Regulatory Context for Rainwater Management in British Columbia
“The Partnership for Water Sustainability in BC is collaborating with the Province to deliver elements of the Living Water Smart and Green Communities Initiatives. The vehicle for this collaboration is the Water Sustainability Action Plan for British Columbia, with a particular focus on the “Beyond the Guidebook” initiative,” states Kim Stephens, Partnership Executive Director. Commencing in 2003, he has been responsible for development and delivery of the Action Plan.
Land and Water: Stewardship Vision
“The 45 actions and targets in Living Water Smart establish expectations vis-à-vis how land will be developed (or redeveloped) and water will be used,” continues Kim Stephens.
“The Green Communities Initiative complements Living Water Smart and comprises plans, strategies and enabling tools to achieve the land and water stewardship vision. Together, the two initiatives represent a call to action:
- prepare communities for a changing climate
- choose to live water smart
- strive to build greener communities
- protect stream and watershed health
“The Water Sustainability Action Plan for BC is embedded within Living Water Smart. In turn, the Action Plan is the umbrella for the Georgia Basin Inter-Regional Education Initiative for ‘Rainwater Management in a Watershed Sustainability Context’ (i.e. “the IREI”). The principles guiding the IREI are applicable province-wide.”
Beyond the Guidebook:
“At the heart of the IREI is ‘Beyond the Guidebook’, an ongoing initiative to provide local governments and practitioners with tools, resources and understanding to integrate the Site with the Watershed and the Stream,” explains Kim Stephens.
“Since 2007, the Beyond the Guidebook initiative has been building on the technical foundation created a decade ago when the Province and Environment Canada jointly released Stormwater Planning: A Guidebook for British Columbia. The Beyond the Guidebook Primer Series is adding depth to Living Water Smart.”
The Goal: Mimic the Water Balance
“The IREI focus is on actions related to land use and watershed health. The goal is to mimic the Water Balance, with emphasis on the ‘how-to’ details of integration and implementation.”
“A core premise underpinning the IREI is that – once informed – participating local governments will choose to reduce risk, improve watershed health, and comply with regulatory requirements and/or objectives for managing rainfall.”
Beyond the Guidebook Primer Series
To date, the Partnership has released five guidance documents in the Beyond the Guidebook Primer Series. The first two Primers were released in November 2011 the third in May 2012, the fourth in September 2013 and the fifth in February 2014. To download copies, click on the links below:
- Primer on Rainwater Management in an Urban Watershed Context: Provides engineers and non-engineers with a common understanding of how a science-based approach to rainwater management has evolved since the mid-1990s.
- Primer on Urban Watershed Modelling to Inform Local Government Decision Processes: Provides engineers and non-engineers with guidance in three areas: setting performance targets, defining levels-of-service, and application of screening / scenario tools.
- Primer on Integrated Rainwater and Groundwater Management for Lands on Vancouver Island and Beyond: Provides engineers and non-engineers with a common understanding of the links between rainfall, groundwater movement and surface flows in sustaining aquatic life.
- Primer on Land Development Process in BC: Industry Standards of Practice in Implementing Rainwater Management: Provides context and general guidance for implementing rainwater management systems at the site, subdivision, neighbourhood or community scales.
- Primer on Water Balance Methodology for Protecting Watershed Health: Provides guidance on how to apply the Water Balance Methodology and quantify three performance targets, namely: storage volume, infiltration area and flow release rate.
The core concepts presented in these companion documents provide an educational foundation for rainwater management in a watershed context.
To download a summary flyer, click on Beyond the Guidebook Primer Series.