THE STORY OF THE PENTICTON FORUM: Smart Planning & Living Water Smart – Approaches & Tools for Doing Business Differently in BC

Note to Reader:

The Penticton Forum was held at the Penticton Trade & Convention Centre as an adjunct to the 2009 Annual Conference of the BC Water & Waste Association (BCWWA).

Penticton forum - mission statement

Convening for Action in British Columbia

How do we align our efforts at three scales – provincial, regional and local – to do business differently, prepare communities for change, and choose to be water smart?

The foregoing challenge statement provided context for advancing a ‘regional team approach’ at the 2009 Annual Conference of the British Columbia Water & Waste Association (BCWWA) on April 29, 2009 in Penticton.

Why a Forum

The Water Sustainability Committee of the BCWWA, three provincial Ministries (Environment, Community Development, and Agriculture & Lands), and the Okanagan Basin Water Board hoste a forum to showcase how partnerships, collaboration, innovation and integration are helping local governments in three regions make the best choices for sustainable, healthy and vibrant communities.

Who Should Attend

The Forum wilwas of educational value to elected representatives. It was especially relevant to municipal administrators, municipal engineers, and municipal planners; water resource and land use planners; and water conservation, green infrastructure and drainage practitioners.

To Learn More:

For program information, click on First Announcement for Penticton Forum on April 29 2009.

What Will You Learn

For an overview of the Agenda and the four modules that comprise the program, click on Lesson Plan – Draft Outline of What We Want to Achieve.

Penticton forum - logo banner_v2

Story of the Penticton Forum

Penticton forum - glen brown (160p)“The Province’s Living Water Smart and  Green Communities initiatives provide a framework and direction for convening for action in the Okanagan, on Vancouver Island and in Metro Vancouver,” states Glen Brown. He is an Executive Director with the Ministry of Community Development; and is Chair of the Water Sustainability Committee. “Each regional initiative is developing a vision and road map for achieving settlement in balance with ecology.”

Okanagan basin water board - anna sears (120p)The forum program comprises four modules built around the creating our future and doing business differently themes,” adds Anna Sears, Executive Director of the Okanagan Basin Water Board. “The Forum was an exciting day because regional leaders elaborated on new approaches and tools for ‘living water smart’, and changing the way land is developed and water is used.”

Penticton forum - program modules


The Mind-Map for Penticton Forum provides curriculum information about each module under three columns:

  1. What do you know?
  2. What do you wonder?
  3. What have you learned?

The Mind-Map also identifies the objective or learning outcome for each module (i.e. Participants will be able to….).

Downloadable Documents

Leading up to the Forum, a series of downloadable documents were published on Water Bucket. These stories progressively describe the elements of the Forum program in order to establish participant expectations. Briefly:

Water Bucket Online Versions

The downloadable documents are complemented by online versions that are complete with embedded links to other resources on the Water Bucket Website:

  1. March 6th: Smart Planning & Living Water Smart: Approaches and Tools for Doing Business Differently in BC
  2. March 13th: Doing Business Differently: Convening for Action in the Georgia Basin
  3. March 20th: Doing Business Differently: Convening for Action in the Okanagan
  4. March 27th: Creating Our Future: Sustainability by Design & The Natural City Vision
  5. April 3rd: Creating Our Future: Today’s Expectations are Tomorrow’s Standards
  6. April 10th: Town Hall Sharing: How Will Embracing the Living Water Smart Vision Help Your Community Do Business Differently?

Ministry of Community Development Circular

In March 2009, the Ministry of Community Development sent out a circular to all Municipal and Regional District Chief Administrative Officers, Engineers and Planners in British Columbia to draw their attention to the provincial relevance of the Penticton Forum.

The circular points out that the Penticton Forum supports and/or complements various provincial initiatives, notably:  Living Water Smart, the Green Communities Project, A Guide to Green Choices and Beyond the Guidebook.  

To Learn More:

Download a copy of Ministry of Community Development – Penticton Forum Circular – March 2009

Penticton forum - working together