LIVING WATER SMART IN BRITISH COLUMBIA: Op-Ed by Kim Stephens urges communities to integrate “water balance solutions” into land use decisions (published by the Vancouver Sun, Oct 2016)

Note to Reader:

In October 2016, the Vancouver Sun newspaper published an Op-Ed article written by Kim Stephens, Executive Director, Partnership for Water Sustainability in BC.

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We Must Protect Watershed Systems

“Everyone learns about the water balance (water cycle) in elementary school, but most have forgotten by high school,” wrote Kim Stephens.

kim-stephens_june2016_img_0578_120p“So what does this mean for communities? Consider that: A legacy of community and infrastructure design practices has failed to protect the natural water balance. Failure has financial impacts and implications for taxpayers.”

“Consequences of not protecting water balance pathways include expensive fixes for flooding, erosion and habitat damage.”

Asset Management for Sustainable Service Delivery: A B.C. Framework provides a financial driver for local governments to integrate watershed systems thinking and climate adaptation into asset management.”

To Learn More:

Download We must protect watershed systems to read the complete article by Kim Stephens.

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Asset Management Continuum for Sustainable Service Delivery

The continuum graphic above illustrates the journey as understanding grows and local governments progress towards a Water-Resilient Future.

The Partnership for Water Sustainability is the champion for Step Three.

Different local governments will always be at different points and different levels of maturity along the Asset Management Continuum.

Making better decisions to protect or restore watershed health (hydrologic integrity) starts with an understanding of HOW to mimic the natural Water Balance through a blend of engineered assets and natural services.

Getting to Step Three

“Over the past year, we have begun to frame where we want to get to in British Columbia in terms of sustainable watershed systems,” states Kim Stephens.

“We are saying it is a three-step process. If you don’t already have an asset management plan, then you cannot make that leap all the way to Step Three.”

“Where we are at now is that local governments, through the granting process, are being encourage to move forward with Steps One and Two.”

“What the Partnership is trying to do right now is to get them ready in terms of where they need to be a couple of years down the road. The game-changer is the BC Framework.”

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