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Smaller Hydrologic Footprint

“A core message of restorative development is that we can decrease our destructive footprint while at the same time increasing our restorative footprint,” stated Storm Cunningham, author of The Restoration Economy & global thought leader


“During the last two decades of the twentieth century, we failed to notice a turning point of immense significance,” wrote Storm Cunningham. “New development – the development mode that has dominated the past three centuries – lost significant ‘market share’ to another mode:restorative development. How could we miss a story like that? The major driver of economic growth in the twenty-first century will be redeveloping our nations, revitalizing our cities, and rehabilitating and expanding our ecosystems.”

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“Sometimes the scale of change seems overwhelming. But little changes, carried out by a lot of people is a positive move in the right direction as we adapt to living on a changing world,” says Bob McDonald, host of Quirks & Quarks on CBC Radio, on commenting on a new report from the Intact Centre titled Too Small to Fail


“The biggest contributor to flooding is the fact that excess water from heavy storms has nowhere to go,” wrote Bob McDonald. “As our urban areas grow, we have covered what was once porous forest floor or plant-covered land with pavement, sidewalks, driveways and patios. One solution is to make the urban landscape more porous, so the water can sink into the ground rather than accumulate on the streets and in basements. It is a harsh reality that we need to adapt to a changing planet.”

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FLASHBACK TO 2010 FROM RAIN TO RESOURCE WORKSHOP: “The Water Balance Model is a response to the need to quickly test alternative green infrastructure techniques prior to implementation,” stated Jim Dumont


“The WBM allows the user to quickly establish the existing, or the predevelopment, base line that will become the standard used to measure the performance of future development scenarios during the planning and design of a project. This allows the user to test various methods to establish the easiest and best ways to achieve the most desirable vision of the future for the Site, the Development, or the Watershed,” stated Jim Dumont.

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FLASHBACK TO 2006: “The Design with Nature Game Show gets workshop participants thinking about real things, on the ground, so that they can begin to see how use of the Water Balance Model will help them,” explained Richard Boase


The Design with Nature Game Show was one of the features of the training workshop hosted by UBC-Okanagan University.“It is fascinating to see how excited and ‘into it’ people get after a few minutes. The irony is that the grand prize is one hour of personal tutoring by me by phone. Just imagine what they would be like if there was a real prize! It just goes to show how important it is to make a computer modeling workshop fun. If people have fun, they will get more out of the day and perhaps some of the philosophical stuff will actually stick,” stated Richard Boase.

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Green Infrastructure & A Tale of Two American Cities: Philadelphia and Chicago


“Instead of expanding our infrastructure, we put together a plan to price, value, reuse, recycle, infiltrate, transpire or otherwise manage, every drop of rainwater we could. We started to invent the millions of ways to reduce the amount of rainwater that arrived at our sewer inlets. The goal was to consider rainwater as a commodity and a resource—if it enters a sewer drain it becomes a costly waste product,” explained Howard Neukrug. “There is no single formula for success—and we still don’t know whether ultimately we will succeed.”

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China is building 30 ‘sponge cities’ that aim to soak up floodwater and prevent disaster


“Launched in 2015, the Sponge City Initiative invests in projects that aim to soak up floodwater. The projects are being built in 30 cities. By 2020, China hopes that 80% of its urban areas will absorb and re-use at least 70% of rainwater,” wrote Leanna Garfield. “The initiative is facing some challenges. After surveying all 30 cities, the researchers noticed several roadblocks, including planning models that are too homogeneous and not locally specific.”

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WHAT HAPPENS ON THE LAND DOES MATTER! – Reduce risk, reduce financial liability by implementing the Whole-System, Water Balance Approach (watch the webcast)


“We were delighted to have Kim Stephens and Jim Dumont share British Columbia’s cutting-edge continuous simulation model, known as the Water Balance Methodology, via a Forester University webcast,” stated Emily Shine. “At Forester University, we aim to position ourselves at the forefront of innovation in rainwater management and green infrastructure, and that is why we described Water Balance Methodology as a webinar that could not be missed.”

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MIMIC THE WATER BALANCE: Flashback to 2013 – the United States can learn from British Columbia experience, concluded Paul Crabtree, leader of the US-based Rainwater in Context Initiative


“The Canadians do appear to be ahead of the US in this field because the US EPA took a really bad approach to LID that was based on the premise that enforcing every site to the same standard would somehow fix the problems of water quality in the US,” commented Paul Crabtree. “The USA EPA approach has done some good, but has several crippling drawbacks.”

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YOUTUBE VIDEO: A watershed moment at the Gaining Ground Leadership Summit – “Practices that until now have been viewed as the exception must become the norm,” stated Dale Wall, Deputy Minister in his keynote address (May 2008)


The Deputy Minister used the occasion of a keynote address at the Gaining Ground Summit to make an inter-ministerial announcement. “We are using the slogan The New Business As Usual to convey the message that… to further advance implementation of green infrastructure…. we have to build regulatory models and develop models of practice and expertise,” stated Dale Wall, Deputy Minister.

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FLASHBACK TO 2010: “Topsoil is the interface between rainwater management and drought management,” stated Ray Fung when the Green Infrastructure Partnership released the Topsoil Primer Set


Rainwater management is about managing the spectrum of rainfall events, and is at the heart of water-centric green infrastructure. “An absorbent topsoil layer has emerged as a fundamental building block for achieving water sustainability outcomes through implementation of green infrastructure,” stated Ray Fung. “If we can show how to get the topsoil part right, then other parts of the water sustainability equation are more likely to follow.”

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