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FLASHBACK TO 2009: Looking Back, the Future is Now – Yesterday’s Policies and Expectations for Green Communities have been Evolving into Today’s Standards and Practices


Provincial programs provide direction as to where the Province wants to go with Living Water Smart and the Green Communities Initiative. “At the end of the day, planners and engineers and other disciplines must come together to determine the issues and solutions. No statute will help them do that. Living Water Smart is about motivating and inspiring everyone to embrace shared responsibility," stated Lynn Kriwoken.

“The Partnership for Water Sustainability in British Columbia is the keeper of the GIP legacy,” observes Paul Ham, a Past-Chair of the Green Infrastructure Partnership


“I see my years of chairing the Green Infrastructure Partnership as helping to get the ball rolling and ideas disseminated, on green infrastructure, all of which has subsequently been taken up by others to a much greater degree of implementation and success. Our efforts a decade ago moved the state of-the-art of green infrastructure to a more mainstream level," said Paul Ham.

Moving Towards Sustainable Service Delivery in British Columbia: “Build awareness first, then implement,” emphasized Glen Brown at inter-regional collaboration session


"We cannot move forward with Asset Management without consideration of the environment, and therefore the watershed. Sustainable Service Delivery builds on the principles of Asset Management. It is going to be a component, and a requirement, under the next Gas Tax Grant Program. This is where we will find traction in moving Sustainable Service Delivery forward," stated Glen Brown.

Watershed Health, Resilient Rainwater Management, and Sustainable Service Delivery: How they are Connected

“The initiative is designed to help local government champions integrate natural systems thinking and adaptation to a changing climate into asset management. A desired outcome is healthy streams and watersheds. So, implement ‘Design With Nature’ standards of practice for development and infrastructure servicing. Protect and restore stream corridors and fish habitat," stated Peter Law.

Renewed Gas Tax Agreement drives “Sustainable Service Delivery” in BC

“A province-wide, made in BC, asset management strategy that goes beyond the requirements of the Gas Tax Asset Management Framework, is beneficial for all local governments, as well as other organizations. The BC Framework released in December 2014 provides a high level overview of what is needed to develop, implement and maintain strong asset management practices for local governments,” states Liam Edwards.

NEW REQUIREMENT FOR GRANTS: “Asset Management for Sustainable Service Delivery: A BC Framework”

“The focus on desired outcomes allows local governments to develop and implement an approach that can be both incremental and measured, tailored to the individual needs and capacity of each local government,” states Wally Wells. “The BC Framework recognizes that asset management, and the best practices that support asset management, is scalable to community size and capacity. The BC Framework also recognizes there are many components within the asset management process."

Municipal and Regional Tools and Requirements for Protecting Wetlands in British Columbia

The BC Wildlife Federation, an active member of the Wetlands Stewardship Partnership, has brought together a team of well-known experts to share their knowledge and experience. “Local governments have extensive authority to keep wetlands wet and functioning as integral parts of regional ecosystems. Through land use and regulatory power local governments can protect, restore and enhance wetland health as a key piece of the green infrastructure map,” states Deborah Curran.

Creating the Future in The Corporation of Delta: Rain Gardens Help Restore Nature

“The program came about through a fortunate confluence of personalities, interests and skills – it is not something that a community can necessarily just decide to do, and presto, it happens. Remove any one of the individuals or organizations who played roles in the process, and North Delta’s school and community rain gardens either would not have happened at all, or would have been much less successful," stated Deborah Jones.

Philadelphia’s grant program provides incentive for capturing rain where it falls, reports Howard Neukrug

The City has an ambitious goal to convert 9,500 impervious acres to “green cities” that capture and manage the first one inch of rainwater runoff. “This grant program is a win–win for the water department and for our business customers. By working with customers who can manage stormwater from many acres of hard surfaces, we can transform pockets of our combined sewer areas into green acres in a cost-effective way," stated Howard Neukrug.

Business Case for Permeable Pavement in Cold Climates: “Insurance doesn’t cover overland flooding,” says University of Toronto Professor Jennifer Drake

"Our drainage infrastructure is undersized to provide the desired level of safety for our communities. Insurance doesn't cover overland flooding which means homeowners cannot get coverage, " said Jennifer Drake. Her comments were a lead into an overview of the function and benefits of permeable interlocking concrete pavement. Benefits include a reduction in the volume of rainwater which has to be handled by infrastructure systems.

“In the City of Surrey, an absorbent landscape that slows, sinks and spreads rainwater is becoming a requirement for new development,” states David Hislop, Upland Drainage Engineer

“Soil depth is a primary water management tool for use by local government to adapt to a changing climate. A well-designed landscape with healthy topsoil helps communities through both wet and dry times. Soil is a sponge. It holds and slowly releases rainwater. This can limit runoff during rainy weather; and reduce irrigation water need during dry weather. In the City of Surrey, we specify a minimum soil depth of 300 mm," states David Hislop.

Sustainable Community Design: A New Approach to Rainwater Management (an article published by Innovation Magazine in 2004)

“Many agencies now recognize this commonsense approach to rainwater management as having triggered one of the most significant advances in urban hydrology in a generation. This was a deciding factor in the decision by the Real Estate Foundation to fund initial development of the Water Balance Model, and then to fund the Outreach and Continuing Education Program that supports the model," wrote Tim Pringle in 2003.