published in 2022

LIVING WATER SMART IN BRITISH COLUMBIA: “Working together on tasks, whether administrative or physical, builds credibility. Credibility builds trust, and trust encourages the sharing of knowledge and experience,” stated Joe McGowan, retired Director of Public Works (City of Cranbrook) and network builder in the local government setting (February 2022)

Joe McGowan has a career record of public works service, leadership, and accomplishment at four scales – local, provincial, national, and cross-border. He is a visionary who takes an idea, brings together and motivates peers to build a network, and guides the idea to implementation through a collaborative process. “Bylaws, policies, and directives do not get things done; good people given good information, support, and the opportunity to succeed at a task get things done,” stated Joe McGowan.

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LIVING WATER SMART IN BRITISH COLUMBIA: “The challenges we face today are immense, but we just have to keep plugging away. I spend so much time with children; that is one of the reasons that led me to write the book The Little Creek That Could. My grandchildren were my source of inspiration,” stated Mark Angelo – conservationist and founder of BC Rivers Day and World Rivers Day (January 2022)

“The Little Creek That Could starts off talking about the kinds of things I did as a little boy beside creeks – skipping stones, looking for critters or fish or any aquatic insects I could find. The book goes full circle in that it is the kind of thing I do with my grandkids, just as I did as a little boy. It was those experiences as a child that helped cultivate my love for creeks and streams, and the fascination I have always had with moving water. Growing up, I observed that there was a lot more life closer to creeks and streams than away from them. Those memories have had a huge influence on my life and career,” stated Mark Angelo.

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LIVING WATER SMART IN BRITISH COLUMBIA: “Dealing with life-cycle realities is such a challenging area of engineering and utility asset management to think about. Many other fields of engineering have already been through multiple life cycles of the asset. They have already felt the pain of not doing it right,” stated Daniel Horan, Director of Engineering and Public Works, when he explained Oak Bay’s Sustainable Infrastructure Replacement Plan (January 2022)

“Oak Bay is now coming to grips with how to deal with three parallel streams of effort all at once. There is the current maintenance load that must be done. There is also the maintenance backlog that must be cleared. On top of maintenance, we are also expanding the total amount of capital infrastructure work that we are doing,” stated Daniel Horan. “Infrastructure replacement is as big challenge for the next 50 years, as it was 100 years ago when community infrastructure systems were first being installed. But this challenge is not on everyone’s radar. Yet it is fundamental to what it means to live in a community now.”

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LIVING WATER SMART IN BRITISH COLUMBIA: “Blue Ecology is an idea whose time has come. If British Columbia water managers would embrace the Blue Ecology ecological philosophy, our communities would become more water-resilient, and we would successfully adapt to a changing climate,” stated Kim Stephens, Executive Director, Partnership for Water Sustainability in British Columbia (January 2022)

“Blue Ecology has been a two-decade long journey of discovery for Michael Blackstock, highlighted by his appointment to a UNESCO Expert Panel for a 4-year term in 2008. His work on the Expert Panel resulted in an invitation to share his Blue Ecology message at an international symposium held in October 2008 by the International Association of Hydrological Sciences. Michael laid out the case for an attitude change and culture-shift related to water. Since then, he has written and/or contributed to a series of books that build on this theme,” stated Kim Stephens.

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LIVING WATER SMART IN BRITISH COLUMBIA: “More hard surfaces in the uplands means more surface runoff volume is discharging into the agricultural lowlands. And the increased flows in streams are over longer durations. This is the real issue,” stated Ted van der Gulik, former Senior Engineer in the Ministry of Agriculture, when he explained the ARDSA criteria that have defined design practice for a half-century

“In the late 1970’s and early 1980’s, ARDSA was a Federal and Provincial capital program that funded rural irrigation water supply, rural drainage infrastructure as well as rural electrification projects. The rules were quite strict. Projects were required to have a return on the investment greater than 1. In other words, the value of the increase in agriculture production due to project implementation had to return more than the original cost of the project over a 20-year time frame, in net present value dollars at the time of project approval,” stated Ted van der Gulik.

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