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Glen Brown

    DOWNLOAD A COPY OF: “Living Water Smart in British Columbia: Sustainable Service Delivery for Watershed Systems” – released by the Partnership for Water Sustainability in March 2022


    “At the Workshop, I explained that implementation of asset management along with the associated evolution of local government thinking is a continuous process, not a discrete task. Some local governments are advanced. Some are just starting out. Over time, capacity and expertise will increase for asset management. We are saying the same thing for integration of natural assets. Local governments, over time, will progress. A desired outcome is that they will eventually incorporate natural capital into their asset management processes,” stated Glen Brown.

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    DOWNLOAD A COPY OF: “Living Water Smart in British Columbia: Asset Management for Sustainable Service Delivery in the District of Oak Bay” – released by the Partnership for Water Sustainability in January 2022


    “We have already started ramping up how much maintenance work we are doing, how much capital rehabilitation, and so on. The growth is going to continue. We are lucky that the community is asking for this. Now we are responding. It is a great situation. In some cases, we are being asked, Can you do this faster? In a lot of communities, it is a struggle because staff has a difficult time getting Council attention. In Oak Bay, we are fortunate to have folks who care about infrastructure and renewal. We can talk about it frankly. Things aren’t perfect but we are able to make progress…which is key,” stated Dan Horan.

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


    “Implementation of asset management along with the associated evolution of local government thinking is a continuous process, not a discrete task. We needed a way to illustrate this diagrammatically, and thus communicate, what the journey by a local government to the eventual Sustainable Service Delivery destination would look like. This led us to the concept of a continuum. Over time local governments can achieve the goal of sustainable service delivery for watershed systems,” stated Glen Brown. “It’s all about the service because infrastructure assets are worthless IF they do not provide a service.”

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    DOWNLOAD A COPY OF: “Living Water Smart in British Columbia: Creating a Culture for Urban Watershed Restoration” – released by the Partnership for Water Sustainability in November 2021


    Creating a culture for urban watershed restoration relies on knowing the oral history of an area. And as the First Nations who have settled these lands for 1000s of years tell us, passing on the oral history is key to sharing a collective memory over time. Each generation must be receptive so that experience is passed on. “We are inching our way to bring together Western science and our own (Indigenous) science. There are different ways of how the two interact when we bring them together. The observation record for us is in the oral history,” stated hereditary Chief Hanamuxw (aka Don Ryan) of the Gitxsan.

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    FLASHBACK TO 2010 ANNUAL UBCM CONVENTION: “The philosophy behind the Water Sustainability Action Plan is quite simple: bring local and regional stakeholders together where there is a desire and energy to make some form of change,” stated Glen Brown at a study session for elected representatives when he provided a provincial perspective on a ‘top-down & bottom-up’ strategy for urban watershed restoration


    “As we move forward with the Action Plan, it is making sure that we provide the people on the ground with the tools and resources that they need to help support action at the local level. A top-down approach does not work. When a community shows interest or a desire to move something forward, that is when we mobilize. The Action Plan purpose is to engage, listen, understand and support the local interests in moving forward. That is where we have been successful,” stated Glen Brown.

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    ARTICLE: Infrastructure Management in British Columbia – Glen Brown has provided leadership at a provincial scale to transform the phrase ‘sustainable service delivery’ into an actionable vision for local government (Asset Management BC Newsletter, Summer 2020)


    The 20/80 Rule refers to the initial capital cost of municipal infrastructure being about 20% of the ultimate total cost, with the other 80% being an unfunded liability. This is a driver for doing business differently. “Tackling the unfunded infrastructure liability involves a life-cycle way of thinking about infrastructure needs and how to pay for those needs over time. This holistic approach is described as Sustainable Service Delivery. The link between infrastructure asset management and the protection of a community’s natural resources is an important piece in Sustainable Service Delivery,” stated Glen Brown.

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    CONVENING FOR ACTION IN BRITISH COLUMBIA: 2010 was a ‘watershed year’ for the Water Sustainability Action Plan, with outreach taking place at 10 major events in three regions, to provide peer-based learning for Living Water Smart, Building Greener Communities, and Adapting to a Changing Climate


    “The Partnership’s outreach spotlight in 2010 was on the rollout of the second in the Beyond the Guidebook series of guidance documents for rainwater management and restoration of hydrologic function in urban watersheds. ‘Beyond the Guidebook 2010’ describes how a ‘convening for action’ culture has taken root in BC. Bringing together local government practitioners in neutral forums has enabled implementers to collaborate as regional teams. How to do it examples help decision-makers visualize what ‘design with nature’ policy goals look like on the ground,” stated Kim Stephens.

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    2010 ANNUAL UBCM CONVENTION: “The philosophy behind the Water Sustainability Action Plan is quite simple: bring local and regional stakeholders together where there is a desire and energy to make some form of change,” stated Glen Brown when he provided a provincial perspective on a ‘top-down & bottom-up’ strategy for urban watershed restoration (September)


    “As we move forward with the Action Plan, it is making sure that we provide the people on the ground with the tools and resources that they need to help support action at the local level. A top-down approach does not work. When a community shows interest or a desire to move something forward, that is when we mobilize. The Action Plan purpose is to engage, listen, understand and support the local interests in moving forward. That is where we have been successful,” stated Glen Brown.

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    FLASHBACK TO 2010: What was the genesis of the phrase ‘sustainable service delivery’ a decade ago? What was the process for mainstreaming the approach in British Columbia? How did it become an ‘actionable vision’ for local governments? As an outcome of the Worth Every Penny Workshop, Glen Brown synthesized four ideas into a single easy to remember phrase that became a game-changer!


    The 20/80 Rule refers to the initial capital cost of municipal infrastructure being about 20% of the ultimate total cost, with the other 80% being an unfunded liability. This is a driver for doing business differently. “Tackling the unfunded infrastructure liability involves a life-cycle way of thinking about infrastructure needs and how to pay for those needs over time. This holistic approach is described as Sustainable Service Delivery. The link between infrastructure asset management and the protection of a community’s natural resources is an important piece in Sustainable Service Delivery,” stated Glen Brown.

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    FLASHBACK TO 2008: “Infrastructure grant programs enable the government of British Columbia to influence behaviour and advance the ‘New Business As Usual’. The vision is to move toward water sustainability by implementing green infrastructure policies and practices,” stated Deputy Minister Dale Wall in his keynote address at the Gaining Ground Summit held in Victoria


    The Province is looking at raising the bar as far as what it is trying to accomplish with standards, provincial legislation and infrastructure grant programs. “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,” stated Dale Wall.

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