sustainable service delivery

    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: “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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    FINANCIAL VALUATION OF ECOLOGICAL SERVICES AND WORTH: “As a result of alterations to the hydrology of the creekshed, the Shelly Creek ‘riparian ecosystem’ has been reduced to a number of ‘riparian zones’ as defined in regulations. We view this finding as one of the key takeaways from the Shelly Creek demonstration application of the Ecological Accounting Process,” stated Tim Chair, EAP Chair

    “The Ecological Accounting Process (EAP) considers use and conservation of land to be equally important values. Historically, land use and property development in our communities have been given priority over ecological systems such as streams. Too often the result has been remnant ecological services that fall far short of the benefits that these natural commons can provide. The research findings suggest that the diminution of stream functions gradually will draw the attention of property owners and the community to the ‘no harm’ rule in land appraisal.,” stated Tim Pringle.

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    FLASHBACK TO 2011: “Water sustainability is the lens to focus attention on how we can manage the built environment more sustainably. We will be successful when settlement change is in balance with ecology,” stated Kim Stephens at the FCM Sustainable Communities Conference held in Victoria, BC

    Eight innovators from across Canada shared their breakthrough examples of municipal sustainability in a range of sectors. The format was interactive, which allowed participants to share and learn from each other. “Kim Stephens provided a water perspective, with an emphasis on designing with nature. His takeaway message was that water sustainability will be achieved through green infrastructure policies and practices. There was a great deal of excitement and energy in the room and delegates were very engaged during the roundtable discussion,” stated Azzah Jeena.

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