Category:

Living Water Smart: The Series

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

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: “Let’s move past ceremonial reconciliation, to true reconciliation, validating Indigenous wisdom,” stated Michael Blackstock, Independent Indigenous Scholar and founder of the Blue Ecology Institute (October 2021)


“Interweaving is not integration, just as equality is not about assimilation and creativity is not empirical. Interweaving is collaborative and incremental rather than a revolutionary process. Collaborators identify packets of knowledge that would benefit from the interweaving process. Blue Ecology is meant to be a companion because it augments existing Western science hydrology rather than displacing this knowledge. There is a humility component to Water Reconciliation and that can be hard for both sides when we are building a bridge to connect each other,” stated Michael Blackstock.

Read Article

LIVING WATER SMART IN BRITISH COLUMBIA: “Commit $30 million annually over a 10-year period – to deal with both the fallout of a less-than-successful launch of the groundwater licensing system AND the requirements necessary to meet the objectives of the Water Sustainability Act,” stated Ted van der Gulik in his presentation to the Select Standing Committee on Government Finance (September 30, 2021)


“I am an urban MLA. I have learned a lot more about water (through the Budget 2022 consultation process) than I ever knew before. Ted van der Gulik’s expertise, his passion, and his knowledge make him a powerful voice. He has managed to scare me about what needs to be done! I am pretty sure that what Ted has raised will be a big part of our (committee) conversations in terms of the message that we want to give to the legislature. It was a great presentation to end on (after 300 presentations in 5 locations around BC),” stated Janet Routledge, Committee Chair.

Read Article

LIVING WATER SMART IN BRITISH COLUMBIA: “Inspired by Buzz Holling, the Stormwater Planning Guidebook established an international precedent for application of an adaptive management approach in the local government setting. The Guidebook developed the ADAPT guiding principles for reconnecting hydrology and stream ecology through use of Water Balance performance targets,” stated Kim Stephens in the Partnership for Water Sustainability’s tribute to the late Buzz Holling (1930-2019)


Buzz Holling had profound and far-reaching influence during his lifetime, having made major contributions to the theory of predation, the concept of ecological resilience, the concept of panarchy, and adaptive management. “The only way to approach such a period — where uncertainty is very large and one cannot predict what the future holds – is not to predict, but to act inventively and exuberantly in diverse, adventures in living and experiment,” said Buzz Holling. One of his talents was his ability to bring people together to understand, assess and act on new solutions to complex problems of people and nature.

Read Article

LIVING WATER SMART IN BRITISH COLUMBIA: “Technical knowledge is not enough. You learn that technical competence alone is not going to get you there. That is what I want to pass on to people. If you have a technical problem, it is relationships that matter most,” stated Jody Watson, Past-Chair, when she reflected on the enduring success of the Bowker Creek Initiative in British Columbia’s Capital Region (September 2021)


“Strong relationships help make the BCI agile. We need agility because we do not have the time and resources (to implement the Bowker Creek Blueprint and 100-Year Action Plan). At one level, all of us are too busy. At another level, and given the challenges posed by the issues of the day, we need to move on opportunities very quickly. Over a career, you do learn that it is all about understanding people. Technical knowledge is incidental sometimes,” stated Jody Watson. She is widely recognized as the “the face of the BCI” because of her tireless efforts to bring a degraded creek back to life.

Read Article

LIVING WATER SMART IN BRITISH COLUMBIA: “Leadership and enforcement by government would help demonstrate good faith. One key strategy to ensuring people know that government is serious about the water resource is to systematically check compliance and conduct enforcement on unauthorized water use,” stated Mike Wei, former Deputy Comptroller of Water Rights, when commenting on implementation challenges around groundwater licensing (September 2021)


“It is clear to me that this is much bigger than sending out students or contractors, for example, to talk to farmers and small business owners throughout the Province. The groundwater licensing issue requires someone with profile, such as a Minister or an MLA, to reach out to local community leaders and talk to them about how to engage their communities about the benefits of compliance versus consequences of not applying. Just posting an information bulletin on a government website will not achieve this,” stated Mike Wei.

Read Article

LIVING WATER SMART IN BRITISH COLUMBIA: “When someone with expertise often retires their managers ‘don’t know what they have lost until it is gone’ and even then they might not know. That person has left with all their knowledge and connections,” stated Kate Rushton, UK-based community strategist


“Two years ago I attended my first intergenerational innovation challenge. Afterwards, I occasionally thought about this new way of working. It sparked my interest in intergenerational co-creation. Not only as a way to build bridges between generations but as a way to innovate in general. By using an older adult’s experience-based knowledge, which is known also known as deep smarts, and the younger generation’s fresh eyes and new perspectives intergenerational co-creation can help create more rounded solutions,” stated Kate Rushton.

Read Article

LIVING WATER SMART IN BRITISH COLUMBIA: “Through my readings and discussions with people in the Metro Vancouver region area, I have found that there is a sense of pragmatism among researchers, urban managers, and advocates,” stated Charles Axelesson, PhD candidate, University of Venice


“My discussions with Kim Stephens have helped me to re-evaluate how I discuss my own research. I was taking some of the terminology for granted as it is repeated in the literature time and time again but words like ‘stormwater’, ‘rainwater’ and ‘drainage’ can have such powerful unconscious effects on how you interpret the discussions and they can mean different things to different stakeholders in the system. These terminology choices ultimately have a large effect in science communication and the message you intend to convey. I find these differences interesting and yet more proof that I love science communication,” stated Charles Axelsson.

Read Article