"Every author (who contributed an article to the October 2016 issue of Sitelines) has emphasized how intertwined the social and economic dimensions of our 'watershed assets' are with their ecological benefits. In his article, Kim Stephens draws parallels between made-in-BC solutions and those 'Down Under', noting cultural differences but the common need to adapt," explained Julie Schooling.
"Over time, the Stormwater Utility provides the City of Victoria with the capability to foster a watershed stewardship ethic and influence landowner actions on the ground for the common good. These outcomes can be achieved through education in combination with financial incentives. It is about connecting the dots," wrote Kim Stephens. "In the case of Victoria, the dream is a Water-Resilient Future. The City’s goal: use rain as a resource and mimic the function of natural systems."
"Work needs to be done today to ensure we see a secure water future. Benefits are long-term," wrote Kim Stephens. "Successful programs that are politically supported would ensure we restore the water balance and have sustainable watershed systems. This approach has the potential to re-set the ecological baseline along the east coast of Vancouver Island and in the Lower Mainland. Success would be abundant salmon in urban streams."
The Municipal Engineering Division invited Kim Stephens to make a presentation on Sustainable Watershed Systems at the 2016 APEGBC Annual Conference. "We then invited Kim Stephens to write an article for Innovation magazine that would help spread word about his presentation, as well as provide a sneak peek for conference attendees," states Monique Kieran. "The article serves as a proceedings article for the conference presentation.”
"A key message in the Primer is the necessity of 'staying true to the science' IF communities are to achieve a vision for sustainable watershed systems," wrote Kim Stephens. "Achieving sustainable watershed systems through asset management will require long-term commitment by communities, successive municipal councils and regional boards, and generations of land and water professionals."
"The Ecological Accounting Protocol (EAP) is an economic tool to make real the notion of 'watersheds as infrastructure assets'. EAP would support four related analytical approaches to capital expenditure and life cycle costs represented in infrastructure (drainage) services drawn from natural assets. These are Substitution, Cost Avoidance, Environmental (watershed health) Benefits, and Attributed Values," wrote Tim Pringle.
“An interface is needed to translate the complex products of science into achievable goals and implementable solution for practical resource management. This interface is what we now call a science-based understanding," stated Peter Law. "Understanding how land development impacts watershed hydrology and the functions of aquatic ecosystems provides a solid basis for making decisions to guide action where and when it is most needed.”
In the 1990s, Bill Derry (photo left), the founding chair of the Washington State stormwater managers committee, and Kim Stephens led a workshop program for B.C. municipalities and provided cross-border sharing of stormwater research. They created what became known as the “fish pictures.” These graphics translated science and served as educational tools to create a common understanding, and informed decision-making.
Restoring watershed function will require a long-term commitment by the community at large, successive Municipal Councils and Regional Boards, and generations of land AND water professionals. "The challenge is ‘integration’ and getting every discipline to recognize each others’ contribution plus get the organization working together on a common path. The other challenge is communicating and understanding the message," wrote Wally Wells.
“In this special issue on a Water Balance approach to community development we explain that the natural pathways by which rainfall reaches streams are nature’s 'infrastructure assets'. They provide Water Balance Services that blend with services provided by engineered assets (infrastructure). We start out at a high level, present tools developed by the Partnership for Water Sustainability in BC, and conclude with a watershed focus," wrote Kim Stephens.
A scenario comparison tool to assess green infrastructure effectiveness, achieve a lighter 'water footprint' and protect stream health. Learn More
The Water Conservation Calculator illustrates how specific water conservation measures can yield both fiscal and physical water savings for communities. Learn More
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This Agricultural Irrigation Scheduling Calculator uses real-time daily evapotranspiration (ET) rates determined from climate stations located within British Columbia. Learn More
The BC Agriculture Water Calculator enables water licensing for all irrigation purposes, whether agricultural or landscape. All non-domestic users of groundwater in BC are required to obtain a licence. Learn More