BC Water & Waste Association making headway on strategic plan


The British Columbia Water and Waste Association (BCWWA) says it’s on track to meet the outcomes of its three-year strategic plan, according to its recently released 2017 annual report.

The not-for-profit association, which represents more than 4,171 water professionals, has four planned outcomes it hopes to accomplish with its three-year strategic plan. The new report looks back at the second year of the plan, where the the first desired outcome remains that “water users, regulators and elected officials make informed decisions about water services.” The BCWWA says a critical part of achieving this outcome is to use campaigns to raise public awareness about the value of water to ensure public support for necessary regulation and policy.

“Looking back at the second year of our three-year strategic plan, our staff, board and volunteers have a lot to be proud of — thank you all for your dedication and hard work!” announced BCWWA CEO Carlie Hucul in the report.

Hucul added that the association exceeded its own expectation in terms of building financial and managerial capacity among small water system owners and operators. In 2017, the association covered nine workshops among 99 water systems.

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“When we set out in 2015 to build the capacity of small water systems and help them make informed decisions, who knew that by the end of 2017 we would have reached twice as many small systems as initially targeted and received additional funding to continue with this important work,” Hucul stated in the annual report.

The second desired outcome for BCWWA’s strategic plan is that “B.C. and the Yukon have a competent and sustainable water sector workforce.” Eight professional development options over the year were a key component for this outcome, states the report, which also notes the success of its annual conference and trade show in 2017, when some 1,300 people attended alongside some 174 exhibitors. In terms of training for operators, the association offered some 70 classes for more than 700 students in 2017.

“Over the past few years, the BCWWA has invested significant resources in revamping our Operator Education program and internal systems to better serve the water sector and our members. I am happy to report that in fiscal 2017, we are starting to see the benefit of these investments,” stated BCWWA President Chris Johnston in the annual report, adding that the investment led to a 2017 surplus.

The third intended outcome for the strategic plan is that “B.C. and the Yukon have an influential and cohesive network of water practitioners,” which primarily refers to affiliations with other water and wastewater associations.

Lastly, the fourth desired outcome for the association’s plan is that “leadership and innovation is fostered within the water community.” To achieve this outcome, the report touches on the association’s student design competition available to those considering a career in water or wastewater. Now in its fifth year, the latest iteration focused on finding a design solution for an issue affecting the Tsawout First Nation’s wastewater treatment plant. A team of six environmental engineering students from the University of British Columbia won the provincial competition in May.

The association also moved to a new address last month. Its new location is 247-4299 Canada Way, Burnaby, BC V5G 1H3.


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