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Convening for Action in British Columbia

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DOWNLOAD A COPY OF: “Living Water Smart in British Columbia: Balance is Key to Good Government”, released by the Partnership for Water Sustainability in June 2021


“At the end of the day, good decision-making comes down to a good process. But it also relies on wisdom in terms of balanced advice. And it comes with an accountable, political group of elected representatives that make the decisions. Balance is key to good government. One needs good administrative expertise to advise and serve the political arm. At the same time, the political arm has to trust the administrative arm. The two arms must work together. Council buy-in follows when Council fundamentally respects the work that Staff does,” stated Peter Steblin.

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ENGAGE AND ALIGN ORGANIZATIONS WITHIN A NETWORK: “The Partnership brings individuals and organizations together to achieve a shared goal. Otherwise, they tend to become wrapped up within their own worlds and rarely venture beyond their boundaries,” stated Derek Richmond, a Founding Director of the Partnership for Water Sustainability


“The Partnership defines success in terms of how our partners incrementally make progress in achieving the vision for Living Water Smart in British Columbia. By that, we mean reconnect people, land, water and fish in altered landscapes! Bringing this vision to fruition requires an inter-generational commitment. The Partnership has a primary goal, to build bridges of understanding and pass the baton from the past to the present and future. The role of elders is therefore a lynch-pin for inter-generational collaboration,” stated Derek Richmond.

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DOWNLOAD A COPY OF: “Living Water Smart in British Columbia: Power of Collaborative Leadership” – released by the Partnership for Water Sustainability in June 2021


“The Partnership is a legal entity, yet operationally it functions as a network rather than as an organization in any conventional sense. The work of The Partnership is guided by a network way-of-thinking that reflects our genesis as a water-centric technical committee in the 1990s. We recognize that to be successful in facilitating changes in practice over the long-term, the groundwork has to be done by our partners. This means that the work of The Partnership must be aligned with and support their organizational objectives,” stated Mike Tanner.

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DOWNLOAD A COPY OF: “Living Water Smart in British Columbia: Dockside Green, the World’s Greenest Neighbourhood,” released by the Partnership for Water Sustainability in May 2021


“Humans have tried to control the uncontrollable, master the unmasterable, and conquer the unconquerable. We have failed. Do we have the intelligence and will to impel change? Dockside Green is an example of a project that did just that with three key aspects that busted convention wide open. Dockside Green is a 15-acre Brownfield site redevelopment located adjacent to downtown Victoria, BC. It was redeveloped to achieve the highest sustainability rating in the world under the LEEDTM green building rating system in 2008 and again in 2009,” stated Kim Fowler.

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DOWNLOAD A COPY OF: “Living Water Smart in British Columbia: Asset Management for Sustainable Service Delivery”, released by the Partnership for Water Sustainability in May 2021


“Everyone in a local government organization needs to recognize that asset management is a process, not a plan. The approach BC local governments follow for their asset management process is enshrined in the document Asset Management for Sustainable Service Delivery: A BC Framework. The important and telling part of the title is Asset Management is a process to provide a sound basis for decisions relating to the function – which is service delivery,” stated Wally Wells.

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DOWNLOAD A COPY OF: “Living Water Smart in British Columbia: Creating Safe Cities for Salmon”, released by the Partnership for Water Sustainability in May 2021


“Protection of salmon and their habitat from the adverse impacts of urban development is a challenging task that requires an all-of-government response. Findings from this research highlight the variable involvement and guidance provided from the higher levels of government in Canada. As one expert noted, the province must provide more clarity on direct regulatory obligations which have compliance initiatives in place to enforce them. Inadequate statutory foundations and enforcement of current regulations have only hindered the implementation of nature-based solutions to protect salmon in cities,” stated Andrea McDonald.

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DOWNLOAD A COPY OF: “Living Water Smart in British Columbia: Short-Term Gratification versus Long-Term Legacy” – released by the Partnership for Water Sustainability in May 2021


“In British Columbia at least, we know what we need to do to adapt to a changing water cycle. Whether and how we deal with uncertainty, manage risk, and adapt to droughts and floods will depend on how effective we are in encouraging a spirit of inter-generational collaboration among decision-makers at all levels within government and with community. The goal would be to build bridges of understanding and pass the baton from the past to the present and future,” stated Kim Stephens.

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DOWNLOAD A COPY OF: “Living Water Smart in British Columbia: Doing Science Differently in Local Creeksheds” – released by the Partnership for Water Sustainability in May 2021


“Stewardship groups in particular are such an underutilized resource right now. My Masters research, which looked at how governments can better collaborate with stewardship groups on environmental monitoring initiatives, found that volunteers spend countless hours collecting data, often the same data that government employees state they’re in need of, but the data aren’t being used meaningfully for resource management or decision-making,” stated Nikki Kroetsch.

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DOWNLOAD A COPY OF: “Living Water Smart in British Columbia: The Emerging Crisis Around Groundwater Legislation Implementation” (May 2021)


“Time is running out. The deadline for historical groundwater users to apply is only months away. Just over the horizon, there is a crisis in waiting, for landowners and for government. Groundwater is intertwined with other regulations. Without quick action, government risks other dominoes falling. There will be economic consequences for rural BC farmers, businesses, and industries. They need government to fix this. Government can turn it around if a water champion is appointed at the highest level. To be successful, this water leader must have the authority and accountability to make water a priority and remain a priority,” stated Ted van der Gulik.

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DOWNLOAD A COPY OF: “Living Water Smart in British Columbia: Dealing with Uncertainty and Managing Risk” (May 2021)


“Climate change is not a driver; rather, it is a variable. Furthermore, climate change is only one factor to consider when we talk about sustainable infrastructure and sustainable water supply. The real issues are uncertainty and risk, more specifically how we deal with the first and manage the latter. The need for flexibility is not restricted to the immediate scope of the problem at hand; but must also consider the broader juggling of evolving local government priorities and service demands,” stated Robert Hicks.

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