To understand where we are heading, we need to understand where we have come from. Historical context is important. The ‘design with nature’ paradigm is borrowed from the seminal book by Ian McHarg because it captures the essence of climate change adaptation. His 1969 book Design with Nature pioneered the concept of ecological planning. Adaptation is about responding to the changes that will inevitably occur. Adaptation is at the community level and is therefore about collaboration. Since 2004, the Action Plan has championed the way-of-thinking and acting embodied in the phrase ‘design with nature’.
“Convening for Action is our mantra. When we gather, it is for a purpose. There must be an action item or an outcome. Our aim is to move from talk to action by developing tools, building capacity, and providing training,” states Ray Fung. He was Chair of the Water Sustainability Committee when it developed the Action Plan in partnership with the Province. The Convening for Action vision is that water sustainability in British Columbia will be achieved through implementation of green infrastructure policies, practices and standards.
2010 UBCM Annual Convention provided forum for reporting out on implementation success of Water Sustainability Action Plan
“Because our vision is to advance water-centric green infrastructure, it was essential that we have high-level political endorsement. In 2003, UBCM provided us with a high-profile platform at its Urban Forum.,” stated Ted van der Gulik. “Seven years later, the 2010 UBCM Annual Convention provided us with a platform to showcase we what have accomplished on the ground under the umbrella of the Water Sustainability Action Plan for British Columbia. Glen Brown and Raymond Fung provided the provincial and local government perspectives, respectively.”
Implementing a New Culture for Urban Watershed Protection and Restoration in British Columbia: ‘ISMP Course Correction Series’
“Cities are all about choices – choices that become reality very quickly, with lasting consequences. Over the 21st century -the urban century – much will depend on getting the choices right,” stated former Premier Mike Harcourt. The 5-part series is designed to inform local governments and others about the paradigm-shift to landscape-based ‘RAINwater’ from pipe-and convey ‘STORMwater’; and what this means for watershed-based planning. The series highlights insights gained by local government leaders who have ISMP experience.
“The rolling 6-month average exceeds 4000 visits per month. We attribute this large jump to the cumulative enhancements that we have been systematically implementing over the past two years. These enhancements encompass both technology fixes and content evolution,” states Mike Tanner, Chair. “Google Analytics has enabled us to monitor how our target audiences respond to weekly e-news releases. We are always learning and adapting based on feedback from the user community.”
Partnership for Water Sustainability in British Columbia will build on existing Action Plan foundation
“The Partnership will continue to evolve and deliver program elements developed under the umbrella of the Water Sustainability Action Plan for British Columbia,” stated Kim Stephens, Executive Director. “Now, the Partnership provides a legal entity for building on the existing Action Plan foundation and creating a lasting legacy. The Partnership vision is that water sustainability will be achieved through implementation of green infrastructure policies and practice “
Since 2004, the Water Sustainability Action Plan for British Columbia has championed the way-of-thinking and acting embodied in the phrase ‘design with nature’. This paradigm is borrowed from the seminal book by Ian McHarg because it captures the essence of climate change adaptation. Adaptation is about responding to the changes that will inevitably occur. Adaptation is at the community level and is therefore about collaboration. His premise is simple: “that the shaping of land for human use ought to be based on an understanding of natural process.”
Convening for Action in British Columbia: Water Balance Model and Water Bucket Website are the twin engines for Outreach & Continuing Education Program
“watebucket.ca is the key to the communications strategy for the Water Sustainability Action Plan. The website is designed to provide the complete story on integrated land and water management – why, what, where and how,” states Mike Tanner. “Water Bucket stories establish expectations about program curricula and event outcomes. To get the word out, we work with our partners to craft email-type news releases that are complete with embedded links. We are finding that these news releases are taking on a life of their own.”
“The Water Sustainability Action Plan has allowed the Province to leverage partnerships to greatly enhance the profile and resulting impact of Living Water Smart,” states Kim Stephens. “The Action Plan partners are playing a key delivery role in two of the five Living Water Smart theme areas, namely: community planning and development; and efficiency, outreach, public awareness. In effect, the Action Plan partners are functioning as the on-the-ground Living Water Smart implementation arm with local government. This means that the Living Water Smart team can focus their work effort on legislative reform.”
Forging Gold Medal Standards: Water Sustainability Action Plan has centre stage at UBCM Annual Convention
“A decade ago, we made a conscious decision to follow an educational rather than prescriptive path in BC. We have established higher expectations and challenged practitioners to embrace shared responsibility. “The program goals for Living Water Smart and Green Communities constitute a ‘call to action’ on the part of local governments,” stated Glen Brown. “The Action Plan story is a good news story. It is a story of collaboration, partnerships and alignment at three levels: provincial, regional and local. Moreover, the Action Plan is adding value on the ground and supporting provincial outcomes.”