Asset Management for Sustainable Service Delivery: A BC Framework (Summer 2015)
Note to Reader:
The story below is extracted from an article published in the Summer 2015 issue of Watermark Magazine. The article that describes how the Partnership for Water Sustainability in BC is championing “asset management for sustainable service delivery”, with a particular emphasis on connecting the dots to a new concept that the Partnership is branding as “Sustainable Watershed Systems, through Asset Management”.
The article is co-authored by Kim Stephens (Partnership Executive Director), Glen Brown (General Manager, Victoria Operations, Union of BC Municipalities) and Wally Wells (Executive Director, Asset Management BC).
Beyond Traditional Municipal Infrastructure
Released in December 2014, Asset Management for Sustainable Service Delivery: A BC Framework is a game-changer.
It signifies the dawn of a new era for British Columbia local government in terms of how communities service urbanizing and redeveloping areas, and define how infrastructure is planned, financed, implemented, and maintained.
A ‘new business as usual’ is emerging and extends beyond traditional municipal infrastructure to encompass services that nature provides, including hydrologic integrity and watershed health.
Several years in the making, the BC Framework identifies best practice for asset management. Most important is the message that asset management is a continuous process, not just the production of a plan. Because the Province recognizes the BC Framework as best practice, and aligns its capital grant programs’ asset management requirements to the BC Framework, it is a game-changer.
Gas Tax Agreement & Asset Management Commitments
In May 2014, Canada, BC and the Union of BC Municipalities (UBCM) signed the renewed Gas Tax Agreement for a 10-year term. This provides the administrative framework for the delivery of federal Gas Tax funding to BC local governments. The Agreement includes this lynch-pin clause:
The Parties agree that strengthening Local Government capacity to undertake Asset Management is integral to building strong cities, communities and regions, and agree to support Asset Management practices in all Local Government jurisdictions during the term of the Agreement.
“UBCM, in partnership with Asset Management BC and the Province, developed the BC Framework. It fulfills the requirement of the Gas Tax Agreement, and also serves as a stand-alone document that sets strategic direction for asset management and its implementation in BC,” explains Glen Brown, General Manager, UBCM Victoria Operations. He led the initiative to develop the BC Framework.
Asset Management & Natural Services
“The BC Framework points the way to a holistic and integrated approach to asset management,” continues Glen Brown. “Nature, and the ecosystem services that it provides, are a fundamental and integral part of a community’s infrastructure system.”
“This is not to suggest that all ecosystem services provide a municipal function. Trees, soil, green spaces, and water do contribute a valuable municipal function in maintaining the hydrologic integrity of a healthy watershed. Thus, the ultimate vision for fully integrated Sustainable Service Delivery is that communities would protect, preserve, restore, and manage these natural assets in the same way that they manage their engineered assets.”
To Learn More:
To download and read the complete article as published in Watermark Magazine, click on Asset Management for Sustainable Service Delivery: Supporting the Vision for Integration of Natural Systems Thinking into “The BC Framework”