2013 Technical Session 18 - Law and Policy

Tuesday, April 23, 1:55 - 5:00 pm, Vaseaux Room


Moderator: David Main, AECOM

 

18.1 Effective Water Governance: Exploring Actor Influence Using Social Network Analysis – The Case of the Okanagan Catchment, Canada

18.2 Water Integrity: Say What You're Going to Do, Then Doing It. Case Studies on Water Policy.

18.3 The Federal Wastewater Systems Effluent Regulations: A Wastewater Engineer’s Perspective

18.4 Columbia Shuswap Regional District’s Water System Acquisition Strategy: Success or Failure?

18.5 Roundtable Discussion


Law and Policy | 1:55 pm - 2:25 pm
18.1 Effective Water Governance: Exploring Actor Influence Using Social Network Analysis – The Case of the Okanagan Catchment, Canada
Presenter: Nelson Jatel, CLGM, B.Sc., MA (candidate), Okanagan Basin Water Board, Kelowna, BC



The lack of effective governance is at the origin of many water management problems throughout the world - and British Columbia, Canada is no exception. This presentation will explore some preliminary findings from my current research on applying social network analysis to ‘map’ the influence of people and resources (i.e. funding, human capacity, etc.) within the nuanced and context-based network of water governance decision-making. Water governance in the Province of British Columbia, Canada is often perceived as a black box of decision-making processes, actors and institutions. Water governance scholars emphasize that "identifying actors, clarifying their roles, determining how they will be engaged and ensuring that they have adequate capacity to participate effectively are necessary first steps in water governance processes" (de Loe et al. 2009). In this presentation I explore our understanding of who makes decisions and how the network of actors influences the process of water governance? This research explores the influence of power structures and the process of reaching agreement between and among distributed multi-level actors - formal and informal - and the perceived role these relationships have to influence effective governance. Moving away from the traditional metaphor where governance systems apply a framework that assumes a watershed is a technical, mechanistic and controllable system (Pahl-Wostl 2002b) is relevant in the context of making wise water management decisions. It is in developing a new metaphor that we may support a better understanding of effective water governance that acknowledges the dynamic ecosystem, the interaction between networks of social actors within a multi-level distributed framework, and formal and informal decision making process. My research explores both the formal and informal social rules and norms. As identified by water governance scholars such as Pahl-Wostl, informal social rules and norms may be equally or even more important than the analysis of regulatory frameworks. The characteristics of water governance include a range of state-driven as well as collaborative tools that supports "emerging narratives associated with governance of the commons in a multi-level world where resilience, transformation, learning and adaptation are encouraged" (Armitage 2008). This presentation will present some of the preliminary research focuses on the relationship between actors and their perceived influence within the decision-making context of water governance.

Presentation PDF
 


Law and Policy | 2:30 pm - 3:00 pm
18.2 Water Integrity: Say What You're Going to Do, Then Doing It. Case Studies on Water Policy.
Presenter: Ehren Lee, P.Eng, Principal, Urban Systems, Vancouver, BC
Additional Contributors: Steve Brubacher, P.Eng, Principal, Urban Systems



Water policy that achieves results is on the upswing. Consider this: isn’t it an impressive moment when a community stands up and clearly states what level of service will be provided to its residents and business? Isn’t it equally impressive when local residents and businesses understand their role in achieving that vision for water and they work together under a unified direction? Effective policy is the written promise for water sustainability at the local level. It’s where support for capital budgets are achieved, it’s where funding levels are set and it’s where politicians and the public evaluate the effectiveness of service delivery. So it’s important to get policy right. This talk is a series of local government case studies on the application of policy and the surprises, challenges, learned lessons, and easy wins that resulted from effective water policy.

Presentation PDF
 


Law and Policy | 3:05 pm - 3:35 pm
18.3 The Federal Wastewater Systems Effluent Regulations: A Wastewater Engineer’s Perspective
Presenter: Wayne Wong, M.A.Sc., P.Eng., Kerr Wood Leidal Associates Ltd., Burnaby, BC



As our global population continues to grow rapidly and our collective ecological footprint places an increasing burden on our planet, we face a challenge like none other in our history to protect our environment. The need for environmental protection is not a new concept in the global community, and Canadians take on a significant leadership role in protecting the environment. However, in the face of challenges to the global economy, finding the necessary resources to take action is limited at best. In Canada, our economy has held up well during the recent global economic crises, but we still need to find the right balance to address our social, economic and environmental responsibilities. The implementation of the new Federal Wastewater Systems Effluent Regulations (WSER), and the eventual harmonization of the provincial Municipal Wastewater Regulations (MWR) in BC is an exciting development with good intentions, but some of the first questions that need to be asked include: “What does it mean for local communities?”, “Where is the funding to make this happen?”, and “What are the consequences of non-compliance?” Although there are challenges to communities needing to upgrade wastewater treatment systems to meet the new regulatory requirements, there are also a number of opportunities that may help alleviate costs such as recovering resources from wastewater.

Presentation PDF
 


Law and Policy | 3:55 pm - 4:25 pm
18.4 Columbia Shuswap Regional District’s Water System Acquisition Strategy: Success or Failure?
Presenter: Gary Holte, Columbia Shuswap Regional District, Salmon Arm, BC
Co-presenter: Terry Langlois, Water Services Coordinator, Columbia Shuswap Regional District



Like many other regional districts around the Province, the Columbia Shuswap Regional District (CSRD) has faced a serious issue with failing water systems. While some water systems have been well managed and operated, many have sub-standard infrastructure, inadequate finances and poor governance structures. In 2009, the CSRD adopted a Water System Acquisition Strategy to deal with these problems.  The Strategy guides decisions related to water system acquisition, assessment and operations. By adopting the Strategy, the CSRD has taken a lead role in providing water services in its rural areas. This presentation will build on previous presentations given on the Strategy by providing an update on how it has been working. Now that it has been four years since the Strategy was adopted, are the policies proving to be as good in practice as they are in theory? Learn about how the Strategy has affected the CSRD's ability to secure infrastructure funding, build capital replacement reserves and, most importantly, provide safe and reliable drinking water to its residents. These on-the-ground examples prove that policy does have an impact - but you be the judge, has the CSRD's Water System Acquisition Strategy been a success or failure?

Presentation PDF


Law and Policy | 1:55 pm - 2:25 pm
18.5 Roundtable Discussion
Speakers: Nelson Jatel, Ehren Lee, Gary Holte



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