YOUTUBE VIDEO: "What will you do differently when you leave this room?" – during his keynote address at Stormwater 2016, Kim Stephens challenged Australian water resource practitioners to 'convene for action'

Note to Reader:

kim-stephens_2016-stormwater-australia_keynote_road-map-slideThe keynote presentation by Kim Stephens at the 2016 Rising to the Challenge Conference organized by Stormwater Australia was structured in five parts: a front-end that set the context, followed by four ‘modules’ that elaborated on the theme “parallel journeys” and provided perspective regarding and insight into the “top-down & bottom-up” approach that characterizes collaboration in the British Columbia local government setting.


Parallel Journeys to a Resilient Future: Water Cycle / Water Balance Approaches in Australia and British Columbia – 2001 to 2016 and Beyond

In 2001, Kim Stephens was keynote speaker for an Urban Water Cycle Management Capacity Building Program for local governments in the Hunter Valley of New South Wales, Australia. The event was titled Challenges and Opportunities for Water Sensitive Urban Development. It was a seminal moment for cross-pollinating Australian and British Columbia experience, and for relationship-building. This has led to ongoing sharing and learning from each other.

Rising to the Challenge

At that 2001 conference, Kim Stephens remarked on our parallel worlds and how they revolve around a shared vision for Water Cycle (or Water Balance) management. Fast forward to August 2016. His keynote presentation at Stormwater 2016: Rising to the Challenge, a national conference held in Queensland (Australia), provided him with a platform for reflecting on “parallel journeys” during the period 2001 through 2016.

dsc_0353_kim-stephens_australia1_aug2016_500pHe explained how a changing climate resulted in “teachable moments” in British Columbia; and how a “regional team approach” guides implementation of a vision for Sustainable Watershed Systems, through Asset Management.

He described how British Columbia is responding to the impacts of a changing climate, and he commented on Australia’s “top-down” type of governance versus BC’s “top-down & bottom-up” approach to implementing changes in water and asset management practices.

About Kim Stephens:

An engineer-planner, Kim Stephens has more than four decades of experience. This covers the continuum of water resource and infrastructure engineering issues and applications, from master planning and modelling to implementation of capital projects.

Kim Stephens is the Executive Director, Partnership for Water Sustainability in British Columbia. He is responsible for program delivery and evolution for Water Sustainability Action Plan for British Columbia, released in 2004.


Convening for Action

The Convening for Action in British Columbia initiative is aimed at building capacity through improving awareness about effective approaches to the sustainable use of water resources and demonstrating how to integrate these approaches into land and resource planning, development and management decisions at the regional, community through to site levels.

Convening for Action calls for moving from defining the problems (the ‘what’), to determining options (the ‘so what’) and taking action to achieve results (the ‘now what’).

The initiative supports innovation on-the-ground. It is creating opportunities to embrace all components of the water cycle through integrated water management. It is turning ideas into action by building capacity and understanding regarding integration of long-term, strategic planning and the implementation of physical infrastructure.

To Learn More:

Download KEYNOTE ABSTRACT for an overview of the “BC story” that Kim Stephens shared at Stormwater 2016: Rising to the Challenge.

Visit the Convening for Action Community-of-Interest at

Download POWERPOINT PRESENTATION to view the 45 slides comprising the storyline for the keynote address by Kim Stephens.