“I value the important role this partnership is playing in promoting awareness and supporting communities to integrate water management practices with local land use planning and development programs. The ministry continues to provide core funding to support implementation of this Action Plan,” stated BC Environment Minister Barry Penner.
Turning Ideas Into Action
When the British Columbia Water & Waste Association hosted a regional meeting of the American Waterworks Association in September 2006, Kim Stephens was invited to make a presentation on the accomplishments of the Water Sustainability Committee in delivering the Water Sustainability Action Plan.
“Under the Convening for Action banner, stakeholder sessions were held in the South Okanagan to promote water stewardship and to encourage a “water balance” way of thinking within Growth Strategies initiatives,” reported Ray Fung.
“The audience was diverse and represented a broad cross-section of the region,” observed Lance Jakubec. “We had elected officials from the four municipalities. In addition, we had municipal staff and community representatives such as the Dawson Creek Senior Citizens Association, Dawson Creek Chamber of Commerce, Northeast Environmental Action Team, and Dawson Creek Beautification Committee.”
Water Sustainability Action Plan for British Columbia: A Partnership Umbrella for On-the-Ground Initiatives
“The Action Plan recognizes that numerous groups and organizations implicitly share a vision for integrated water management. Hence, over time it is envisioned that other elements will be added as momentum builds and support grows province-wide for fully integrated water sustainability policies, plans and programs – resulting in conservation and stewardship practices by BC’s enterprises, institutions and in homes,” stated Kim Stephens.
“In 2004, in the second year of implementation of the Water Sustainability Action Plan, significant progress was made on each of the six key elements,” reported Ray Fung. “The Action Plan is comprehensive in scope and provides an umbrella for grassroots initiatives that are informing Provincial policy through shared responsibility.”
Inter-Association Collaboration: Convening for Action Launched at ‘Okanagan Conference’ Organized By CWRA in 2005
“The Kelowna conference was an important first step in focusing stakeholder attention on the decisions that need to be made now if we are to move towards sustainable water management in BC. Inter-association collaboration is an essential ingredient if collectively we are to create the province-wide momentum that will result in substantive change related to water management and use,” stated Don Degen.
“Our focus is on education as the means for shifting practice in BC to address water use as an integral part of land use. We place emphasis on practitioner education. An integral part of the process is to create a picture of what the future landscape can look like. If we agree on where we wish to be in one or two generations, then we can map out the route to get there.” states Kim Stephens.