“The twin technical pillars for the Georgia Basin Inter-Regional Education Initiative are the Water Balance Methodology and Ecological Accounting Protocol,” states Sustainable Watershed Systems, through Asset Management (released in November 2015)
Note to Reader:
Launched by the Partnership for Water Sustainability in 2012 in collaboration with five regional districts and two provincial ministries. The Georgia Basin Inter-Regional Education Initiative (IREI) supports implementation of integrated watershed-based community planning and asset management processes on the east coast of Vancouver Island and in the Lower Mainland.
Released in November 2015 by the Partnership for Water Sustainability in British Columbia, “Sustainable Watershed Systems, through Asset Management” is the third in the Beyond the Guidebook series of guidance documents that builds on Stormwater Planning: A Guidebook for British Columbia, released by the Province in 2002.
Road Map for Water & Watershed Sustainability
In 2014, three landmark provincial initiatives came to fruition. They are game-changers. On page 152 of Beyond the Guidebook 2015, they are described as follows:
- WHAT – The ‘Water Sustainability Act’ connects land and water, and makes the link to desired water balance outcomes (that would be achieved by integrating watershed systems thinking into asset management).
- SO WHAT – ‘Develop with Care 2014’ makes the link between environmental function and resilience as communities grow.
- THEN WHAT – ‘Asset Management for Sustainable Service Delivery: A Framework for BC’ makes the link between local government services, the infrastructure that supports the delivery of those services, and watershed health.
“All embody the enabling philosophy.” states Beyond the Guidebook 2015. “Together they provide a platform for integrated and coordinated actions that would enable local governments to achieve Sustainable Watershed Systems, through Asset Management.”
“Of the three, the BC Framework is the lynch-pin for local governments to protect (restore) hydrologic integrity and watershed health,” concludes Beyond the Guidebook 2015.
To Learn More:
Visit the homepage on the Rainwater Management community-of-interest to read a set of stories about the content of Beyond the Guidebook 2015:
Asset Management for Sustainable Service Delivery: A Framework for BC
“Launched in 2015, the BC Framework links directly to and provides support and guidance in meeting the asset management requirements under the Gas Tax Fund,” states Glen Brown, General Manager, UBCM Victoria Operations.
“Stakeholders such as the Province, Union of BC Municipalities (UBCM), Local Government Management Association, Government Finance Officers Association, Public Works Association, Planning Institute of BC, BC Water and Waste Association, and others, have endorsed it as the framework for asset management in BC.”
Nature’s Assets Provide Vital Community Infrastructure Services
“Local governments are rising to the challenges posed by a changing climate and urban growth. 2003, 2009 and 2015 were teachable years. Droughts, forest fires, wind storms and floods became catalysts for action,” wrote Kim Stephens in an Op-Ed published by the Vancouver Sun newspaper in October 2016.
Kim Stephens is the Executive Director of the Partnership for Water Sustainability in BC.
“No longer is asset management only about hard engineered assets – watermains, sewers, roads,” continued Kim Stephens.
“Already facing a $200 billion challenge for renewal of hard infrastructure, Asset Management for Sustainable Service Delivery: A BC Framework provides a financial driver for local governments to integrate watershed systems thinking and climate adaptation into asset management.”
“It connects directly to asset management requirements for obtaining infrastructure grants – making it a game-changer.”
“Sustainable Watershed Systems, through Asset Management describes a ‘whole-system, water balance’ approach to community development and infrastructure servicing.”
To Learn More:
“The IREI focus is on making Sustainable Watershed Systems real to local government practitioners and decision-makers,” states Beyond the Guidebook 2015 on page 155.
“The twin technical pillars of the IREI program are the Water Balance Methodology (existing) and Ecological Accounting Protocol (to be developed).”
“The best blend of engineered assets (infrastructure) and natural assets (that provide ecological goods and services) would support a robust long-term asset management plan and the required financial commitments.”
“To be undertaken by the Partnership for Water Sustainability in 2016-2017 as a parallel initiative, the Ecological Accounting Protocol project will address the challenge of determining financial values for goods and services drawn from natural systems.”