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SPC News > Drinking water protection and economic diversification among top sustainability issues in rural BC – new research

Drinking water protection and economic diversification among top sustainability issues in rural BC – new research

by Jennifer Nichols, posted on 10:52 AM, December 19, 2012
Research Provides Local Governments with Tools and Recommendations for Successful Rural Sustainability Planning in BC

The Fraser Basin Council’s Smart Planning for Communities program has completed a research project investigating the application of integrated community sustainability planning (ICSP) by regional districts and small municipalities for rural areas of British Columbia.

The research identifies:

1) what makes a successful sustainability process for a rural area in BC;

2) what actions are suitable for a rural sustainability strategy; and

3) the rural areas’ relationship with urban and provincial sustainability goals.

The study, funded by the Pacific Institute for Climate Solutions (PICS), finds that communities in rural areas of the province consider protecting drinking water supplies (80%) and pursuing economic diversification (60%) as the most important aspects of a successful sustainability strategy. Over one hundred local government elected officials and staff, along with academics and consultants, participated in surveys and focus group sessions as part of this research.

The full report with the research results and a summary of tools and recommendations for successful ICSP process for rural BC can be downloaded from our Resources page:

For more information about the research paper:

Joan Chess, MCIP, RPP 
Sustainability Facilitator
Smart Planning for Communities, Fraser Basin Council
Phone:  250 612-0282

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About the Fraser Basin Council

The Fraser Basin Council (FBC) is a charitable non-profit organization that brings people together to advance sustainability in British Columbia.

Where We Work

We are grateful to live and work on the unceded ancestral territories of the Indigenous Nations of British Columbia.

Our Vision

Social well-being supported by a vibrant economy and sustained by a healthy environment.

Strategic Priorities

At the Fraser Basin Council, our strategic priorities are to take action on climate change, support healthy watersheds and water resources, and build sustainable and resilient communities.

With our partners, we work on a range of collaborative, multi-sector initiatives, such as those focused on flood management, community wildfire planning, air quality improvement, energy-efficient buildings, green transportation (including the uptake of electric vehicles and expansion of charging infrastructure), watershed planning and youth-driven climate action projects.

FBC Program Sites

Plug in BC:


ReTooling for Climate Change:

FBC Youth:

Climate Action Toolkit: 

Salmon-Safe BC

Realizing UNDRIP Initiative

Contact Us

FBC staff work from our Vancouver, Kamloops, Williams Lake and Prince George offices, and from several other locations.

To reach us, see FBC Offices and FBC Staff or contact our administration office:

Fraser Basin Council
1st Floor, 470 Granville Street
Vancouver, BC V6C 1V5

T: 604 488-5350