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Partnership for Water Sustainability in BC

The Partnership publishes weekly e-Newsletters. These feature champions who are leading changes in practice. Stories are replicated on our Blog for ease of access.

Latest Posts

Growing the Living Water Smart Network in British Columbia through Collaborative Leadership


“From the outset, we had vowed never to fall into the trap of concentrating our energies on building an organization and thus losing sight of ‘the mission’. This view of the world reflected our history as a roundtable. Are there other precedents for our approach, we wondered? Or are we unique? we decided it was time to research the social science literature to definitively answer whether anyone else tried to do what we have been doing for the past two decades under the ‘collaboration umbrella’ that is the Water Sustainability Action Plan ,” stated Kim Stephens.

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CONTEXT FOR AGRICULTURE WATER DEMAND MODEL: Water Allocation, Irrigation, and Food Security in British Columbia


“Irrigation for agriculture is a dominant use of water in British Columbia, the need is seasonal, and use peaks when water supply is at its lowest. With longer and drier summers being the new reality for water management, the Agriculture Water Demand Model is a game-changer for achieving food security in British Columbia. We have downscaled climate data to a 500-metre grid across the province. This means we can reliably estimate the total water need for agricultural irrigation. This further means that the Province can align water allocation and water use. This is a powerful outcome,” stated Ted van der Gulik.

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Know Your History and Context to Offset Generational Amnesia


To know where you are going, you need to know where you have come from. Otherwise, as Daniel Pauly observed in 1995 when he published a short but influential paper about the “Shifting Baselines Syndrome”, baselines shift when successive generations of practitioners do not have an image in their minds of the recent past. Know your history. Know your context. These are keys to overcoming generational and organizational amnesia.

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ADAPTING ASSET MANAGEMENT TO CLIMATE REALITIES: “Climate change impacts are risks which can be addressed by aligning asset lifecycles to performance or change thresholds which consider how levels-of-service are likely to deteriorate in response to climate changes impacts,” stated Robert Hicks, Senior Policy and Process Engineer, City of Vancouver


“If we look at the variability in climate change impact scenarios that may occur within many asset lifecycles, we may get distracted by the uncertainty and statistical variance of the magnitude among the anticipated changes for key parameters that inform levels-of-service. Another way to consider this variance and uncertainty is to not look at the variation of key parameters for a given future year, but rather consider the time-range that a key performance threshold might be reached,” stated Robert Hicks.

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EAP, THE ECOLOGICAL ACCOUNTING PROCESS, IS GAME-CHANGING: Financial Case for Bowker Creek Daylighting in British Columbia’s Capital Region


“Decision-making is the key. In the City of Victoria, we are creating new ways of making decisions about what we do with our assets, whether they be natural or hard. Embracing EAP would introduce a structured asset planning approach. It provides metrics for integrating natural assets into the municipal infrastructure inventory and place them on an equal footing with constructed/engineered assets. This provides a starting point for a balanced conversation about the services,” stated Trina Buhler.

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EAP, THE ECOLOGICAL ACCOUNTING PROCESS, IS GAME-CHANGING: “With all the talk about integrating natural assets into asset management, the players forget that nature is a system. They focus too much on specific aspects of the system, rather than its interrelated functions,” stated Tim Pringle, EAP Chair


“The EAP methodology focuses on the historical and current land use practices that have changed landscapes, modified hydrology, and have led to present-day community perceptions of the worth of the stream or creekshed and the ecological services it provides. A whole-system understanding is the starting point for developing meaningful metrics. Managing the built and natural environments as interconnected systems is a guiding principle,” stated Tim Pringle.

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Water Reconciliation and Blue Ecology Virtual Seminar: Creating a Climate for Change


“Blue Ecology is meant to be a companion because it augments existing Western science hydrology rather than displacing this knowledge. Collaborators identify packets of knowledge that would benefit from the interweaving process. My question for the Western science world is this: Are you prepared and willing to change your definition of water in science? This is what reconciliation really gets down to when we are talking about interweaving Indigenous knowledge and Western science,” stated Michael Blackstock.

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A CALL FOR ACTION BY THE GOVERNMENT OF BRITISH COLUMBIA: Groundwater licensing crisis has far-reaching ramifications for BC economy


“With this year’s economic losses and social trauma of raging forest fires throughout the province, climate change has certainly become a top-of-mind issue for many British Columbians. The Partnership believes that $30 million for each of the next 10 years dedicated to achieving the objectives of the Water Sustainability Act is key to building provincial resilience in the face of climate change impacts already upon us and – with certainty – to increase in the future,” stated Ted van der Gulik.

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A Beacon of Inspiration: Bowker Creek 100-Year Action Plan


“You never quite know what is going to create a moment for someone that will shift their understanding forever. But we must do our best to make sure that we are presenting the opportunities for those moments to be created. I came to see celebration of the 10th anniversary as an opportunity for the City of Victoria to recommit to the Blueprint plus bring awareness of it to the forefront of people’s understanding of the city that they live in, and the difference that their actions can have on the watershed,” stated City of Victoria Councillor Jeremy Loveday.

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Lack of Groundwater Licensing is a Crisis in the Making – What will it to take to motivate businesses, farmers, and others to apply in their own self interest?


“Since the government made a ‘once in a century’ change to the water law, government needs to ensure that they communicate ALL of the ongoing financial risks to historical businesses and the potential devaluation of their properties, if they miss the deadline. I believe that it is very important to be crystal clear about the impacts of the end of the transition period given how the law is written,” stated Donna Forsyth, retired civil servant. She led the team that developed the new water law under the Water Sustainability Act.

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