Note to Reader:
The ‘salmon crisis’ throughout the 1990s decade galvanized awareness in BC that the ecological baseline was shifting, suddenly and dramatically. In response, governments recognized the need to restore and protect watershed and stream health. An outcome was Stormwater Planning: A Guidebook for British Columbia, released in 2002. Experience gained over the following five years led to the Beyond the Guidebook Initiative.
Restore Water Balance to
Protect Stream Health
By 2002, looking at rainfall differently led the Province of British Columbia to adopt the Water Balance Methodology as the technical foundation for Stormwater Planning Guidebook: A Guidebook for British Columbia, initiate a performance target approach to capturing rain where it falls, and initiate changes in the way rainwater runoff is returned to streams.
“The Guidebook’s premise that land development and watershed protection can be compatible represented a radical shift in thinking in 2002,” stated Paul Ham, Chair of the Green Infrastructure Partnership in 2006. Prior to retirement from government in 2010, he was General Manager, Engineering, with the City of Surrey.
“The Guidebook vision is that community development activities and further alteration of the Built Environment will result in cumulative benefits, not impacts. In 2002, the Guidebook identified a path forward for local governments.”
Beyond the Guidebook Milestones in 2006 & 2007
The outreach effort during an 18-month period (between June 2006 and November 2007) to profile and raise initial awareness of the Beyond the Guidebook Initiative was substantial. The extent of this effort to inform and educate is apparent from the synopsis of events presented below.
- The process of rolling out Beyond the Guidebook Initiative started in June 2006 with the event hosted by the City of Surrey as part of the pilot Showcasing Green Infrastructure Innovation in Metro Vancouver Series.
- It continued with the article published in the September-October 2006 issue of Innovation Magazine, the journal of the Association of Professional Engineers and Geoscientists of British Columbia (APEGBC).
- The third milestone was the Water Balance Model Partners Forum in March 2007, hosted by Metro Vancouver, at which time the “runoff-based approach” was formally unveiled.
- This was followed by a presentation at the Annual Conference of the BC Water & Waste Association in April 2007. This conference was held at an Okanagan Valley venue, thereby providing attendees from Interior BC to inform themselves about the Beyond the Guidebook Initiative.
- In 2007, the Water Balance Model Partnership and the Green Infrastructure Partnership jointly released the first in the Beyond the Guidebook Series of guidance documents.
- Following release of the guidance document in June 2007, the next milestone was the Beyond the Guidebook Seminar in November 2007, organized to inform local government and land use practitioners regarding the emerging policy framework.
- The week after the Beyond the Guidebook Seminar, a workshop organized and hosted by the Capital Regional District provided an opportunity to introduce Beyond the Guidebook to local governments on southern Vancouver Island.
Beyond the Guidebook 2007
This guidance document provided context for comprehensive rainwater management by connecting the dots between Stormwater Planning: A Guidebook for British Columbia, published in 2002, and:
- the rainfall spectrum;
- performance targets;
- adaptive management;
- the Water Balance Model;
- the Green Infrastructure Partnership;
- the UBC Tree Canopy Research Project; and
- the Beyond the Guidebook initiative.
“Through implementation of ‘green infrastructure’ policies and practices, the desired outcome in going Beyond the Guidebook is to apply what we have learned at the site scale over the past five years…so that we can truly protect and/or restore stream health in urban watersheds”, stated Paul Ham when Beyond the Guidebook 2007 was released.
To Learn More:
Download a copy of Beyond the Guidebook: Context for Rainwater Management and Green Infrastructure in British Columbia, released in June 2007.