MAGAZINE ARTICLE: Sustainable Service Delivery – Watersheds are infrastructure assets

“Implementation of asset management along with the associated evolution of local government thinking is a continuous quality improvement process, not a discrete task. This led us to the concept of a continuum. The relevance of this way of thinking is that different local governments will always be at different points and different levels of maturity along the asset management continuum," wrote Ray Fung (photo left) and Glen Brown in their Sitelines article.

ARTICLE: Hydrology Rules! – “Simply put, hydrology hits first and hardest,” explained Dr. Richard Horner about insights yielded by Washington State research in the 1990s

If we get the hydrology right, water quality typically takes care of itself in a residential development. “When the goal of land servicing practices is pre-settlement hydrology, this reduces the quantity of urban runoff discharged into a stream. It also improves the quality of the remainder of that which is discharged. In short, mimicking the natural water balance has a dual benefit,” emphasized Richard Horner.

ARTICLE: Watershed-systems Thinking Meets Asset Management

"The BC Framework sets strategic direction for asset management and its implementation in BC. It gives communities guidance to apply science-based methodologies and tools to plan for sustainability and resilience within their communities. Most critically, it encourages communities to think about what asset management entails at the land-use planning stage, when levels of service that can be provided sustainably—fiscally and ecologically—are determined," wrote Glen Brown.

Primer on Sustainable Watershed Systems: Partnership for Water Sustainability in British Columbia urges communities to integrate “water balance solutions” into land use decisions

“Stream health and what happens on the land are connected. In the early 1990’s, the ‘Coho Salmon crisis’ raised the alarm that changes in hydrology caused by land development were resulting in small stream salmon demise. The stewardship sector was the catalyst for restorative action in BC," stated Peter Law. "Today, community organizations partner with local governments to monitor and restore local watershed health."

British Columbia’s Water Licensing Calculator: Managing water as one resource

"All non-domestic users of groundwater must now obtain a licence to extract and use water from wells. This requirement applies to wells constructed both before and after the Water Sustainability Act came into effect. This means that 20,000 existing non-domestic wells must now apply for a licence. While the new legislation affects everyone, most of the 20,000 wells are in the agriculture sector," wrote Ted van der Gulik.

waterbucket.ca: Partnership for Water Sustainability in BC’s website showcases water-centric innovation and leadership

Communication is vital. Storytelling leads to understanding about why we need to do business differently; and this is promoting completion and a race to the top. “waterbucket.ca is providing reasons to have the conversation about ‘why change’. The resulting awareness of need will help us obtain the mandate to implement watershed-based land use planning," stated Marvin Kamenz, Town of Comox Municipal Planner, in 2009.

FLASHBACK TO A WATERSHED MOMENT: “Beyond the Guidebook 2007: Context for Rainwater Management and Green Infrastructure in British Columbia” – first in a series of provincial guidance documents initiated a science-based approach to stream health evaluation

“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.

Beyond the Guidebook 2010: Implementing a New Culture for Urban Watershed Protection and Restoration in British Columbia

Beyond the Guidebook 2010 describes how a ‘convening for action’ philosophy has taken root in British Columbia. “It is a great resource, well written. Down to earth, and in line with what the Water Sustainability Action Plan speaks about... The new business as usual, connecting the dots and giving useful tools and roadmaps for success. It is an easy read, and captivating with the stories, quotes and pictures,” states Kathy Bishop.

Flashback to 2009: Magazine article on “Rainwater Harvesting: A Way to Meet Targets for Living Water Smart in BC”

Living Water Smart comprises more than 40 actions and targets, including ones that focus on ways to save water and use the savings to meet growth in demand. New commercial buildings and/or land redevelopment to a higher density create opportunities to implement rainwater harvesting. An example is the Capital Region District (CRD) headquarters building in Victoria, reports Jody Watson.

“Clearly, the waterbucket.ca website is a ‘go-to’ resource for many,” observes Mike Tanner, Chair

“The website is designed to provide the complete story on integrated land and water management – why, what, where and how. Because we have such a strong following in the United States, we do make a special effort to include American stories. We cannot help but wonder about the extent to which the BC experience may be subtlety influencing thinking in the United States," states Mike Tanner.