Urban Development Institute commits to working with government to bring “Living Water Smart” vision to fruition – “Today we are on the brink of change. This is a special moment in time. We have been looking for a clear vision for this province in terms of its water resources,” stated Maureen Enser, Executive Director (June 2008)
Doing Business Differently
Released in June 2008, Living Water Smart is the provincial government’s vision and plan to keep British Columbia’s water healthy and secure for the future. An over-arching goal is to encourage land and water managers and users to do business differently.
“Water defines British Columbia and it is essential to our quality of life,” stated Environment Minister Barry Penner when he announced Living Water Smart on June 3, 2008 at a creekside ceremony held on Crown Street in Vancouver.
“Living Water Smart: British Columbia’s Water Plan lays out the vision and the steps needed to protect our rivers, lakes, streams and watersheds,” added Minister Penner. “This plan will make B.C. a leader in water stewardship, fits with our overarching strategy to protect the environment and positions us for continued success in the 21st century.”
The announcement took place at Musqueam Creek, where a wild salmon habitat restoration project is being led by the community-based, non-profit Musqueam Ecosystem Conservation Society (MECS).
“As more British Columbians make water stewardship and conservation a part of their daily lives, we’ll be better able to preserve the diverse habitats and species of unique ecosystems like Musqueam Creek,” said Christina Nahanee, outreach and events co-ordinator for MECS.
To Learn More:
Read this comprehensive story about the announcement: Living Water Smart: A Plan for Water Sustainability in British Columbia.
Watch a YouTube video clip of Minister Penner making the announcement:
Green Development Makes Sense
Living Water Smart creates a water-centric vision that responds to this challenge: What we want British Columbia to look like in 50 years and beyond. Achieving the vision depends on the cumulative decisions that British Columbians make now and over time.
To help the reader visualize the future, Living Water Smart includes a section titled Imagine. An excerpt from page 35 is reproduced below:
- “Imagine our neighbourhoods are connected by streams and wetlands – giving us green corridors to walk in and use to get to the grocery storeHave trees and shrubs along stream banks thatcoolour communities and capture greenhouse gasesHave plentiful trees to
catch the rain and snow, so water seeps slowly into the ground instead of rushing straight into storm drains and creeksHave
fish in the creeks that our kids can catch and eatHave sidewalks and roads that allow water to flow into the groun –
replenishing our supplyAre filled with
native plants that aren’t so thirsty.”
Leaving a Legacy for the Future
Representatives of several organizations joined Minister Penner for the announcement, including Maureen Enser, Executive Director of the Urban Development Institute.
“We’re interested in planning for long-term, balanced growth that will leave a legacy for the future – a strategy we see reflected in the Living Water Smart plan,” said Maureen Enser.
“The Urban Development Institute is committed to wise and efficient land use. By working collaboratively and collectively, we can apply new ideas and thinking to the way we build communities.”
“Today we are on the brink of change. This is a special moment in time. We have been looking for a clear vision for this province in terms of its water resources. Now we have to work together to make sure that the plan comes to fruition.”
“Minister, this is phenomenal. We are committing ourselves as an industry to working with government at all levels to make sure this precious resource is protected for future generations,” Maureen Enser stated in conclusion,
To Learn More:
Watch a YouTube video clip of her statement: