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Kim Stephens

    ASSET MANAGEMENT IS AN AWKWARD TERM AND CONFUSES EVERYONE: “We have managed assets for decades and understand what that is and what we are doing. Suddenly we took two very simple words, reversed them, and went from managing assets to asset management. The result? We confused everyone,” stated Wally Wells, Executive Director of Asset Management BC


    “An issue we have in communicating our message often seems to relate to the use and interpretation or misinterpretation of words or phrases. Too often we use technical terms within our own skill sets, not appreciating that others may not know what we are really saying. Asset Management, itself, is an intimidating term. The process of asset management or ‘managing assets’, is not new. The process, as defined today, just leads to better decisions across the entire organization for priority setting with limited budgets. However, we have succeeded in confusing everyone,” stated Wally Wells.

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    CARING ABOUT TOMORROW: “Touching the past can connect us to the future,” says Jamil Zaki, professor of psychology at Stanford University


    “Empathy is built on self-preservation. We watch out for our children because they carry our genes, for our tribe because it offers sex, safety and sustenance. Spreading our care across space and time runs counter to those ancient instincts. Empathy evolved as one of humans’ vital survival skills. It is only through our foray into the modern world that we have lost touch with our evolutionary empathy. Deeply empathic people tend to be environmentally responsible,” stated Jamil Zaki.

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    STRENGTHENING THE FOUNDATION FOR WATER LAW IN BRITISH COLUMBIA: Once-in-a-decade opportunity for water sustainability in BC


    “In a nutshell, ‘vesting’ is the legal concept that has historically been used to establish the government’s authority to write the laws that govern water use in BC. This means that any use of water that is unvested remains outside of those provincial laws. Vesting all water does not mean the use of every drop will or needs to be regulated. That concern is a red herring. The real issue centres on what government cannot do when the water use involves unvested water,” stated Mike Wei.

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    What might a Water Sustainability Act 2.0 look like?


    “During development of the Water Sustainability Act, the stars appeared to be aligning and everything was pointing to water becoming a real priority for the government. That was our frame of reference in 2014. We believed that the initial version of the WSA would not be government’s only kick at the can. Given that water is now being recognized as such a big priority, we could say to ourselves: ‘we will be back for WSA 2.0 to deal with the things that we had to leave behind’,” stated Donna Forsyth.

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    ARE STREAMS WORTH THE SAME AS CONSTRUCTED ASSETS? – Local governments need real numbers to deliver green infrastructure outcomes!


    “The message about ‘getting it right’ is a good summary of the green infrastructure goal of EAP, the Ecological Accounting Process. But it goes far beyond that thought. Not only do local governments have to make the financial case for stream restoration, they also actually now have to do it! But, the Partnership team wondered, what is the look ahead for readers of Construction Business magazine? The editorial challenge was to make a bridge from the regular construction world to the Partnership’s watershed world. An invitation to the reader of the article became a desired goal,” stated Ray Fung.

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    NANAIMO REGION’S DRINKING WATER & WATERSHED PROTECTION PROGRAM: Strong, Informed, Enduring Political Leadership is a Foundation Piece for Living Water Smart


    “The Regional Board provided the Province with feedback on exactly what municipalities and regional districts need so that we can take on more initiative and responsibility around watershed-scale decisions. This is a time for regional districts and stakeholders to speak up to ensure that what goes in the Watershed Security Strategy and Fund is adequate to meet the needs that we have been calling for. Fundamentally it comes down to resourcing. Funding will enable all the outcomes that the Province is hoping to achieve,” stated Ben Geselbracht.

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    BC’s Watershed Security Strategy & Fund


    “Without effective provincial participation at local government tables, nobody has the authority to deliver a consistent, unified message about over-arching provincial goals and expectations. Consequently, the relevant analogy is a ‘wild west’ scenario. Without an effective provincial presence, there are consequences – for example, failure to close the gap between ;’state-of-the-practice’ and ‘state-of-the-art’ as it relates to water sustainability in an era when the water cycle is changing,” stated Kim Stephens.

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    POLICIES, DECISIONS, AND RAINFALL INDUCED FLOODING IN CITIES: “Communication is king. As urban decision making brings in more voices, and climate change becomes less of an abstract future but a present-day reality, it is imperative for policy to understand what the different perspectives are and how to weigh their importance,” stated Charles Axelsson, PhD, Ca’ Foscari University of Venice in the Science and Management of Climate Change (March 2022)


    “If flooding will occur in a neighborhood, what will happen if what homeowners want differs from what those in city hall believe is best? What if local environmental campaigners have a different vision to protect a nearby park or engineers see it as an opportunity to test a new adaptation methodology? Is there a way to unify these perspectives and streamline solutions? If not, who decides whose values are more important? Climate change will put increasing pressure on urban adaptation decision-making making these questions a part of daily life,” stated Charles Axelsson.

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    ROLE OF THE MUNICIPAL CHAMPION AS THE INTERPRETER: “With the turnover in municipal staff, I have become the municipal champion for Bowker Creek. I remind colleagues of the municipal policies and that the Blueprint is a Council-endorsed document,” stated Adriane Pollard, Manager of Environmental Services with the District of Saanich


    “Every time I review a development for environmental impacts, we identify that it is in the Bowker watershed, and we state what the Blueprint says about the subject reach. Also, whenever the municipality undertakes capital and maintenance projects, we make sure to refer to the Blueprint and state what it says. The good thing about this role is that the more that I do it, the more other people in the organization get the picture and say ’this is the document that we are going to use for this and that purpose’. And when it comes to interpreting the document, other staff come to me,” stated Adriane Pollard.

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    A call to action to design with nature and create liveable communities that also protect stream health: “If You Can Dream It – You Can Do It”


    “Today, what we as leaders do, will resound for the people of the future, their cities and their regions. In fact, for the world at large. One of the reasons that I ran for office in 1972, and why I served for 20 years as Mayor of Delta, and 7 years at Chair of Metro Vancouver was ‘to make a difference’. One of the first things I did when I became Mayor in 1999 was to introduce our community to caring about of our air, land and water. Many were opposed to this position. But we persevered and, as a result, I believe we have set a good example for stewardship,” stated Lois Jackson.

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