SUSTAINABLE WATERSHED SYSTEMS: “The support of the Utilities Committee has been an important ingredient in the success of the Georgia Basin Inter-Regional Educational Initiative,” stated Kim Stephens when he updated Metro Vancouver’s Utilities Committee (September 2018)

Note to Reader:

Commencing in September 2011, the Partnership for Water Sustainability in British Columbia has met with the Metro Vancouver Utilities Committee on an ongoing basis to report out and provide updates on the program that the Partnership is delivering under the umbrella of the Water Sustainability Action Plan for British Columbia. The number of presentations during the September 2011 through September 2018 period totals 11. On these occasions, and at the invitation of the Committee Chair, Kim Stephens (Partnership Executive Director) has represented the Partnership as an “invited delegation”.

Inter-Regional Collaboration for Healthy Watersheds

“On behalf of the Utilities Committee, I invited Kim Stephens to provide us with an update on the successes of the Partnership for Water Sustainability in facilitating inter-regional collaboration through the participation of five regional districts in the Georgia Basin Inter-Regional Education Initiative. Together the five represent three-quarters of BC’s population,” stated Mayor Darrell Mussatto, Chair.

“Also, the committee meeting in September was my second to last as Chair before my retirement as Mayor of the City of North Vancouver. It was therefore timely to hear from Kim Stephens one last time. I am a great admirer of Kim because of the passion that he brings to his work for the Partnership. It is always a pleasure to listen to his updates and reflect on the role that the Partnership plays in bringing people in local government together.

“Thanks so much, Kim, for  all your amazing work in water sustainability.  You really are a leader and an inspiration to me.  I look at our surface water management in a completely different light because of you.  Keep up the great work and keep inspiring others!”

One of Metro Vancouver’s longest serving mayors, Darrell Mussatto served four terms as Mayor of North Vancouver City during the period 2005 through 2018.

Recognition of Mayor Darrell Mussatto

“Unbeknownst to Mayor Mussatto, my appearance before the Utilities Committee was also the opportunity to honour him as a Champion Supporter of the Partnership for Water Sustainability,” noted Kim Stephens.

“The long-term support provided by Mayor Darrell Mussatto has contributed to the effectiveness of the Partnership as the hub for a ‘convening for action’ network in the local government setting. Over the years, the support of Mayor Mussatto and the Utilities Committee at several pivotal moments went a long way towards ensuring that the Partnership would be successful in carrying out its capacity-building mission.

“Inter-governmental collaboration and funding enable the Partnership to develop approaches, tools and resources; as well as provide teaching, training and mentoring. We depend on the goodwill of community leaders such as Mayor Mussatto to provide political support for the unique bridging role that the Partnership plays in the local government setting.”

Kim Stephens (L) and Mayor Darrell Mussatto (R) – presentation of Champion Supporter letter of recognition, Sept 2018

Champion Supporters make it possible for the Partnership for Water Sustainability to build local government capacity

At the September 2018 meeting of the Metro Vancouver Utilities Committee, Kim Stephens presented Mayor Darrell Mussatto with a framed “letter of recognition” as a Champion Supporter.  This designation allows the Partnership to formally recognize individuals and/or organizations that provide substantial financial and/or in-kind support that in turn enables the Partnership to develop tools and deliver programs under the umbrella of the Water Sustainability Action Plan for BC.

When he presented the framed letter of recognition, Kim Stephens stated that: “The Georgia Basin Inter-Regional Education Initiative is a major undertaking, and your support has been an ingredient in its success. You provided the Partnership with a platform to report out regularly so that the Utilities Committee would be informed. This process raised the profile of the IREI program, lending credibility to our over-arching educational goal:

Build capacity within local government to implement a whole-system, water balance approach.

“Thanks to your support, the tools and resources developed under the IREI umbrella should ultimately help the region and municipalities better deliver on actions specified in the Integrated Liquid Waste & Resource Management Plan. Also, the IREI program provides Metro Vancouver municipalities with a mechanism to collaborate, share outcomes and cross-pollinate experience with local governments on the east coast of Vancouver Island.”

Twin Pillars for Sustainable Watershed Systems

“In 2016, Metro Vancouver support helped the Partnership secure federal and provincial funding in the amount of $265,000 for the Sustainable Watershed Systems, through Asset Management program,” Kim Stephens reminded the Utilities Committee.

“The $265,000 grant enabled the Partnership to move forward with three parallel initiatives that have further strengthened the ‘twin pillars’ of the IREI, namely the Water Balance Methodology and the Ecological Accounting Process (EAP).

“Two EAP demonstration applications completed on Vancouver Island have tested the ‘valuation of worth’ methodology to generate ‘real numbers’ using the BC Assessment database.

“The Partnership is currently collaborating with UBCM and the Ministry of Municipal Affairs to integrate ‘natural assets’ into engineered asset management. ‘Getting it right’ starts with recognition that hydrology is the engine that powers ecological services,” emphasized Kim Stephens.

To Learn More:

Download a copy of the Agenda and the Minutes for the meeting of the Metro Vancouver Utilities Committee on September 20, 2018. The Agenda includes a copy of the Progress Update by Kim Stephens.