s solid groundwork with the development of innovative outreach programs that encourage an integrated approach to water and land management in British Columbia. Under Glen’s leadership, the Ministry of Community Services has encouraged local government to move beyond reliance solely upon water and wastewater infrastructure towards, adopting long term water sustainability measures.
In 2008, the Year Two program for Convening for Action on Vancouver Island (CAVI) implemented four program elements that built on the foundation provided by the Year One program. “The CAVI vision for the Year Two Program was to play an integrating role, cut across disciplines and ultimately serve as a catalyst to create neighbourhoods that integrate both good planning and innovative engineering designs, for overall greater sustainability ….environmental, social and economic,” reported Kim Stephens.
The Province of British Columbia is fostering a green vision, recognizing that the choices will be made by local governments. “We are using the slogan The New Business As Usual to convey the message that, for change to really occur, practices that until now have been viewed as the exception must become the norm moving forward. We have to build regulatory models and 2008 learning lunch pilot develop models of practice and expertise to support The New Business As Usual”, stated Dale Wall, Deputy Minister.
Water Sustainability Action Plan: A look back at what was accomplished during the period 2005 – 2007
The 'Convening for Action' vision is that water sustainability in British Columbia will be achieved through implementation of green infrastructure policies and practices. “The Water Sustainability Action Plan is a partnership umbrella for an array of on-the-ground initiatives that advance a ‘water-centric’ approach to community planning and development, stated Ray Fung.
2008 Vancouver Island Showcasing Green Infrastructure Innovation Series organized under the umbrella of the Water Sustainability Action Plan
“The goal in showcasing innovation and celebrating successes is to move 'from awareness to action' in doing business differently — through sharing of approaches, tools, experiences and lessons learned that will ultimately inform a pragmatic strategy for climate change adaptation,” stated Kim Stephens. “A Showcasing Innovation event is not a conference. Rather the purpose of the presentations is to whet the appetites of participants for the site tour that follows. The quality one-on-one conversations take place on the bus and when we go for a walkabout.”
2008 Vancouver Island Learning Lunch Seminar Series organized under the umbrella of the Water Sustainability Action Plan
High-level endorsement for a ‘regional team approach’ was provided when Mayors and Chief Administrative Officers representing the four Comox Valley local governments dropped in to show their support for the Learning Lunch Seminar Series. “We are thrilled by the work of CAVI. It is a tremendous initiative. The cooperation that is taking place around a consistent approach to development is very critical to all of Vancouver Island,” stated Courtenay CAO Sandy Gray.
“Through regional initiatives such as CAVI, which is the acronym for Convening for Action on Vancouver Island, the Water Sustainability Action Plan is adding considerable depth to Living Water Smart. In 2008, CAVI undertook the Vancouver Island Learning Lunch Seminar Series as a provincial pilot,” stated Glen Brown. “The Learning Lunch Seminars promote a consistent provincial approach to implementation of rainwater management and green infrastructure solutions.”
2008 Vancouver Island Water Balance Model Forum organized under umbrella of Water Sustainability Action Plan
“In October 2008, the Cowichan Valley Regional District hosted a Water Balance Model Forum that was conducted as a hybrid-training workshop to inform, educate and enable those who wish to apply the Water Balance Model to support a Design with Nature approach to land development,” stated Jay Bradley. “This was part of the implementation program for ‘Beyond the Guidebook: The New Business As Usual’. This initiative adds depth to Living Water Smart, the provincial government’s vision and plan to keep British Columbia’s water healthy and secure for the future.”