Category:

Living Water Smart in BC

LIVING WATER SMART IN BRITISH COLUMBIA: “Many readers tell us that they are inspired by the stories that we share,” stated Kim Stephens, Waterbucket eNews Editor and Executive Director, Partnership for Water Sustainability in British Columbia (June 2021)


“Each week, from September through June, we celebrate the leadership of individuals and organizations who are guided by the vision for Living Water Smart, British Columbia’s Water Plan. Feature stories published weekly on Waterbucket eNews constitute a legacy resource. To make them readily accessible and sharable, many of these stories are now downloadable as report-style documents. In the Living Water Smart Series, featured authors explore specific themes, with an objective of helping others make a difference in the communities in which they live,” stated Kim Stephens.

Read Article

LIVING WATER SMART IN BRITISH COLUMBIA: “We will be successful when community development is guided by a vision that  embraces ‘design with nature’ approaches to reconnect people, land, fish, and water in altered landscapes,” stated Peter Law, a Founding Director of the Partnership for Water Sustainability, when he provided context for the Partnership’s Living Water Smart Series (May 2021)


“Released in 2008, Living Water Smart was the provincial government’s call to action, and to this day transcends governments. With Living Water Smart as its starting point, the Partnership has a primary goal, to build bridges of understanding and pass the baton from the past to the present and future. The Living Water Smart Series is an integral part of the knowledge-transfer process. In the Series, featured authors explore specific themes, with an objective of connecting dots. The Partnership goal is to facilitate understanding of how to build greener communities and adapt to a changing climate,” stated Peter Law.

Read Article

LIVING WATER SMART IN BRITISH COLUMBIA: “Research by Jane Wei-Skillern offers insights into how champions in the local government and stream stewardship sectors can ensure that their collaborative efforts can have an impact that is dramatically greater than the sum of the individual parts,” stated Kim Stephens, Executive Director, Partnership for Water Sustainability in British Columbia (November 2021)


“At the beginning of 2021, the Partnership leadership reflected on our long-term commitment to collaborative leadership and growing a network. From the outset, we had vowed never to fall into the trap of concentrating our energies on building an organization and thus losing sight of ‘the mission’. This view of the world reflected our history as a roundtable,” stated Kim Stephens. “Are there other precedents for our approach, we wondered? Or are we unique? We decided it was time to research the social science literature to definitively answer these and other questions.”

Read Article

LIVING WATER SMART IN BRITISH COLUMBIA: “The Agricultural Water Demand Model is the springboard platform for development of additional web-based tools, notably the BC Agriculture Water Calculator, which supports groundwater licensing by the provincial government,” stated Kim Stephens, Executive Director, Partnership for Water Sustainability


“Ted van der Gulik had a mandate that allowed him to put his ideas into practice through province-wide implementation of the Agriculture Water Demand Model (AWDM). The power of the tool is found in the provincial 500-metre gridded climate dataset, a North American first. Because it generates solid data on agricultural water need, the AWDM is the tool of choice for doing a Water Sustainability Plan. Work is required in other sectors, notably fisheries, to similarly apply a science-based approach and in so doing generate solid numbers to quantify their needs,” stated Kim Stephens.

Read Article

LIVING WATER SMART IN BRITISH COLUMBIA: “If someone says something is not working – that barriers prevent success – then our challenge for them is: Think about what would make it work, and what are you going to do to make that alignment of goals happen? Our theme is ‘imagine’,” stated Susan Rutherford, former Legal Counsel with West Coast Environmental Law, in capacity-building presentations delivered under the umbrella of the Water Sustainability Action Plan in the first decade of the 2000s


“What we have in mind when we say ‘imagine’ is that players would imagine a legal tool or procedure that would ensure that barriers are removed or other parties in the process more effectively fulfil their piece of the sustainable development puzzle. There are solutions to be found if all parties in the community development process, i.e., staff within local and regional governments as well as private and other actors external to government but no less involved in the development process, simply talk to each other about how they could all work together more effectively, using law reform or other process changes as tools,” stated Susan Rutherford.

Read Article

LIVING WATER SMART IN BRITISH COLUMBIA: “We transform the world, but we don’t remember it. We adjust our baseline to the new level, and we don’t recall what was there. And the question is, why do people accept this? Well, because they don’t know that it was different,” stated UBC’s Dr. Daniel Pauly, a living legend in the world of marine biology who has had a profound influence on the work of the Partnership for Water Sustainability


In September 2021, Greystone Books published The Ocean’s Whistleblower. It is the first authorized biography of Daniel Pauly, a truly remarkable man. Daniel Pauly is a living legend in the world of marine biology. And he lives in British Columbia. Among his many contributions is the Shifting Baseline Syndrome. This is a foundational concept. And it goes to the heart of the vision for intergenerational collaboration.

Read Article

LIVING WATER SMART IN BRITISH COLUMBIA: “Part of the reason for the success of our shared responsibility way of thinking is a result of the efforts of various organizations who have managed to successfully engage governments, developers, the community, academia, etc., in water-centric thinking, planning and development activities. In many jurisdictions, water-centric has become a focus and part of our daily conversations,” stated John Finnie, Past-Chair (2006-2011), CAVI-Convening for Action on Vancouver Island


According to John Finnie, the Partnership for Water Sustainability challenges its audiences by posing this question: what do you want this place to look like in 50 years? The decisions communities make today will ripple through time. We do have a choice – will it be cumulative impacts or cumulative benefits? Looking back, 2008 was a defining year for ‘designing with nature’ on Canada’s west coast. The government of British Columbia put in place a policy framework that is a ‘call to action’ on the part of local governments.

Read Article

LIVING WATER SMART IN BRITISH COLUMBIA: “For asset management, the consideration is how and when assets might be compromised in their lifecycle by climate change,” stated Robert Hicks, Robert Hicks Senior Policy and Process Engineer City of Vancouver (November 2021)


“If we look at the variability in climate change impact scenarios that may occur within many asset lifecycles, we may get distracted by the uncertainty and statistical variance of the magnitude among the anticipated changes for key parameters that inform levels-of-service. Climate change impacts are risks which can be addressed by aligning asset lifecycles to performance or change thresholds which consider how levels-of-service are likely to deteriorate in response to climate changes impacts. Lifecycles must therefore be considered and re-aligned with the new changing ‘normal’ conditions,” stated Robert Hicks

Read Article

LIVING WATER SMART IN BRITISH COLUMBIA: “The value of projects like EAP, the Ecological Accounting Process, to the asset management program in Oak Bay is that it helps us better understand the financial case for Bowker Creek. We are then able to make some planning decisions about how much money to put aside to sustain and maintain the creek for the future. Council buy-in is important,” stated Dan Horan, Director of Engineering & Public Works (October 2021)


EAP provides communities with a philosophy, pragmatic methodology and metrics to make the financial case for annual investment to prevent degradation and improve the condition of ecological assets that constitute a stream corridor system. This would put maintenance and management (M&M) of stream corridor systems on an equal footing with constructed assets (municipal infrastructure). Once local governments embrace a guiding philosophy that ecological services and use of land for development are equally important, then the next step is for them to include M&M budgets for stream systems in their Asset Management Plans.

Read Article

LIVING WATER SMART IN BRITISH COLUMBIA: “Quantifying and valuing nature are complex tasks. Undertaking them alters our conception of nature. The University of Sheffield’s John Henneberry (1952-2021) was a source of inspiration for me when we were initially developing the methodology and metrics for EAP, the Ecological Accounting Process,” stated Tim Pringle, EAP Chair (October 2021)


“The EAP methodology and metrics recognize the importance of the stream system in the landscape. Over the past four years, a series of ‘big ideas’ have emerged during the 3-stage program of testing, refining and mainstreaming EAP. These big ideas are transformative in their implications for local government asset management. Each case study is a building block in a systematic process of applied research,” stated Tim Pringle. “As John Henneberry pointed out, our view of nature is biased to those aspects of it that can be measured and particularly to those that can be valued.”

Read Article