BC Precedents for Outcome-Oriented Approaches to Watershed Protection Through Green Infrastructure



Note to Readers:

During the November-December 2010 period, the Water Sustainability Action Plan for British Columbia released a 5-part series that is designed to inform local governments and others about a ‘course correction’ for Integrated Stormwater Management Plans (ISMPs). The series describes:

  • what ISMPs are;
  • how local governments can do more with less; and
  • how local governments can ensure ISMPs are outcome-oriented.

Story #3 elaborates on a knowledge-based approach to focus on solutions and outcomes.



Guiding Principles for Development of a Watershed-Based Plan

The Bowker Creek Initiative, City of Surrey and District of North Vancouver are all demonstrating leadership in establishing provincial precedents for outcome-oriented approaches to watershed protection through green infrastructure: Establish the vision, set the target, and then implement.


Success Will Follow When…

A key message in Beyond the Guidebook 2010 is that success will follow in the local government setting when all the players are motivated by these guiding principles:

  1. Choose to be enabled.
  2. Establish high expectations.
  3. Embrace a shared vision.
  4. Collaborate as a ‘regional team’.
  5. Align and integrate efforts.
  6. Celebrate innovation.
  7. Connect with community advocates.
  8. Develop local government talent.
  9. Promote shared responsibility.
  10. Change the land ethic for the better.

A second key message is that community representatives and municipal staffs must be hands-on when collaborating to develop a shared ‘watershed vision’ and implementation plan.



Convening for Action

“The Bowker Creek Forum drew attention to five watershed-based initiatives in five regional districts within the Georgia Basin. All five are keyed to integration of water and land planning. Each one has established a provincial precedent,” reports Kim Stephens, Executive Director of the Partnership for Water Sustainability in British Columbia

“Vancouver Island and Metro Vancouver are learning from each other, and are moving in the same direction. Commencing in 2006, ‘convening for Kim stephens (120p) - 2011action’ program elements implemented on Vancouver Island have built on Metro Vancouver approaches and precedents.”

“Subsequently, Vancouver Island experience has informed and influenced elements of the Metro Vancouver Integrated Liquid Waste & Resource Management Plan, in particular those actions that will advance a ‘regional team approach’.”


2009 Green Infrastructure Forum in Surrey:

An example of intra-regional sharing and learning is the ‘Surrey Forum’. Reproduced below is the Joint Statement by the partner organizations. This captures the vision and desired outcomes for the Surrey Forum: start a dialogue between policy-makers and project implementers; get green infrastructure built right; be a catalyst for additional regional forums; and champion a consistent region-wide approach to integration.


To Learn More About the Series

To read the complete Story #3, click on Integrated Rainwater Management Planning: Apply a Knowledge-Based Approach to Focus on Solutions and Outcomes to download a PDF copy.

For more information on the 5-part series, click on Water Bucket publishes excerpts from “Beyond the Guidebook 2010” about why and how to re-focus ISMPs on outcomes — Outcome-oriented planning is a problem-solving PROCESS. It is not a procedure. It is not a matter of applying a regulation or a checklist. Participants have to be committed to the outcome.

To download a PDF copy of the Joint Statement below, click here.


 Posted January 2011