FLASHBACK TO 2011: “The link between asset management and the protection of a community’s natural resources is emerging as an important piece in Sustainable Service Delivery,” foreshadowed Glen Brown, Chair of Asset Management BC, in a co-authored article that is one of the first articles to introduce Sustainable Service Delivery as an objective
Note to Reader:
In January 2011, the second edition of the Asset Management BC Newsletter published the first of 26 articles contributed by the Partnership of Water Sustainability through 2022. The article in 2011 was a collaborative effort by eight individuals, including Glen Brown, the visionary and thought leader who coined the term “sustainable service delivery” a mere 12 years ago. This way of viewing the local government sphere of responsibility changes everything about how local governments do business in an era of rapid change.
Integrated Rainwater Management: Move to a Levels-of-Service Approach to Sustainable Service Delivery
“During the November-December 2010 period, the Water Sustainability Action Plan for British Columbia released a series of five articles that are designed to inform local governments and others about a ‘course correction’ for Integrated Stormwater Management Plans (ISMPs),” recalls Kim Stephens, Executive Director, Partnership for Water Sustainability. He was the lead author.
“The fourth in the series of five introduced the ‘infrastructure deficit’ as a driver for the ISMP Course Correction. It connected the dots to Asset Management as a way to re-focus the ISMP process on what really matters. The article published in the Asset Management BC Newsletter in January 2011 was adapted from that series.”
Prepare Communities for Change
“Use of the ISMP term is unique to British Columbia. First used by the City of Kelowna in 1998, the term quickly gained widespread acceptance by local governments and environmental agencies to describe a comprehensive approach to watershed-based planning in an urban context. When the Province released Stormwater Planning: A Guidebook for British Columbia in 2002, the ISMP approach was expanded and became a recognized provincial process.”
“Circa 2000, the approach reflected a significant shift in community values. The implicit goal was to build and/or rebuild communities in balance with ecology – that is, accommodate development while protecting property and aquatic habitat. By 2010, ‘climate change’ and ‘sustainable service delivery’ had also become integral parts of the goal.”
Sustainable Service Delivery is Outcome-Oriented
“The term Sustainable Service Delivery describes a life-cycle way of thinking about infrastructure needs and how to pay for those needs over time. The link between asset management and the protection of a community’s natural resources is emerging as an important piece in Sustainable Service Delivery,” wrote Glen Brown as part of his contribution to the 2011 article.
“The Province’s Living Water Smart and Green Communities initiatives constitute an over-arching policy framework. They are preparing communities for change: start with effective green infrastructure and restore the urban fabric. Actions and targets in Living Water Smart encourage ‘green choices’ that will foster a holistic approach to infrastructure asset management.”
“A watershed-based plan that is outcome-oriented is a potentially powerful tool to achieve a vision for ‘green’ infrastructure that: protects stream health, fish habitat and fish; anticipates climate change; connects the dots to Sustainable Service Delivery; is affordable, and is supported by the community.”
Embrace a Level-of-Service Approach
“Land use planning in British Columbia may be significantly improved when integrated with asset management planning in local governments. The legislative authority for integration of land use planning and asset management, including financial management, already exists within the Local Government Act and Community Charter,” added Glen Brown.
“Level-of-Service is the integrator for everything that local governments do. What level of service does a community wish to provide, and what level can it afford? Everyone will have to make level-of-service choices. Thus, a guiding principle for a watershed-based plan could be framed this way: Establish the level-of-service that is sustainable to protect watershed health, and then work backwards to determine how to achieve that level of protection and level of drainage service.”
To Learn More:
To read the complete article published in January 2011, download a copy of Integrated Rainwater Management: Move to a Levels-of-Service Approach to Sustainable Service Delivery.
Also, download Story #5 in the ISMP Course Correction Series. It is titled Integrated Rainwater Management Planning: Apply Inexpensive Screening Tools and ‘Do More with Less’ . The one-sentence abstract is: When the use of screening tools is coupled with the front-end effort to create a Watershed Vision, this stretches a local government dollar further.