Water Sustainability Committee of BC Water & Waste Association plays leadership role in advancing Living Water Smart Vision: “Living Water Smart provides British Columbians with a vision of what this province can look like if we all work together,” stated Daisy Foster, Chief Executive Officer of the BCWWA (2009)
Vision for Living Water Smart
Living Water Smart, BC’s Water Plan is a visionary document that provides a framework for province-wide action. The Province is encouraging local governments to do business differently, prepare communities for change, and choose to be water smart.
To Get to the Big Picture
“By living water smart, communities will be more prepared for climate change and their quality of life will be enhanced. If we can show how to get the water part right, then other parts are more likely to follow,” states Lynn Kriwoken, Director, Innovation and Planning in the Water Stewardship Division of the Ministry of Environment, and the Province’s lead person for delivery of Living Water Smart.
“To get to the big picture, it starts with the smallest pieces. Thus, the ultimate goal of Living Water Smart and the Green Communities Project is to establish expectations that, in turn, will influence the form and function of the built environment,” adds Kim Stephens, .Program Coordinator for the Water Sustainability Action Plan for British Columbia. “BCWWA is responding to the Province’s call to action by leading, informing, educating and inspiring water practitioners about how to create the change needed.”
“Living Water Smart comprises 45 commitments, which are grouped into five themes,” reports Lynn Kriwoken.
“I applaud and welcome the leadership of the Water Sustainability Committee in playing a key delivery role in two of the five theme areas, namely: community planning and development (#5); and efficiency, outreach, public awareness (#2)”.
Alignment with Living Water Smart Vision
“Living Water Smart provides British Columbians with a vision of what this province can look like if we all work together,” states Daisy Foster, Chief Executive Officer of the BCWWA. “Experience shows that the challenge is in moving from planning (talk) to practice (action). This is the gap that the Convening for Action initiative is bridging through an inclusive and collaborative process that brings people together for the common good.”
Build a Vision, Create a Legacy
“It is one thing to have a vision; it is another to do what needs to be done to create a lasting legacy. It requires sustained commitment to make things happen. BCWWA views the Penticton Forum as providing a vehicle for promoting commitment to bringing the Living Water Smart vision to fruition.”
“The Penticton Forum has started a dialogue about what a formal mechanism for aligning with and committing to Living Water Smart might look like; and what role BCWWA will play in collaborating with local governments and local government stakeholders so that our leadership creates a legacy,” concludes Daisy Foster.
Accelerating the Current Momentum
According to Daisy Foster, BCWWA can add value to Living Water Smart delivery by accelerating action with a particular focus on:
- By 2012, all land and water managers will know what makes a stream healthy, and therefore be able to help land and water users factor in new approaches to securing stream health and the full range of stream benefits (p 43 Living Water Smart)
- By 2020, overall water use in British Columbia will be 33% more efficient (p 53 Living Water Smart)
“In 2008, the pilot Vancouver Island Learning Lunch Seminar Series addressed the first objective and successfully demonstrated how to inform, educate and inspire local government practitioners about making ‘green choices’ that create liveable communities and protect stream health,” reports Glen Brown, Chair of the BCWWA Water Sustainability Committee. “Building on the Vancouver Island experience, the Penticton Forum has kicked off a process led by BCWWA that will get people thinking about how to make real the 2020 objective of 33% more efficient water use.”
Creating a Legacy
“Living Water Smart provides BC with a vision, a framework for action, and sets a clear direction for achieving specific objectives. The addition of a formal endorsement and alignment mechanism could accelerate the process to build commitment and establish consistent expectations for effecting change on the ground: This is what we want to achieve, and this is how we will get there,” summarizes Kim Stephens. “It could also help local governments engage on living water smart actions with their stakeholders.”
“Viewed in this context, the Penticton Forum was an important milestone in advancing a regional team approach that will align local actions with provincial goals. Much is already underway and being done by many players, including BCWWA. Yet we can do even more to add value as we align our collective efforts to bring the stream health and water efficiency objectives in Living Water Smart to fruition.”
“Building on what we accomplished at the Penticton Forum, our objective is to encourage ‘green choices’ that will ripple through time, and will be cumulative in creating liveable communities, reducing wasteful water use, and protecting stream health.