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Glen Brown

    LIVING WATER SMART IN BRITISH COLUMBIA: “Different local governments will always be at different points and different levels of maturity along the asset management continuum. This is why we focus on outcomes and do not prescribe what to do in BC,” stated Glen Brown, Asset Management BC Chair, in 2015 when he unveiled the branding image that conceptualizes what the journey by a local government would look like to achieve Sustainable Service Delivery for Watershed Systems


    “We framed the Asset Management Continuum as a series of three steps, recognizing that most local governments were at Ground Zero in 2015. Our operative phrase was ‘as understanding grows’. We saw this as the key consideration for local governments progressing along the continuum. Although it might be possible, we believed it unrealistic to expect anyone to jump directly to Step Three and integrate natural systems into their asset management strategies. We needed a way to illustrate this diagrammatically. This led us to the concept of a continuum,” stated Glen Brown.

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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: “Our key message is: Get it right at the front-end for long-term sustainability. All those involved in land development have a role to play in achieving Sustainable Service Delivery,” stated Judy Walker, Village of Cumberland, when she provided context for the Comox Valley regional response to the infrastructure funding gap at the 2011 State of Vancouver Island Economic Summit


    The initial capital cost of municipal infrastructure is about 20% of the life-cycle cost; the other 80% largely represents a future unfunded liability. “The change in approach starts with land use planning and determining what infrastructure and services can be provided sustainably, both fiscally and ecologically. Sustainable Service Delivery means integrate land use planning and infrastructure asset management. Our goal in sharing Comox Valley experience was that other local governments would be inspired to apply what they have learned from us to their own situations,’ stated Judy Walker.

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    LIVING WATER SMART IN BRITISH COLUMBIA: “A good idea is immediate, but preparation for implementation can take 5 to 10 years. Change will then take place quickly. It has taken patience and consistent messaging over the past decade to incrementally build consensus, facilitate a culture change, and start implementing a new way of doing business,” stated Glen Brown when announced release of Beyond the Guidebook 2010 at the UBCM Annual Convention, at a study session for elected representatives


    “In 2005, we said this would be a different kind of guidebook. We said that the Guidebook would be the ‘telling of the stories’ of how change is being implemented on-the-ground in BC. Before the chapters could be written, however, the regional case studies had to run their course. Five years later, Beyond the Guidebook 2010 is the story of how we got to here and where we are going next. If one goes back 10 years, there was a void of policy and legislation. This led us down an educational path as the logical alternative. We took the Stormwater Planning Guidebook, which is a document released in 2002, and we moved it to implementation,” stated Glen Brown.

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