Georgia Basin IREI introduced to Delta’s Mayor and Council (Dec 2015)
Note to Reader:
In December 2015, Kim Stephens of the Partnership for Water Sustainability in British Columbia met with Mayor Lois Jackson and Council of the Corporation of Delta to recognize the municipality as a Champion Supporter of the Partnership. The insights gained from Delta’s rain garden program are informing the Georgia Basin Inter-Regional Educational Initiative, which the Partnership is leading.
This presentation provided the opportunity to inform Mayor and Council about Beyond the Guidebook 2015: Moving Towards “Sustainable Watershed Systems, through Asset Management”, a deliverable under the Georgia Basin Inter-Regional Educational Initiative. To view the YouTube video of the presentation by Kim Stephens, click on the image and link below:
What Happens on the Land Matters!
The ‘new normal’ in British Columbia is floods and droughts. The summer dry season has extended on both ends and we can no longer count on a predictable snowpack and reliable rain to maintain a healthy water balance in our watersheds. Annual volumes of water entering and exiting our regions are not necessarily changing; instead, what is changing is how and when water arrives – it is feast AND famine.
Beyond the Guidebook 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.
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.
Released in November 2015, ‘Beyond the Guidebook 2015’ is about inter-regional collaboration that is guided by this mantra: “Through sharing and learning, ensure that where we are going is indeed the right way”.
‘Beyond the Guidebook 2015’ is the third in a series that builds onStormwater Planning: A Guidebook for British Columbia. Structured in four parts, ‘Beyond the Guidebook 2015’ is a progress report on how local governments on the east coast of Vancouver Island and in the Lower Mainland are ‘learning by doing’ to implement affordable and effective science-based practices.
To Learn More:
To download a copy of Beyond the Guidebook 2015, click on this link: https://waterbucket.ca/viw/files/2015/11/Beyond-Guidebook-2015_final_Nov.pdf
Moving Towards Sustainable Watershed Systems
“There is a bigger picture context, and that is the Georgia Basin Inter-Regional Educational Initiative. It is a unique collaboration, with five regions working together, and sharing and learning from each other. In April of this year, we went back to all the Regional Boards and asked them to reaffirm commitment to building of capacity and talent in the local government sector,” stated Kim Stephens, Partnership Executive Director.
“Looking ahead to 2017, we have a 2-year mind map. We are not trying to change the world over night. The goal is actually pretty modest. If we can just get everybody in local government understanding HOW to achieve sustainable watershed systems, that will be the measure of success. That is why it is so important to have the success stories like the Delta rain garden program. Now that you have been doing it for a decade, it is a way to show other local governments that one can make a difference, one municipality at a time.”
To Learn More:
To download a copy of the accompanying PowerPoint presentation by Kim Stephens, click on Rainwater Management in a Watershed Sustainability Context: Delta is a Leader by Example (0.7 MB).
The Champion Supporter category of membership is the way in which the Partnership for Water Sustainability formally recognizes agencies and organizations that are playing a leadership role in assisting the Partnership with implementation of the Water Sustainability Action Plan for British Columbia.
Georgia Basin Inter-Regional Educational Initiative (IREI)
We all learn from stories and the most compelling ones are based on the experiences of those who are leading in their communities. Five regional districts representing 75% of British Columbia’s population are partners in the Georgia Basin Inter-Regional Education Initiative (IREI), launched in 2012.
Local government champions on the east coast of Vancouver Island and in the Metro Vancouver region are ‘learning by doing’. They are also sharing and learning from each other through inter-regional collaboration.
Delta’s experience is informing the IREI
“Delta is a leader in implementing green infrastructure practices that will ultimately protect stream health. Your case study experience helps the Partnership achieve our educational mission,” stated Kim Stephens in his presentation to Delta’s Mayor and Council. “Hence, we are pleased to celebrate your accomplishments in our Watershed Blueprint Case Profile Series. In a publication titled Creating the Future in The Corporation of Delta: Rain Gardens Help Restore Nature to Urban Areas, we tell Delta’s story in the words of those who are implementing it.”
“Delta has installed 10 rain gardens at elementary schools and the streamkeepers have actually installed another 7 rain gardens with high school students in North Delta,” noted Mayor Lois Jackson. “It’s just a win-win all the way around,” says Mayor Lois Jackson. “And it really leads into the future where urban areas can still be good places of habitat for fish and birds and bees and all those creatures that we seem to miss in a lot of urban areas.”
To Learn More:
To download a PDF copy of Delta’s story, click on Creating the Future in The Corporation of Delta: Rain Gardens Help Restore Nature.
To read the story about the “letter of recognition” from the Partnership to Delta, click on Champion Supporter: recognition of the Corporation of Delta.