DEMONSTRATION APPLICATIONS: A 6-year program of applied research between 2016 and 2022 to test, refine and mainstream the methodology and metrics for EAP, the Ecological Accounting Process, a “made in BC” strategy for community investment in stream systems and other natural commons
“Thirteen local governments in five sub-regions of the Georgia Basin / Salish Sea Bioregion participated in the EAP program. The sequencing of the 9 case studies proved consequential and sometimes game changing. While the methodology and metrics are universal, each situation is unique. Understanding what each partner needed as an outcome from the project became a critical consideration in the building blocks process. EAP evolved as one big idea led to the next one. The 19 big ideas are transformative in their implications for why and how local governments would implement Sustainable Drainage Service Delivery,” stated Kim Stephens,
DEMONSTRATION APPLICATION OF ECOLOGICAL ACCOUNTING PROCESS: Bertrand Creek in the Township of Langley, completed in 2022
“The Langley Ecological Services Initiative is about compensating rural parcel owners who are willing to set aside areas of their land to protect and/or enhance riparian and woodland assets. The Township posed the question: Is ‘payment for ecological services’ part of an Asset Management Strategy? The Township turned to EAP for a method to find the financial value as well as the worth of these streamside assets. This provides the Township and the community with a defensible asset management approach that is about the asset that will be tied up for the ecological purposes,” stated Melisa Gunn.
DEMONSTRATION APPLICATION OF ECOLOGICAL ACCOUNTING PROCESS: Bings / Menzies Creek in the Municipality of North Cowichan, completed in 2022
The protected stream corridor for Bings Creek is the central feature around which urban development has taken place in this century. Strata parcel development is a dominant land use. It replaces native vegetation from 60% or more of the parcel area with hard (impervious) surfaces and alters what remains. This scale of landscape alteration has a material impact because it short-circuits pathways by which water would naturally reach the Bings Creek channel. “This conclusion is validated by the streamflow history as recorded by the Bings Creek gauging station,” stated Dave Preikshot.
DEMONSTRATION APPLICATION OF ECOLOGICAL ACCOUNTING PROCESS: Saratoga Miracle Beach in the Comox Valley Regional District, completed in 2022
“The Saratoga Miracle Beach study area within the Comox Valley Regional District (CVRD) is defined by its water assets. The presence of wetlands differentiates the Saratoga Miracle Beach EAP Project from other EAP case studies and added a new dimension to the EAP analysis. The CVRD anticipates using this work, together with the Master Drainage Plan and flood mapping work, to inform the development of new regulatory tools and to assist in communicating the value of these natural assets to the public during future community engagement,” stated Darry Monteith.
HOW WE CHANGE WHAT WE ARE DOING ON THE LANDSCAPE: Synthesis Report on EAP, the Ecological Accounting Process, a BC Strategy for Community Investment in Stream Systems (released by the Partnership for Water Sustainability, June 2022)
“In 2016, the Partnership embarked upon a 6-year program of applied research to evolve EAP through a 3-stage building blocks process of testing, refining, and mainstreaming the methodology and metrics for financial valuation of stream systems. The program involved 9 case studies and 13 local governments and yielded 19 “big ideas” or foundational concepts. The program goal was to answer the question, how much should communities budget each year for maintenance and management of stream systems,” stated Tim Pringle.
ASSET MANAGEMENT FOR SUSTAINABLE SERVICE DELIVERY: “Provide a consistent, reliable level of service that saves $millions over time and builds community resilience in an increasingly risky climate,” wrote Kim Fowler of the Regional District of Nanaimo (Winter 2023 issue of Asset Management BC Newsletter)
“How do you do a budget if you don’t know what assets you have, their condition and when they need to be replaced? Climate change is increasing risk by damaging assets. And while the focus of your asset management plan should be integration with your long-term capital budget, don’t overlook the ‘master asset management plan’, otherwise known as your Official Community Plan (OCP). They set the locations and standards of future growth in your community, and as a result, set the core infrastructure needs and their associated costs,” stated Kim Fowler.
WHAT WOULD YOU SAY TO A NEW COUNCIL ABOUT ASSET MANAGEMENT FOR SUSTAINABLE SERVICE DELIVERY? – “What a great article series in this newsletter! So many perspectives – I love the concept of all the different voices,” praised Sarah MacFord, Knowledge Mobilization Officer with the Federation of Canadian Municipalities (February 2023)
In Fall 2018, after province-wide local government elections in British Columbia, the Asset Management BC Newsletter presented a range of perspectives to inform the newly elected about Asset Management for Sustainable Service Delivery in British Columbia. Asset Management BC did the same again with the Winter 2023 issue. The set of 9 articles again provide guidance and advice for new Councils from a continuum of perspectives. “It was very interesting to see what each of them chose to focus on and the language they chose to speak to Council with,” noted Sarah MacFord.
CASCADING LEVELS-OF-UNDERSTANDING (GRAPHIC): “Our knowledge of how local government works helped us to conceptualize the idea of three levels-of-understanding as a commonsense way to communicate the context for EAP, the Ecological Accounting Process, so that it would resonate with local government decision makers,” explained Kim Stephens of the Partnership for Water Sustainability
“The context for EAP, the Ecological Accounting Process, is protection and restoration of stream systems. Two questions set the stage for EAP. First, what is the stream worth to the community? Secondly, how would a municipality operationalize EAP to pay for stream maintenance and management (M&M)? Everything comes down to one question: What is the number for the line item in a local government annual budget? The use of ‘cascading levels of understanding’ as a mind map helps us cut through the rhetoric and jargon to provide meaningful context and content for EAP,” stated Kim Stephens,.
BRITISH COLUMBIA’S 2023 ELECTED OFFICIALS SEMINAR SERIES: “Asset management focused on sustainable service delivery is fundamental to helping local government and First Nation communities achieve their primary purposes,” wrote David Allen, Executive Director (Winter 2023 issue of Asset Management BC Newsletter)
“BC’s Local Government Leadership Academy was one of the first local government organizations to recognize the importance of leadership in “stewardship” and the important role of asset management as the path to sustainable service delivery. Held every four years, following the BC local government elections, the Elected Officials Seminar series organized by the Academy includes stops in each of UBCM’s five Area Associations, providing a 3-day orientation and networking program on roles and responsibilities, stewardship, and good governance,” stated David Allen.
ASSET MANAGEMENT FOR SUSTAINABLE SERVICE DELIVERY: “Why do we need elected officials? This is an important question and often poorly understood. Council is not elected to be helpful to staff or to tell them how to deliver services,” wrote Christina Benty, former Mayor of Golden, BC (Winter 2023 issue of Asset Management BC Newsletter)
“Local government was created to provide a broad range of localized services and functions on behalf of the Provincial Government that have a direct impact on the health, safety, and quality of life for the residents of the community. Local government exists as a service provider. These services are collectively agreed upon and paid for. Local government has been granted the tools to collect revenue to pay for those services in the form of local property taxes and user fees,” stated Christina Benty.