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Published Articles & Resources

ASSET MANAGEMENT BC NEWSLETTER (January 2011):”Actions and targets in Living Water Smart encourage ‘green choices’ that will foster a holistic approach to infrastructure asset management. Protection of a community’s natural resources is emerging as an important piece in Sustainable Service Delivery,” foreshadowed Glen Brown


Glen Brown is the visionary and thought leader who coined the term “sustainable service delivery”. This way of viewing the local government sphere of responsibility changes everything about how local governments do business in an era of rapid change. “Level-of-Service is the integrator for everything that local governments do. What level of service does a community wish to provide, and what level can it afford? Everyone will have to make level-of-service choices. Establish the level-of-service that is sustainable to protect watershed health,” stated Glen Brown.

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SUSTAINABLE SERVICE DELIVERY FOR WATERSHED SYSTEMS: “We needed a way to illustrate diagrammatically what the journey by a local government to the eventual Sustainable Service Delivery destination would look like. This led us to the concept of a continuum,” stated Glen Brown, Asset Management BC Chair (reference: “Living Water Smart in British Columbia: Sustainable Service Delivery for Watershed Systems” – released by the Partnership for Water Sustainability in March 2022)


“We framed the Asset Management Continuum as a series of three steps, recognizing that most local governments were at Ground Zero in 2015. Our operative phrase was ‘as understanding grows’. We saw this as the key consideration for local governments progressing along the continuum. Although it might be possible, we believed it unrealistic to expect anyone to jump directly to Step Three and integrate natural systems into their asset management strategies. We needed a way to illustrate this diagrammatically. This led us to the concept of a continuum,” stated Glen Brown.

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DOWNLOADABLE RESOURCE: “Through the building blocks approach that has defined the EAP program, we have reached a point where a number of hydra-like concepts have been tamed to become the Riparian Deficit,” stated Tim Pringle (August 2021)


“It took a building blocks process to bridge from the starting point — how EAP looks at the ‘stream as a whole-system’ (rather than as an amorphous ‘natural asset’) — to reach the destination, which is a methodology plus meaningful metrics for measuring the Riparian Deficit, the environmental equivalent of the Infrastructure Liability (Deficit) for constructed assets; and establishing budgets for Maintenance and Management,” stated Tim Pringle.

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ASSET MANAGEMENT BC NEWSLETTER (February 2021): “Restoring land drainage and stream corridor system integrity for a creekshed would require looking beyond the stream corridor to the surrounding landscape – that is, reconnect hydrology and stream ecology by design,” stated Kim Stephens, Executive Director, Partnership for Water Sustainability in BC


“EAP, the Ecological Accounting Process, focuses on drainage and the condition and/or integrity of stream corridors. Both natural and constructed assets need to be addressed in the drainage context. Both are systems and therefore require similar M&M strategies. Drainage infrastructure, or lack thereof, is typically an unfunded liability that grows over time. It is the elephant in the room. EAP supports local governments intending to adopt a life-cycle approach to M&M of natural assets much as it would apply to constructed assets,” stated Kim Stephens.

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OPINION PIECE: “Entrenched beliefs and a reluctance to change 20th century engineering practices have consistently resulted in missed opportunities to ‘get it right’,” wrote Kim Stephens, Executive Director, Partnership for Water Sustainability (Vancouver Sun, September 2018)


“In the absence of a regulatory requirement, the process to adopt, change or evolve accepted practices is painfully slow. Reinvigoration of the provincial oversight function is essential to help local governments be effective in moving B.C. towards restorative land development,” wrote Kim Stephens. “The good news is that – starting with ‘Living Water Smart, B.C.’s Water Plan’ in 2008 – a provincial policy, program and regulatory framework is in place to achieve this desired outcome.”

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VANCOUVER SUN OP-ED ARTICLE: Led by Asset Management BC, the BC Framework refocuses business processes on how physical and natural assets are used to deliver services, and support outcomes that reduce life-cycle costs and address risks (published on June 2, 2018)


Flood, drought, fire, wind and cold – extreme events are the New Normal. British Columbia is at a tipping point. When will communities adapt, and how? “Hydrology is the engine that powers ecological services. Thus, integration of the Partnership’s work within the BC Framework should accelerate implementation of the whole-system, water balance approach at the heart of the Partnership’s ‘Sustainable Watershed Systems, through Asset Management’ program,” stated Peter Law.

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ASSET MANAGEMENT BC NEWSLETTER (June 2017) – Embed ‘state of art’ hydrology in engineering ‘standard practice’ to achieve Sustainable Watershed Systems


“The BC Framework sets a strategic direction that refocuses business processes on outcomes that reduce life-cycle costs and risks. The program goals for the Georgia Basin Inter-Regional Education Initiative (IREI) are aligned with this strategic direction,” stated the Hon. Peter Fassbender when he announced (in March 2017) funding for the IREI program through 2018. The vision for implementation of a whole-system, water balance approach is to protect and/or restore stream health

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ASSET MANAGEMENT BC NEWSLETTER (January 2017) – Opinion: Vision for “Sustainable Watershed Systems” resonates with audiences in BC and beyond


“At the dawn of 2017, the purpose of this article was two-fold: take stock of our progress in 2016 to inform and educate; and foreshadow where we may be at year-end,” stated Kim Stephens. “Early uptake of the vision for Sustainable Watershed Systems has exceeded our expectations. There is clearly interest and an appetite to learn more. It is an idea whose time has come. The desired outcome that would flow from Sustainable Watershed Systems is a water-resilient future.”

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SITELINES MAGAZINE (October 2016): “Green + Blue Parallels from Down Under” – reflections by Kim Stephens on his keynote address at a national conference in Australia


“In his article, Kim Stephens draws parallels between made-in-BC solutions and those ‘Down Under’, noting cultural differences but the common need to adapt,” explained Julie Schooling, issue editor. He introduced Australians to three ‘big ideas’ that underpin where we are heading in BC, namely: Primacy of Hydrology, Shifting Baseline Syndrome, and Cathedral Thinking. The three are interconnected. The outcome would be Sustainable Watershed Systems.

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VANCOUVER SUN 0P-ED ARTICLE: We must protect watershed systems (published on October 13, 2016)


“Work needs to be done today to ensure we see a secure water future. Benefits are long-term,” wrote Kim Stephens. “Successful programs that are politically supported would ensure we restore the water balance and have sustainable watershed systems. This approach has the potential to re-set the ecological baseline along the east coast of Vancouver Island and in the Lower Mainland. Success would be abundant salmon in urban streams.”

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