Premier Gordon Campbell recognizes the Water Balance Model for its innovation and excellence
VANCOUVER – The Lower Mainland’s exceptional B.C. public service employees were the focus of a ceremony on February 5th hosted by Premier Gordon Campbell, where the recipients of regional Premier’s Innovation and Excellence Awards acknowledging their creativity and dedication were announced. The Water Balance Model for British Columbia was one of the award winners.
“The Premier’s Awards are an annual opportunity to publicly recognize the extraordinary accomplishments of the men and women who have chosen public service as their career,” said Premier Campbell. “The 2009 recipients have continued the legacy of excellence with their achievements, confirming that our BC Public Service is second-to-none.”
“The winners and finalists of these awards shine a spotlight on the exceptional work B.C. public service employees do every day,” said Murray Coell, Minister of Advanced Education and Labour Market Development. “Recognizing excellence is one of the trademarks of an organization people want to be a part of, and these awards are one reason why the BC Public Service is becoming known as an employer of choice.”
Water Balance Model wins Premier’s Award
The Ministry of Agriculture & Lands nominated the Water Balance Model on behalf of the Inter-Governmental Partnership (IGP) chaired by Ted van der Gulik. Formed in July 2002, it began as a subgroup of a technical committee hosted by the Greater Vancouver Regional District; and quickly expanded to become a provincial group with municipal representation from four regions: Metro Vancouver, the Fraser Valley, Vancouver Island and the Okanagan Valley.
2-minute video tells “the story”
Award finalists told their stories in a series of professionally made videos. Produced by Joanna Piros, each 2-minute video was built around a visual metaphor. The Water Balance Model video features Ted van der Gulik and Kim Stephens, Program Coordinator for the Water Sustainability Action Plan for British Columbia.
“The Water Balance Model is a means to an end,” states Ted van der Gulik, in explaining what the visual metaphor meant to him and Kim Stephens. “The challenge that we have been posing since 2002 is this: What do we want this province to look like in 50 years and beyond?“
“The Water Balance Model is a tool that will help us create our future,” adds Kim Stephens. “To get to the big picture, it starts with the smallest pieces. The Water Balance Model links the site to the stream to the watershed.”
To view the video and learn more about “the story of the Water Balance Model”, click on Premier’s Award recognizes Water Balance Model for its innovation and excellence.
One-on-One with the Premier
At the conclusion of the awards ceremony, the Premier sought out Ted van der Gulik. This created an opportunity for an extended conversation. “As we talked, it became clear to me that WATER is high on the Premier’s agenda. He has a strong grasp of water-related issues and the long-term implications if we do not start doing business differently in BC. In a nutshell, he gets it. He expressed his personal commitment to making a difference because we have an obligation and a responsibility to act on behalf of our children and our grand-children so that we leave them with a legacy. On the matter of the Living Water Smart initiative, I came away from our conversation with a strong conviction that the Premier means what he says, and says what he means about the province-wide importance of implementing BC’s Water Plan. High-level recognition of the Water Balance Model is reassuring… because the model is a key tool underpinning Living Water Smart.”
Photo Gallery – The Premier presents the award
Why the Water Balance Model
“The drought, forest fires and floods that B.C. experienced in 2003 highlighted the need to integrate ‘green’ development practices with water management,” explains Ted van der Gulik. “A tool was needed to evaluate and ensure implementation of the best water management practices. The web-based water balance model powered by QUALHYMO (quality hydrology model) is that tool.”
“The tool can help planners and engineers create liveable communities, reduce rainwater runoff, reduce flooding of agricultural land and improve the health of streams,” elaborates Kim Stephens. “It is unique as it bridges engineering and planning, links development sites to the stream and watershed, and enables sciencebased runoff performance targets to be established.”
Posted February 2009