LIVING WATER SMART IN BRITISH COLUMBIA: Ministry of Environment web portal showcased Beyond the Guidebook 2010 because it told the story of on-the-ground successes under the umbrella of the Water Sustainability Action Plan

Note to Readers:

Following release of Living Water Smart in 2008, the government of British Columbia maintained as a stand-alone portal to support the Living Water Smart program. Implementation was a provincial government priority that involved 11 ministries and many water and land managers and users.  

In the early years, the Living Water Smart portal showcased the stories of those leading change on the  ground in British Columbia. Some projects were complete, or had a short life of two to three years, while other commitments were to be implemented over a much longer time period.  The story below about ‘Beyond the Guidebook 2010’ was originally posted on the Living Water Smart website

On the BC Ministry of Environment website (in 2020), Living Water Smart is now just a dropdown under the topic area “Water Planning and Strategies”. This reflects the fact that Living Water Smart way-of-thinking is fully integrated into the business as usual.

Preparing Our Communities for Change

Water plays a huge role in shaping our communities. We need safe drinking water, water for homes and businesses, and to keep our environment healthy. We also need protection from floods. Actions in Living Water Smart will help communities adapt to climate change by designing our communities to live in harmony with water.

By living water smart, we can save water, energy, fuel, and money. By working with, rather than against nature, communities and developments will capture and use rain, treat or reuse wastewater, provide cool green spaces for urban relaxation, and reduce our energy needs. If we adopt these changes, communities will be more resilient to climate change and provide a higher quality of life.

Implementing a New Culture

Beyond the Guidebook 2010: Implementing a New Culture for Urban Watershed Protection and Restoration in British Columbia [PDF 8.72MB] connects the dots between RAINwater Management and Drought Management and shows how to achieve water sustainability through outcome-oriented urban watershed plans. Beyond the Guidebook 2010 is the ‘telling of the stories’ of how change is being implemented on the ground in BC. These stories demonstrate that the practitioner and community culture is changing as an outcome of collaboration and partnerships.

Kim stephens (120p)“In October 1997, a focus group workshop convened by the Union of British Columbia Municipalities set in motion a chain of outcomes that culminated in Stormwater Planning: A Guidebook for British Columbia, released in June 2002. This document was a catalyst for change that has resulted in British Columbia achieving international recognition as a leader in implementing green infrastructure,” states Kim Stephens, Executive Director, Partnership for Water Sustainability in British Columbia.

“Almost a decade later, Beyond the Guidebook 2010 is the story of what has been accomplished under the umbrella of the Water Sustainability Action Plan for British Columbia. The Action Plan is a key element of the implementation strategy for Living Water Smart. In a nutshell, we are providing program delivery in a local government setting.”

To Learn More:

To access the Beyond the Guidebook 2010 homepage on the Convening for Action Community-of-Interest, click here.