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Living Water Smart in BC

LIVING WATER SMART IN BRITISH COLUMBIA: At the last in the 2008 Comox Valley Seminar Series, Kim Stephens explained the graphic that illustrates the connection between land development and the sustainability of water supply and aquatic habitat (November 2008)


“I created the graphic several years ago for a meeting with the Board of the Okanagan-Similkameen Regional District about the water sustainability component of their Regional Growth Strategy. I knew that if I did not have their attention on the first slide, I would not have their attention on the second,” stated Kim Stephens.

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THE NATURAL CITY VISION: Three Lenses to Shape the Future of Urban Communities in British Columbia – “Let us set a goal of building the world’s most attractive, most liveable, and above else, sustainable medium-size urban area,” stated Vic Derman at the finale event in the 2008 Capital Region Showcasing Green Infrastructure Innovation Series (October)


The design process outlined by Vic Derman does not differ greatly from traditional approaches with one exception. “The usual approach is to acquire land, decide what will be placed on it, then go about making it sustainable as possible. The layered approach effectively turns this upside down. Rather than being ‘fitted into the project’ after key decisions have been made, elements such as sustainability, amenity and social equity become the drivers of development outcomes,” stated Vic Derman.

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LIVING WATER SMART IN BRITISH COLUMBIA: Vancouver Island Learning Lunch Seminar Series informs and educates local governments – “We use the term structured flexibility because we have specific learning outcomes, yet we are highly flexible and adaptable in terms of audience engagement,” stated Kim Stephens, Water Sustainability Action Plan for British Columbia (November 2008)


“The goal of the series is to inform and educate local government practitioners. By spreading the curriculum over three sessions, this enabled participants to take in new information, reflect on it, blend it with their own experience, test it, and eventually apply it in making decisions,” stated Kim Stephens. At the final seminar, he re-capped the first two seminars, reinforced the provincial context for the series, and reviewed the learning outcomes.

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LIVING WATER SMART IN THE COMOX VALLEY: “The City of Courtenay saw hosting the Learning Lunch Seminar Series as an exciting opportunity to further advance a regional team approach,” stated Kevin Lagan, Director of Operational Services (2008)


“The June 2008 release of Living Water Smart provided a timely provincial frame-of-reference for the Learning Lunch Series. The City collaborated with the CAVI team to explore a bottom-up approach that would inform implementation of Living Water Smart. Our goal was to demonstrate how we can all do business differently and thereby make green choices that create liveable communities and protect stream health,” stated Kevi Lagan.

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NATURE KNOWS NO BOUNDARIES: Living Water Smart explained from BC local government perspective – “The more we can align local actions with provincial targets, the greater our chances of success,” said Ron Neufeld, General Manager of Operations, City of Campbell River (2008)


“Living Water Smart creates the opportunity/potential for real dramatic change at a local level. Good policy is knowing where the horizon is, so that you know where you want to get to. Success depends on cooperation across jurisdictional boundaries. We must hold the provincial government accountable too. They have given us the long-term vision; and we are looking to them to be accountable for the support that we now need,” stated Ron Neufeld.

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NATURE WITHOUT BORDERS: Comox Valley Conservation Strategy contributes to Living Water Smart


At the final seminar in the “2008 Comox Valley Learning Lunch Series” Jack Minard of the Comox Valley Land Trust, connected the dots between the Living Water Smart provincial initiative and the Comox Valley Conservation Strategy. “It is an exciting initiative to create a region-wide strategy for land conservation in consultation with the community and decision-makers in the Comox Valley,” he said.

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LIVING WATER SMART IN THE COWICHAN VALLEY: Changing the way British Columbians do business around water in the Cowichan Valley


The Cowichan Valley Regional District hosted the first of the Vancouver Island Learning Lunch Series in Summer 2008. At Seminar #2, Kate Miller used the “elephant in the room analogy” to capture audience attention vis-a-vis the implications of Living Water Smart for rainwater management. “There is an elephant in our room right now…which is around how do we deal with rainwater management…how do we deal with the larger policy issues…what’s the objective,” stated Kate Miller.

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LIVING WATER SMART IN BRITISH COLUMBIA: Opportunities for Law and Policy to Effect Changes on the Ground


At the second seminar in the the 2008 Comox Valley Learning Lunch Seminar Series, Susan Rutherford of West Coast Environmental Law employed a question-and-answer format to illustrate opportunities and scales for law and policy to effect change, thereby suppoprting and achieving the Living Water Smart vision. “Kevin Lagan and Derek Richmond of the City of Courtenay provided me with some questions that are at the forefront of their minds. I morphed what they gave me into generic questions,” stated Susan Rutherford.

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Cowichan Water Balance Model Forum introduces “Living Water Smart” application to development community


“The Forum was an outcome of the Cowichan Valley Learning Lunch Seminar Series, also a provincial pilot,” explained Kate Miller. “We described the Forum as a hybrid-training workshop because the day was built around case study applications of the Water Balance Model. These provided the technical foundation for roundtable sharing, exploration and cross-fertilization of ideas on how to implement green infrastructure effectively.”

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Water Sustainability Action Plan adds depth to Living Water Smart initiative in British Columbia – “Inter-connected program elements give local governments and practitioners the tools and experience to better manage land and water resources,” stated Glen Brown


“The Convening for Action vision is that water sustainability in British Columbia will be achieved through implementation of green infrastructure policies, practices and standards. Through regional initiatives such as CAVI, which is the acronym for Convening for Action on Vancouver Island, the Water Sustainability Action Plan is adding considerable depth to Living Water Smart. In 2008, CAVI undertook the Vancouver Island Learning Lunch Seminar Series as a provincial pilot,” stated Glen Brown.

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