FLASHBACK TO 2015: “I was just so encouraged to see that we in the Comox Valley are not alone and that we now have others who are eager to help. This relationship building is key to accelerating the sharing and learning further, and the Georgia Basin approach to water sustainability,” stated Nancy Gothard, City of Courtenay environmental planner, when she reflected on inter-regional collaboration

Note to Reader:

Released in November 2015, Beyond the Guidebook 2015 is the third in a series that builds on Stormwater Planning: A Guidebook for British Columbia. The latter is the provincial foundation for the rainwater component of Liquid Waste Management Plans, a regulatory tool. The Guidebook is complemented by the ‘Beyond the Guidebook Report Series’, the ‘Beyond the Guidebook Primer Series’ and the ‘Watershed Case Profile Series’.

Beyond the Guidebook 2015 is a deliverable flowing from the Georgia Basin Inter-Regional Educational Initiative (IREI). By 2017, a program goal is that all local governments would understand how to achieve “Sustainable Watershed Systems, through Asset Management” (supply source, stream, aquifer).

A Guide to Water-Wise Development in the Comox Valley Region of Vancouver Island was a Team Effort

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.

Part D tells five regional stories, including that for the Comox Valley region. At the conclusion, Nancy Gothard provided her reflections by writing an op-end on the ‘regional team approach’ and how local governments share and learn from each other. She is the Environmental Planner with the City of Courtenay.

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

The Comox Valley chapter in Beyond the Guidebook 2015 is 12 pages and is organized in six sections as shown below. To download a PDF copy and read the complete story, click on Comox Valley-CAVI Regional Team.

Role of Champions in Leading Change

“The approach to watershed‐based planning and water sustainability is happening through champions because, apart from some high‐level enabling legislation, there is no strong top‐down mandate ‘requiring’ that we do these things. I think in most organizations it is not a top‐down priority,” wrote Nancy Gothard.

“Where it has surfaced as a top‐down priority, it has been because individual champions have ensured that it was considered at those higher levels. That so many people earnestly working on this have reached the same point suggests that we are on the tipping point of a breakthrough in collaboration.”

“I was just so encouraged to see that we in the Comox Valley are not alone and that we now have others who are eager to help.”

To Learn More:

To download a copy of the complete op-ed by Nancy Gothard titled A Perspective on the Role of Champions in Leading Change in the Georgia Basin

Bridging the Implementation Gap

“In 2012, the first phase of IREI implementation involved a ‘proof of approach’ to demonstrate how to make inter-regional collaboration tangible to all partners. The other partner regional districts hosted a ‘sharing & learning’ event, open to all,” states Kim Stephens, Executive Director of the Partnership for Water Sustainability in British Columbia, and IREI program manager.

“In the Comox Valley, however, the ‘proof of approach’ was built around an internal workshop series. Emphasis was on how to bridge the ‘implementation and integration gap’ (and move from talk to action).

“The series deliverable was the first iteration of A Guide to Water-Wise Land Development in the Comox Valley presented at a Peer Dialogue Session held in June 2012.

“Over the next 2-year period, the Comox Valley regional team worked on improving the Guide content and layout. At the same time, initiatives identified in the Guide continued to progress. When the Comox Valley hosted the fourth of 5 sessions in the 2014 Inter-Regional Workshop Series, this provided the opportunity to showcase the final iteration of the Guide (in anticipation of a formal rollout in 2015).”

To Learn More:

Download a copy of A Guide for Water-Wise Land Development in the Comox Valley, showcased in 2014 and finalized in 2015. It is an outcome of this inter-governmental collaboration.

At the 2012 PEER DIALOGUE SESSION, the regional team first presented the Guide and elaborated on current and proposed initiatives that would add depth to the Guide over time. Participants then contributed their ideas on how to implement and communicate those initiatives.

Comox Valley-CAVI Regional Team: Time-Line & Milestones