FLASHBACK TO 2011: FCM Sustainable Communities Conference showcased BC’s Water Sustainability Action Plan



Note to Reader:

In February 2011, the Federation of Canadian Municipalities (FCM) held its Sustainable Communities Conference in Victoria, British Columbia. In the session titled ‘STEAL THIS IDEA!’, eight innovators from across Canada shared their breakthrough examples of municipal sustainability.

Each innovator hosted a roundtable. Kim Stephens, Executive Director for the Partnership for Water Sustainability in British Columbia, introduced delegates to the Water Sustainability Action Plan for British Columbia. His roundtable topic was Mission Possible: A 50-Year Vision for Urban Watershed Restoration.

The Action Plan is embedded within Living Water Smart, British Columbia’s Water Plan. The 45 actions and targets in Living Water Smart establish expectations vis-a-vis how land will be developed and water will be used in BC.



Mission Possible: A 50-Year Vision for Urban Watershed Restoration

“In British Columbia, the Partnership for Water Sustainability has a vision for reconnecting communities with the land. Simply put, we believe if we respect the land, WATER SUSTAINABILITY will follow. Getting there requires a change in mind-set…. and LAND ETHIC,” stated Kim Stephens in his topic overview.

“We are CONNECTING THE DOTS between land use planning, development, watershed health AND infrastructure asset management. When communities are guided by a DESIGN WITH NATURE philosophy, water sustainability can be achieved. It will be achieved byimplementing GREEN INFRASTRUCTURE policies and practices.”

“We describe this as MISSION POSSIBLE….. because those operating in the local government setting can now access tools and experience…… that will enable them to make a difference.  Our approach is TOP-DOWN / BOTTOM-UP. It is keyed to three words: ALIGNMENT, COLLABORATION, INTEGRATION.”

“We are CONVENING FOR ACTION. When we gather, it is for a purpose. There must be an outcome. We are challenging those in local government: WHAT DO YOU WANT THIS PLACE TO LOOK LIKE IN 50 YEARS? To get there, you will have to start now. Actions ripple through time.”

“Water sustainability is the lens to focus attention on how we can manage the BUILT ENVIRONMENT more sustainably. We will be successful when SETTLEMENT CHANGE IS IN BALANCE WITH ECOLOGY. This is how we will restore the health of our URBAN WATERSHEDS.”


To Learn More:

To read the complete story posted on the Convening for Action Community-of-Interest, click on Mission Possible: A 50-Year Vision for Urban Watershed Restoration 

This story served two purposes: captured the essence of the Mission Possible messaging; and connected the dots between the FCM Conference and a co-presentation by Glen Brown and Raymond Fung at the annual convention of the Union of BC Municipalities, held in September 2010.



Posted February 2010