Inter-Regional Education Initiative: Partnership updated Metro Vancouver elected representatives in May 2014
Note to Reader:
The Utilities Committee is the standing committee of the Metro Vancouver Board which provides advice and recommendations to the Board on water and liquid waste management programs. The Utilities Committee provides oversight for implementation of the region’s Integrated Liquid Waste and Resource Management Plan which was adopted by the Board and approved by the Province in 2011.
The Plan established the framework for moving beyond regulatory compliance to transitioning Metro Vancouver to an approach where watershed-based planning is integrated within a broader, sustainability framework. The Plan deals with liquid discharges and rainwater resources.
Inter-Regional Collaboration for Watershed Sustainability
Twice per year, Kim Stephens of the Partnership for Water Sustainability in BC meets with the Metro Vancouver Utilities Committee. The purpose is to keep municipal elected representatives informed about inter-regional collaboration with four Vancouver Island regions; and how Metro Vancouver members are both contributing to the program content and benefiting from the sharing and learning process.
Update presentations are by invitation, with the most recent being on May 13, 2014. When he introduced Kim Stephens, Committee Chair Darrell Mussatto reminded the committee members that Metro Vancouver is a Champion Supported of the Partnership. He then informed the members that formal presentation of the “letter of recognition” to Board Chair Greg Moore had taken place the day before.
“We value the excellent work that the Partnership is doing with a number of our members, in particular the District of North Vancouver, City of Surrey and City of Coquitlam. We especially appreciate the passion that Kim Stephens brings to the topic of rainwater management. We enjoy and look forward to his update presentations. We are enthused by his enthusiasm,” stated Darrell Mussatto, Mayor of North Vancouver City.
Create a Legacy
“My purpose in meeting with you today is to provide a progress report on two collaborative initiatives, namely the Georgia Basin Inter-Regional Education Initiative and the Water Balance Model Express for Landowners. The scope of these initiatives encompasses the watershed down to the site,” stated Kim Stephens, the Partnership’s Executive Director.
“My progress report identifies three key messages. These can be further distilled down a set of bullets that capture the essence of what we are endeavouring to accomplish through inter-regional collaboration. And if you string the words together, they form a concise mission statement: accelerated implementation of watershed-based processes will create a legacy.”
“When you are flying in a small airplane at 3000 feet, and you look down, you realize that the Georgia Basin is really not that big. This reality struck home for me a year ago when the Fraser River was in freshet; and the sediment plume reached all the way across the Strait of Georgia to the Gulf Islands. This observation provides context for the goal of inter-regional collaboration.”
“Metro Vancouver and the four participating geographic regions along the east coast of Vancouver Island are very similar from a watershed function perspective. This means that implementation and consistent application of common engineering and planning standards of practice will achieve desired outcomes for watershed and stream health. A critical consideration is that these standards of practice be affordable and effective.”
“Through sharing and learning, the mantra for inter-regional collaboration is to ensure that where we are going is indeed the right way,” concluded Kim Stephens.
Why Metro Vancouver is an IREI Partner
“In May 2012, Kim Stephens met with the Metro Vancouver Utilities Committee and introduced us to the potential benefits of inter-regional collaboration,” recalls Mayor Darell Mussatto. “He emphasized that the Inter-Regional Education Initiative would help Metro Vancouver fulfil specific actions in the region’s Integrated Liquid Waste and Resource Management Plan regarding performance standards, codes of practice, certification and guidelines for on-site rainwater management.”
“While Metro Vancouver’s Stormwater Interagency Liaison Group (SILG) provides a forum for Metro Vancouver members and senior government regulators to share information on rainwater and stormwater management issues, there is no formal mechanism to enable inter-regional collaboration,” adds Robert Hicks, Metro Vancouver Senior Engineer. ” The Partnership fills this gap by bringing together local governments, regulators and businesses around the Georgia Basin to address shared issues with consistent, workable solutions.”
“Metro Vancouver and its members also benefit through access to tools developed by the Partnership and the experience of other initiative partners. This access helps Metro Vancouver and its members to be efficient and effective in moving forward with implementation of the rainwater management component of the Integrated Liquid Waste and Resource Management Plan,” concludes Kim Stephens.
To Learn More:
To download a PDF copy of the PowerPoint presentation by Kim Stephens, click on Inter-Regional Collaboration for Watershed Sustainability: Collaboration will Help Everyone More Easily Deliver on Regulatory Requirements
To download a copy of the accompanying 2-page Executive Summary, click on Presentation #6 – Progress update for period October 2013 through May 2014.