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Sustainable Watershed Systems, through Asset Management

Sustainable Watershed Systems: British Columbia vision for "whole systems approach" to water balance management introduced to Australian audience at national stormwater conference (Aug 2016)


“The Rising to the Challenge conference was a milestone event. Because Australian practitioners are at a fork in their journey, they are looking to learn from BC experience. They are curious about our ‘whole systems’ approach to water balance management,” stated Kim Stephens. “I introduced Australians to three ‘big ideas’ that underpin where we are heading in BC, namely: Primacy of Hydrology, Shifting Baseline Syndrome, and Cathedral Thinking.”

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OP-ED: On Sharing a Vision for “Sustainable Watershed Systems, through Asset Management” – a statement of collaboration by Kim Stephens & Wally Wells (June 2016)


“The role of Asset Management BC is to ensure consistency of understanding and application of Sustainable Service Delivery methodologies and tools to meet the goals of the provincial policy and regulatory framework. Over time, the program led by the Partnership for Water Sustainability would support implementation of fully integrated Sustainable Service Delivery by providing the technical foundation for Sustainable Watershed Systems,” wrote Wally Wells (photo) and Kim Stephens.

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2016 conference will introduce landscape architects to“Sustainable Watershed Systems, through Asset Management”


The goal of the 2016 BC Landscape Architects Conference is to examine the influence water has in all aspects of our lives and landscapes. “It would be valuable to introduce conference attendees to the findings of Beyond the Guidebook 2015 and what is necessary for us as design professionals to contribute to the restoration of watershed health wherever we are practising,” stated Al Neufeld.

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Sustainable Watershed Systems, through Asset Management: Build Resiliency to Achieve a Balance: ‘Water OUT = Water IN’ (Fall 2015)


“Climate change is exacerbating an existing vulnerability (a seasonal water imbalance). When we are vulnerable on the IN side of the equation, we then have to build in resiliency on the OUT side. But where will we do that, recognizing that everything is in flux? The answer is that we look for the little things that will yield cumulative benefits in the built environment. This is key,” says Kim Stephens.

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The New Paradigm: Watershed Systems as Infrastructure Assets (Fall 2015)


“A watershed is an integrated system, is infrastructure, and must be viewed as an asset that provides municipal services. Watershed systems thinking covers the continuum from water supply to drainage, and encompasses human and/or ecosystem needs. Where a local government regulates land use, a watershed is an integral part of the drainage infrastructure assets of the local government,” says Kate Miller.

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Leading Change in British Columbia: Moving Towards “Sustainable Watershed Systems, through Asset Management” (Fall 2015)


“Local governments regulate how land is developed, drained and serviced. This means local governments have the authority and ability to determine and implement watershed-based volume targets that would help to prevent drainage impacts in wet weather and also maintain an adequate water supply in dry weather for human and/or ecosystem needs,” stated Richard Boase.

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Connecting Dots: Asset Management & Sustainable Watershed Systems (Summer 2015)


“The asset management process is a continuum; and nature is an integral part of a community’s infrastructure system. The process starts with the engineered assets that local governments provide. Communities will progress along the continuum incrementally as their understanding grows. By also accounting for and integrating the services that nature provides, over time they can achieve the goal of Sustainable Service Delivery for watershed systems,” states Wally Wells.

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Convening for Action in Metro Vancouver: Goal of Resilient Rainwater Management is "Sustainable Watershed Systems" (Sept 2015)


“A systems approach to watershed health and protection recognizes that actions on the land have consequences for the three pathways to streams and hence the water balance of the watershed. Those consequences are felt in both dry weather and wet weather – too little or too much water, respectively. Resilient Rainwater Management accounts for all rainfall-days per year,” stated Kim Stephens.

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Asset Management for Sustainable Service Delivery: A BC Framework (Summer 2015)


“The BC Framework points the way to a holistic and integrated approach to asset management. 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,” states Glen Brown.

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