“A Water Conservation Plan is a mandatory document in order to apply for an infrastructure grant. The Ministry requires that local governments include both an assessment of what their successes have been, and a look ahead as to where their plans are going next,” stated Brian Bedford, Executive Director, Ministry of Municipal Affairs & Housing

Note to Reader:

The edition of Waterbucket eNews published on June 8, 2021 focused on targeting seasonal outdoor water use. This represents the best opportunity to achieve “water use in balance with a changing water cycle”. The spotlight was on the Partnership for Water Sustainability’s program to operationalize use of the BC Landscape Water Calculator, the newest tool in the Partnership toolbox. The Calculator is up and running in three regions: Okanagan, Vancouver Island and Fraser Valley.

Outdoor Water Use in Balance with a Changing Water Cycle

Warmer and wetter winters; longer and drier summers. When supply is at a minimum, demand is at a maximum. This is British Columbia’s new reality. Adapting means that we must view water differently. Our seasonal use of water for yard and garden irrigation must be in balance with a changing water cycle,” stated Kim Stephens, Waterbucket eNews Editor and Executive Director, Partnership for Water Sustainability in British Columbia.

“To support necessary changes in water resource and demand management practice, the Partnership and governments are collaborating to develop resources and implement science-based tools that build understanding and influence choices. One of these tools is the BC Landscape Water Calculator.”

Provincial Government Expectations Evolve into Contract Requirements for Grants

“A longstanding goal of the Ministry of the Municipal Affairs and Housing is to find a balance between supporting those local governments who are leaders, while over time raising the bar to encourage the rest,” stated Brian Bedford, Executive Director, Local Government Infrastructure & Finance, Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing.

“Going back 15 years to the mid-2000s, the Province recognized the need to encourage better water conservation by water users and water purveyors in BC. The question was – what policy levers were available to help make that change, and what would incentivize it? And so, the Ministry found an opportunity to align provincial grant programs with water conservation targets.”

“The Ministry defined the Water Conservation Condition as the contractual mechanism of choice.”

“With many Water Conservation Plans now being more than 5 years old, it is time for a refresh. And this is where the Ministry believes the new BC Landscape Water Calculator has a timely fit. The tool is an exciting new evolution. It would allow local governments to further support their Water Conservation Plans with the next piece of education for those who are actually turning on the taps at their homes.”

To Learn More:

To read the complete article, download a PDF copy of Living Water Smart in British Columbia: Operationalizing the BC Landscape Water Calculator