EAP, THE ECOLOGICAL ACCOUNTING PROCESS, IS GAME-CHANGING: “EAP provides communities with a philosophy, pragmatic methodology and metrics to make the financial case for annual investment to prevent degradation and improve the condition of ecological assets that constitute a stream corridor system,” stated Kim Stephens, when the Partnership for Water Sustainability in BC released its report on the Financial Case for Bowker Creek in the Capital Regional District (October 2021)
NOTE TO READER:
The edition of Waterbucket eNews published on October 26, 2021 featured EAP, the Ecological Accounting Process, as applied to the 100-Year Action Plan for daylighting Bowker Creek in the Capital Regional District.
On this date, the Partnership released Bowker Creek – A Natural Commons in the Capital Regional District: Using the Ecological Accounting Process to Establish the ‘Financial Case for the Stream’, the sixth in the series of EAP demonstration applications to be completed in a 3-stage, multi-year program of applied research.
Reconnect Hydrology and Stream Ecology by Design
“EAP, the Ecological Accounting Process, provides communities with a philosophy, pragmatic methodology and metrics to make the financial case for annual investment to prevent degradation and improve the condition of ecological assets that constitute a stream corridor system, stated Kim Stephens, Executive Director, Partnership for Water Sustainability in BC.
“Use of EAP to establish the ‘financial case for the stream’ would put maintenance and management (M&M) of stream corridor systems on an equal footing with constructed assets (municipal infrastructure).”
“The leap forward explicit in the vision for “sustainable drainage service delivery” is whole-system action on the landscape that ensures stream system integrity. Whether constructed or natural, an asset is an asset. And in the built environment, each asset type requires an annual budget for M&M.”
“Once local governments embrace a guiding philosophy that ecological services and use of land for development are equally important, then the next step is for them to include M&M budgets for stream systems in their Asset Management Plans. This would begin the process of reconnecting hydrology and stream ecology by design.”
Financial Case for Bowker Creek in the Capital Region
“Bowker Creek originates at the University of Victoria on southern Vancouver Island and flows for 8 km through three municipalities – Saanich, Victoria and Oak Bay. The creekshed is completely urbanized. The impervious area coverage is 56%. Over 30,000 people reside in the surrounding creekshed,” continued Kim Stephens.
“The Bowker Creek Blueprint is a 100-year action plan to create islands of nature within the urban environment, daylight a creek where it is enclosed in a pipe for two-thirds of its original channel length, and restore a continuous stream corridor. Applying EAP adds to the conceptual framework for stream daylighting with new insights about metrics.”
Application of FCM’s Asset Management Readiness Scale
“The Federation of Canadian Municipalities (FCM) has developed a self-evaluation tool called the Asset Management Readiness Scale (AMRS). The 5-part tool defines five levels of competency and readiness. Currently, it is applied to maintenance and management (M&M) of constructed assets. However, it has value as a conversation starter with local government asset managers about M&M of natural assets.”
“The process for understanding how EAP might be applied to AMRS by local governments involved conversational interviews with asset managers in the three Bowker Blueprint partner municipalities. Their responses yielded insights into how the EAP case study aligned with and/or fitted into the big picture which is their organization’s approach to asset management planning for sustainable service delivery.”
TO LEARN MORE:
To read the complete story published on October 26, download a PDF copy of Living Water Smart in British Columbia: Financial Case for Bowker Creek in the Capital Region.