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asset management for sustainable service delivery

    LIVING WATER SMART IN BRITISH COLUMBIA: “Now, with the Ecological Accounting Process as a foundation piece, local governments have a rationale and a metric to do business differently via multiple planning pathways to achieve the goal of natural asset management,” stated Kim Stephens, Partnership for Water Sustainability (June 2022)


    “EAP, the Ecological Accounting Process, evolved as one ‘big idea’ led to the next one. We could not have made the leap directly from the first to the last. It required a building blocks process. This is the beneficial outcome of a systematic approach to applied research that tests and refines the methodology and metrics to get them right, and is founded on the principle of collaboration that benefits everyone. With the perspective of hindsight, each local government took a leap of faith that EAP would fit into their strategic directions,” stated Kim Stephens.

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    LIVING WATER SMART IN BRITISH COLUMBIA: “Avoid the Pain, Be Deliberate, Fund the Plan: Waiting for municipal infrastructure to fail means that you are forced into one path. And this is probably the most expensive path. Do not wait until things go wrong,” stated Dan Horan, Director of Engineering & Public Works, District of Oak Bay


    “One of the biggest challenges is to create awareness and understanding of why communities need to take sustainable service delivery seriously. A key message is that the level of service to the community can be so much better when asset management is done properly. Another key message is that you do not have to tackle every challenge at once. 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 Dan Horan.

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    LIVING WATER SMART IN BRITISH COLUMBIA: “Cut through the rhetoric and recognize the importance of the stream in the landscape,” stated Tim Pringle, Chair of the Ecological Accounting Process initiative


    “The land supports assets that provide services. And decisions are made at the parcel scale. Thus, we are tied to the past through historical subdivision of land. This means we must understand the biology of land use. The human analogy is DNA. Only EAP, the Ecological Accounting Process, deals with the parcel. Decisions by elected Councils and Boards are made at the parcel scale. Thus, getting it right about financial valuation of ecological services starts at the parcel scale and recognizing that every parcel is interconnected within a system. EAP bridges a gap. The methodology and metrics recognize the importance of the stream in the landscape,” stated Tim Pringle.

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    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.

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    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.”

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    MOTHER NATURE IS TICKED OFF: “Fires. Floods. Mudslides. Rivers and reservoirs drying up. Record heat. Rising shorelines. Glacial melting. The Earth is in peril,” stated Michele Norris, Washington Post columnist (July 2021)


    “Mother Nature has had it with her brood. If you can’t see that, you haven’t been paying attention. The defining struggle of our time, and our future, will be the tension between Mother Nature and human nature. So, more of us need to think differently about who and what we are dealing with here. That seems to have finally begun. In a season of catastrophic, deadly and too-common extreme weather events, there are signs that even people who were hesitant to embrace the science behind climate change are waking up to the threat,” stated Michele Norris.

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    LIVING WATER SMART IN BRITISH COLUMBIA: “There is a context that allowed Mike Wall to see an opportunity and take it on. The right questions were asked. The right professionals were on board. This combination led to self-evident success. The takeaway message is to understand your role, understand what is possible, and then find the opportunities,” stated Gracelyn Shannon, asset management professional (June 2021)


    “Michael Wall is the Manager of Strategic Initiatives and Asset Management at qathet Regional District. On one of Michael’s projects in 2020, the team was presented with an $850,000 engineered solution to manage runoff at the landfill closure site. Michael and his team questioned the proposed engineered solution and wondered if there may be a way to better use the surrounding forest instead. Michael and a small army of local professionals were able to develop a natural asset solution to manage the landfill runoff. The new green infrastructure plan saved $700,000 of taxpayer money and 0.5 hectares of second growth forest,” stated Gracelyn Shannon.

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