Partnership for Water Sustainability releases program overview for Inter-Regional Education Initiative




Rainwater Management in a Watershed Sustainability Context

The Partnership for Water Sustainability in British Columbia is helping the Province implement the Living Water Smart and Green Communities initiatives in the local government setting. Launched in 2008, these initiatives comprise plans, strategies, targets, actions and tools to reduce the ‘water footprint’ of BC communities.

On Vancouver Island, the Partnership is leading the “CAVI initiative”, where CAVI is the acronym for Convening for Action on Vancouver Island. “CAVI began as a grass-roots initiative, and is a provincial demonstration application for moving from talk (i.e. awareness) to action (i.e. practice),” states John Finnie, CAVI Past-Chair (2006- 2011).

“The immediate CAVI process has been one of incremental steps taken through partnerships with the Capital Regional District, Cowichan Valley Regional District, Regional District of Nanaimo, and Comox Valley Regional District,” continues Eric Bonham, a founding member of the CAVI Leadership Team, and a former Director in two provincial Ministries. “The top-down bottom-up model engages both the decision-makers and communities as they work towards mutually attainable goals.”


Everyone Benefits Through Collaboration!

“The Georgia Basin bioregion is a hot-bed of progressive ideas and provincially significant initiatives,” states Kim Stephens, Partnership Executive Director. “Regional districts and municipalities are advancing watershed-based strategies and programs for integrating rainwater management at the site level with the watershed and stream. Yet there is no formal mechanism for inter-regional collaboration. To fill this gap:

  • In 2012, the Partnership brought together four regional districts on Vancouver Island to align their efforts and implement a ‘proof of approach’ for an Inter-Regional Education Initiative (IREI). These four regions represent 90% of the Vancouver Island population.
  • The early success of the initiative creates opportunities for knowledge sharing and transfer on both sides of the Georgia Basin so that together everyone can go farther, more efficiently and effectively.”

“Collaboration among Vancouver Island local governments, Metro Vancouver, and member municipalities has grown steadily since 2007. The Inter-Regional Education Initiative provides a framework for consistent application of tools and understanding on both sides of the Georgia Basin. Everyone benefits from sharing information and experiences,” concludes Kim Stephens.


To Learn More:

The Partnership has released a program overview for the Inter-Regional Education Initiative. The over-arching theme is that collaborative initiatives will help local governments better deliver on regulatory objectives and compliance. To download a copy of the program overview, click here.