Five Regional Districts representing 75% of BC’s population are partners in the Georgia Basin Inter-Regional Educational Initiative (IREI). A program deliverable is the Beyond the Guidebook 2015. It is a progress report on how local governments are ‘learning by doing’ to implement affordable and effective science-based practices. It is the third in a series that builds on Stormwater Planning: A Guidebook for British Columbia.
"Convening for Action is a provincial initiative that supports innovation on-the-ground. From the perspective of those leading and/or participating in regional programs, having this community-of-interest provides the opportunity to 'tell our story' and 'record our history' as a work-in-progress," states Ray Fung.
In his 1969 book, Design With Nature, Ian McHarg pioneered the concept of environmental planning. "So, I commend Design with Nature to your sympathetic consideration. The title contains a gradient of meaning. It can be interpreted as simply descriptive of a planning method, deferential to places and peoples, it can invoke the Grand Design, it can emphasize the conjunction with and, finally it can be read as an imperative. DESIGN WITH NATURE!," wrote Ian McHarg.
“Water-centric thinking, planning and doing have become more than a vision. They are a reality on Vancouver Island and elsewhere in BC. CAVI was a driver in this accomplishment and demonstrated what can be done through partnerships and collaboration. Now, our challenge is to get the right cornerstone firmly set in the right place for the next levels of the initiative," stated Derek Richmond.
The purpose of the British Columbia Institute of Technology in organizing the 2016 guest lecture series was to prepare graduating engineers for entry into the working world. "The presentation by Kim Stephens gave insight into how thinking has evolved regarding stormwater management in our region and elsewhere. His discussion of Voodoo Hydrology reinforced the importance of questioning everything, a habit I try to encourage in my students," stated Laith Furatian.
The Regional District of Nanaimo (RDN) is recognized for the leadership that its Drinking Water & Watershed Program is providing. Success is helping to foster a new ‘land ethic’ among land and water practitioners in the region. Bill Veenhof (photo), RDN Chair, thanked the Partnership for Water Sustainability for recognizing the work of RDN staff and providing the RDN Board with an appreciation of how the RDN program is cross-pollinating with programs in other regions.
Surrey's Fergus Creek Watershed Plan is the pilot for Beyond the Guidebook. The plan is based entirely on implementing ‘green solutions’ as an alternative to conventional engineered ‘blue solutions’. "The Fergus plan demonstrates how to protect stream health in the urban environment”, noted David Hislop. “In addition to rainwater capture on individual lots, the strategy for replicating natural infiltration processes includes creation of contiguous large-scale green corridors through the watershed."
The event attracted attracted media attention, resulting in front-page headline stories in both of BC’s major daily newspapers. This led to further radio and TV coverage when the 2015 drought was voted BC’s top news story of the year in an online poll. "The Watermark spring theme focuses on risk and resilience, and we thought it would be a great opportunity to summarize the feast and famine workshop," stated BCWWA's Edel Burke.
“Everyone is doing something different. But it all fits together into an overall picture. It is how they share and learn from each other – because the objective is to ensure that we are all moving in the right direction. And so, in terms of the outcome of this collaboration, it really is about how to align regional and local actions with the provincial policy, program and regulatory framework. Our focus is on what we call hydrologic integrity," stated Kim Stephens.
“There are a lot of times when we in local government like to blame or put on senior governments the responsibility to provide the framework for doing something…but there are things that we in local government can do. We need to choose to be enabled,” stated Ray Fung. “So, what we mean by shared responsibility is that everyone has a role, and everyone can act…. all levels of government, developers, regulators, bureaucrats, consultants, planners, engineers.”
"The intention is to learn with and from each other about what we can do to advance community-based efforts in creating a conservation culture in BC and achieving an environmentally sustainable future," stated Pia Nagpal. "To achieve an environmentally-sustainable future with adequately functioning natural systems will require the involvement and commitment of all citizens.”
"We are using the slogan The New Business As Usual to convey the message that, for change to really occur, practices that until now have been viewed as the exception must become the norm moving forward. We have to build regulatory models and develop models of practice and expertise,” stated Dale Wall, Deputy Minister. “The shared vision is to move toward water sustainability by implementing green infrastructure policies and practices. This is a multi-year commitment by the funding agencies.”
“The Stormwater Planning Guidebook recognized that water volume is something over which local government has control through its infrastructure policies, practices and standards. 'Beyond the Guidebook' builds on this foundation by advancing a runoff-based approach and tool – the ‘Water Balance Model powered by QUALHYMO’– to help local governments achieve desired urban stream health and environmental protection outcomes at a watershed scale," stated Ted van der Gulik.