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Published Articles

ASSET MANAGEMENT FOR SUSTAINABLE DRAINAGE SERVICE DELIVERY: “An elephant in the room is the hollowing out of government capacity at all levels and the reliance on outside service providers,” stated Kim Stephens in an article published in the Summer 2022 issue of the Asset Management BC Newsletter


“The question is, how does one create a situation where the environmental perspective is on an equal footing with the engineering and accounting perspectives? Only then can there be a balanced and productive conversation about annual budgets for maintenance and management (M&M) of assets, whether those are constructed assets or the natural component of the Drainage Service. The growing cost due to neglect of the Drainage Service, combined with the urgency of the drainage liability issue, is the driver for linking municipal infrastructure asset management and stream health as cause-and-effect,” stated Kim Stephens.

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ARTICLE: “EAP, the Ecological Accounting Process, considers the entirety of the stream corridor system—a ‘natural commons’—and seeks to ensure that streams survive in an urban or urbanizing setting, without suffering from degradation of stream channels and streamside riparian setback zones” (Water Canada magazine, May-June 2022)


“I reached out to Kim Stephens of the Partnership for Water Sustainability BC with an invitation to share more about the people, policy, and projects in BC, through penning an article for Water Canada magazine and sharing of relevant information. I am very keen on showcasing real world water projects, and the people whose lives they impact, with our national audience. The Ecological Accounting Process is a topic the Water Canada audience would really benefit from and that is why we featured it in the May-June 2022 issue,” stated Jen Smith, magazine editor.

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STORY BEHIND THE STORY OF EAP, THE ECOLOGICAL ACCOUNTING PROECESS: “Because local governments need real numbers to deliver outcomes, we landed on a concept which we call the Riparian Deficit,” stated Tim Pringle, EAP Chair (Waterbucket eNews, June 2022)


“It is amazing that we have been able to produce a methodology that defines what a stream is, can find the value of the stream using impartial BC Assessment data, and add to that a riparian assessment that looks at the 30m zone and a further 200m upland area to evaluate the water balance condition and what is happening to water pathways,” stated Tim Pringle. “Because local governments need real numbers to deliver outcomes, we landed on a concept which we call the Riparian Deficit. This expresses three measures of value in a single number.”

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ARTICLE: Stream Corridor Management – in a local government asset management strategy that considers the natural environment, are streams worth the same as constructed assets? (Construction Business Magazine, Jan-Feb 2022)


Beginning in 2006, Construction Business magazine has published an article every two years about the Water Sustainability Action Plan for British Columbia. “I contact industry experts regularly to share insights on important issues for our readers. Kim Stephens of the Partnership for Water Sustainability is one such expert that I turn to when seeking information on water related topics whether it’s strategies, policies, programs, or sustainability. His knowledge and contributions are much appreciated in our efforts to provide the most relevant information to the industry,” stated Cheryl Mah.

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ARTICLE: “An outcome of relationship building by MABRRI is that the process connects VIU students to regional project partners. As a result, we gain valuable research and work experience,” stated Ariel Verhoeks, graduate student, when commenting on how the Mount Arrowsmith Biosphere Region Research Institute, located at Vancouver Island University, is collaborating with the Partnership for Water Sustainability (Waterbucket eNews, January 2021)


The Partnership for Water Sustainability’s vision is to nest EAP, the Ecological Accounting Process, within a university program for training the next generation of land use professionals. “Because MABRRI establishes meaningful partnerships that encourage involvement of students attending Vancouver Island University, research projects benefit from the interdisciplinary strengths of students. Collaboration is mutually beneficial. We students benefit because the projects provide us with research experience that is relevant to us,” stated Ariel Verhoeks.

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ELEPHANT IN THE ROOM: “Local governments require a methodology and metrics to operationalize ‘maintenance and management’ (M&M) of stream corridor systems under the umbrella of their Asset Management Plans,” stated Tim Pringle, Chair of the Ecological Accounting Process Initiative, in an article published in the Winter 2021 issue of the Asset Management BC Newsletter


“A central idea of the EAP methodology is that a stream system has a ‘package of ecological services’.  This concept refers to the combined range of uses desired by the community. Three key words capture the essence of what the phrase ‘range of uses’ means, namely: drainage, recreation and habitat. This is plain language that elected Councils and Boards understand,” stated Tim Pringle. “The EAP methodology has evolved as we have learned from, and adapted, each successive case study application. Each situation is unique, but the approach is universally applicable.”

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ARTICLE: “An outcome of EAP evolution is the identification of an eco-terminology framework that is appropriate and relevant to municipal asset management,” stated Tim Pringle, the pragmatic visionary leading EAP, the Ecological Accounting Process initiative underway in British Columbia (Asset Management BC Newsletter, Winter 2020)


“Asset management professionals need to be aware of bias that may be implicit in traditional terminology for evaluation of ecosystem approaches. Bias comes into play in one or more of the following three ways. First, whether one breaks the ecological system into its parts, or looks at the system as a whole. Secondly, whether the analytical focus is solely on financial values, or also takes into account social values. Finally, whether the guiding philosophy for valuation primarily is influenced by academia and scientific arguments, or by how the community uses the natural commons (stream corridor),” stated Tim Pringle.

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ARTICLE: Sustainable Service Delivery in a Changing Climate – “EAP, the Ecological Accounting Process, provides metrics that enable communities to appreciate the worth of natural assets,” states Tim Pringle (Asset Management BC Newsletter, Fall 2019)


“Traditionally land development is implemented under criteria set out in local government bylaws and other legislation. So-called proven practices of development follow a usual sequence: the community plan, zoning, institutional uses, parks and public spaces, and infrastructure including roads and drainage. This traditional approach does not appreciate hydrology and the streams it supports as systems. EAP addresses this specific deficiency,” explains Tim Pringle.

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ARTICLE: “At the Parksville 2019 Water Stewardship Symposium, Tim Pringle will speak to the Ecological Accounting Process (EAP) in the context of restorative development. His focus is on how to make it straightforward for communities to calculate “THE WORTH” of ecological services and incorporate this information in financial plans,” foreshadowed Kim Stephens, Partnership for Water Sustainability in British Columbia (Asset Management BC Newsletter, February 2019)


“The ‘worth’ of a creekshed (i.e. small watershed) is defined in terms of a package of ecological services made possible by the hydrology. More specifically, hydrology means the three pathways by which rain reaches the stream and ecological services refers to the benefits that streams provide to us. This includes flood and erosion regulation, nutrient cycling, habitat, groundwater recharge, etc. The way we have historically developed and drained land has disconnected hydrology from ecology,” stated Kim Stephens.

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ARTICLE: A pillar of Sustainable Watershed Systems, the Ecological Accounting Process has the potential to transform how communities make decisions about creekshed restoration (an op-ed published in the Vancouver Sun (June 2, 2018)


Hydrology is the engine that powers ecological services. Thus, integration of the Partnership for Water Sustainability’s work within the BC Framework should accelerate implementation of the whole-system, water balance approach at the heart of the Partnership’s ‘Sustainable Watershed Systems, through Asset Management’ program. “The Ecological Accounting Process, EAP, establishes what the definable benefits of ecological services derived from creekshed hydrology are, what they may be worth to stakeholders, and how they may be maintained and enhanced,” wrote Tim Pringle.

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