ARTICLE: “The Ecological Accounting Protocol for valuing watersheds as infrastructure assets is the lynch-pin for driving change. EAP deals with the monetary value of renewable services provided by natural assets,” stated Kim Stephens (Asset Management BC Newsletter, Summer 2017)
Note to Reader:
Published in the Summer 2017 issue of the Asset Management BC Newsletter, the article by Kim Stephens is a progress report on implementation of the Georgia Basin Inter-Regional Education Initiative (IREI).
The IREI is aligned with the vision for Asset Management for Sustainable Service Delivery: A Framework for BC. The IREI is about how to implement “Sustainable Watershed Systems, through Asset Management”. The IREI is funded by the governments of Canada and British Columbia. IREI deliverables include the first two demonstration applications of EAP, the Ecological Accounting Protocol.
A goal of the IREI program is to embed state-of-the-art hydrology in engineering ‘standard practice’. Three categories of IREI deliverables are inter-connected and therefore mutually reinforcing:
- Ecological Accounting Protocol
- Water Balance Methodology / Model / Express
- Professional Development & Outreach
The vision is that a program of teaching, training and mentoring would build up practitioner capacity within local governments to achieve, over time, Sustainable Watershed Systems, through Asset Management.
“The goal of the IREI program is to build local government capacity so that local governments can transition to Step Three on the Asset Management Continuum (refer to image below). The paradigm-shift is that watersheds are managed as ‘infrastructure assets’ that provide ‘water balance services’,” states Kim Stephens, Executive Director, Partnership for Water Sustainability in British Columbia.
“Funding from the federal and provincial governments under the Clean Water and Wastewater Program makes it possible for the Partnership to proceed with the first two EAP demonstration applications. This the first stage in what we anticipate will be a multi-year process. The immediate objective is to prove out a methodology and develop metrics for EAP.”
Ecological Accounting Protocol
“EAP is a process for valuing watersheds as infrastructure assets, and is the lynch-pin for driving change. EAP deals with the monetary value of renewable services provided by natural assets.
“Under the EAP framework, the reference to natural assets means ecosystems of watersheds. The EAP methodology focuses on drainage and water balance services because this is of direct relevance to local government decision-making.
“The Partnership is moving forward with EAP demonstration applications in the Cowichan and Comox valleys on Vancouver Island. These applications will showcase how to analyze the life-cycle costs, from pre-planning to replacement/renewal, of existing and proposed drainage infrastructure works.
“The life-cycle calculation would contribute significantly overall to local government plans for asset management, the sustainability of watershed natural assets, as well as administrative and financial capacity of local government.”
To Learn More:
Download SUSTAINABLE WATERSHED SYSTEMS, THROUGH ASSET MANAGEMENT: Embed ‘state-of-art’ hydrology in engineering ‘standard practice’ to read the complete article as published in the Summer 2017 issue of the Asset Management BC Newsletter.