Watershed Health, Resilient Rainwater Management, and Sustainable Service Delivery: How they are Connected
“The benefits and value of ‘Design With Nature’ solutions grow over time,” states Peter Law
Local governments in BC are challenged with the question of how best to move forward with asset management and protection of watershed health in light of two considerations: a changing climate; and community expectations to provide higher levels-of-service at reduced levels-of-cost.
The Winter 2015 issue of the Asset Management BC Newsletter includes an article that describes how the Partnership for Water Sustainability in BC is championing “asset management for sustainable service delivery”.
Asset Management for Sustainable Service Delivery
“Asset management is not a task but a process. And as long as we own assets; it never ends. Hence, it is an on-going continuous process,” writes Wally Wells, Executive Director of Asset Management BC (AMBC), in the latest AMBC Newsletter. “Too much emphasis is placed on the ‘Asset Management Plan”. The PLAN is only a part of the overall process. The ‘PROCESS deals with all of the components necessary to refocus our business process to properly manage our infrastructure within the built environment.”
“Sustainable Service Delivery builds on the principles of Asset Management,” continues Glen Brown, General Manager – UBCM Victoria Operations. “It integrates land use, infrastructure servicing, financial and ecological planning. Emphasis is on the Levels-of-Service that assets provide, and ‘what level is affordable’ over time. Nature is an asset and provides ‘services’.”
Integration of Natural Systems Thinking Into Asset Management
“The Partnership for Water Sustainability is facilitating an inter-regional collaboration initiative within the Georgia Basin. This program for local governments connects the cascading objectives for Watershed Health, Resilient Rainwater Management, and Sustainable Service Delivery,” explains Peter Law, Partnership Director, and article co-author.
“The initiative is designed to help local government champions integrate natural systems thinking and adaptation to a changing climate into asset management. . A desired outcome is healthy streams and watersheds. So, implement ‘Design With Nature’ standards of practice for development and infrastructure servicing. Protect and restore stream corridors and fish habitat. Provide community-supporting ecosystem goods and services.”
“The unfunded ‘infrastructure liability’ is a driver for local governments to consider longevity, focus on what happens after developers hand-off municipal infrastructure, get it right at the front-end, and prepare for the future,” adds Derek Richmond, Partnership Director, article co-author and Chair of CAVI-Convening for Action on Vancouver Island. “Climate change is part of the liability equation – adaptation has level-of-service implications for infrastructure.”
“Released in December 2014, Asset Management for Sustainable Service Delivery: A BC Framework is a landmark development. Coupled with the new Water Sustainability Act, passed in May 2014, it provides local governments with a fresh impetus to do business differently. The benefits and value of Design With Nature solutions grow over time,” concludes Peter Law.
To Learn More:
To down a copy of the article published in the Winter 2015 issue of the Asset Management BC Newsletter, click on Watershed Health, Resilient Rainwater Management, and Sustainable Service Delivery: How they are connected?