Thursday, October 20, 2011

7th Announcement: Peer-Based Learning Will Help Local Governments Implement ‘Watershed Blueprints’ in BC

Move to a Level-of-Service Approach to Sustainable Service Delivery
On November 9-10, an inter-governmental team is teaching, and the City of Surrey is hosting, the first 2-day course on HOW to develop a Watershed Blueprint to restore urban watershed function over time. Titled ISMP Course Correction: Achieve More with Less, the course is designed for planning, engineering, environmental, asset management and other practitioners who make decisions that ultimately impact on land use and/or infrastructure.  
The commitments by Metro Vancouver and member municipalities to develop ISMPs (Integrated Stormwater Management Plans) and implement on-site rainwater management are spelled out in Clauses 1.1.12, 1.1.20, 1.1.21, 3.4.7 and 3.5.9 of the region’s Integrated Liquid Waste & Resource Management Plan. 

When he approved the Metro Vancouver plan, Minister of Environment Terry Lake imposed additional requirements that link land use planning to the direction provided by the ISMPs. The Ministerial conditions also focus attention on how the degree, type and location of land development can affect the long-term health of the watershed.

ISMP COURSE CORRECTION: There is a direct link between infrastructure asset management and the future vision for a watershed that can be developed through the ISMP process.  It is possible to create a vision for a watershed that includes intact environmental values, healthy streams and a functional affordable infrastructure, states John McMahon, Manager of Roads and Utilities with the District of West Vancouver. He chairs the Metro Vancouver Stormwater Interagency Liaison Group (SILG); and is a member of the ISMP Course Correction Team that is providing peer-based learning.

“When municipalities look at managing infrastructure, life-cycle costs including future replacement are key items.  When developing an ISMP, the same concept of looking long term and identifying affordable solutions can also be used to evaluate potential options.  This Level-of-Service’ approach is becoming the integrator for everything that local governments do. What level of service does a community want, and what level can it afford?  These choices will eventually determine the level of effort expended in conjunction with restoring or protecting watershed functions over time.”

THE COURSE: Municipalities have many competing priorities and everyone is challenged to do more with less, and get it done. To help the region and members meet their ISMP regulatory commitments:
  1. The course spotlight is on HOW local governments can implement the ‘ISMP Course Correction’ and create ‘Watershed Blueprints’ that can then be implemented over many decades.
  2. The course comprises eight modules. The teaching team is drawn from local governments.
  3. The curriculum will guide land use, infrastructure and environmental professionals through the stages and steps in developing a balanced, truly integrated and financially sustainable plan to restore watershed function over time.

TO LEARN MORE: To access the ISMP Course Correction 'homepage' on the Water Bucket website and learn more about the program design, click here. 

News Release #2011-53
October 20, 2011

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