Note to Reader:
In November 2007, the Capital Regional District hosted a full-day workshop titled Bio/Infiltration: Tools for Rainwater Management. Organized under the umbrella of the Stormwater, Harbours and Watersheds Program, the workshop emphasis was on municipal implementation, particularly funding, bylaws and other tools available to municipalities to work towards innovative rainwater management. The program included a concluding keynote presentation by Kim Stephens.
Green Infrastructure Innovation: Celebrating Successes on Both Sides of the Georgia Basin
“The workshop featured case studies from both sides of the Georgia Basin to facilitate a sharing of experiences. Municipal staff from around the Capital Region were invited, “stated Lehna Malmkvist. She organized and moderated the workshop on behalf of the Capital Regional District. “We asked Kim Stephens, (Program Coordinator, Water Sustainability Action Plan for BC) to tie together the ideas from the day by integrating a number of key thoughts.”
“To address these four items (listed above), Kim’s presentation was structured in three parts,” explained Lehna. “First, he described the parallel Showcasing Green Infrastructure Innovation Series that were held in Metro Vancouver and on Vancouver Island in 2007. Then he provided an overview of CAVI-Convening for Action on Vancouver Island.”
“And finally, Kim summarized the Province’s perspective by presenting material that Chris Jensen of the Ministry of Community Services had presented at the Beyond the Guidebook Seminar the week before the CRD workshop.”
To Learn More:
Download Green Infrastructure Innovation: Celebrating On-the-Ground Successes on Both Sides of the Georgia Basin, a PDF copy of the PowerPoint presentation by Kim Stephens.
From STORMwater Management to RAINwater Management
Kim Stephens prefaced his remarks by providing his perspective on why rainwater management is replacing stormwater management in the practitioners’ vocabulary.
“When I graduated from university in 1973, we called it drainage. Then in the mid-1970s the term stormwater management appeared in the literature,” explained Stephens, “As far as I can determine, this terminology originated with the ‘pipe guys’ who were primarily concerned with making the distinction between sanitary and storm flows in combined sewer systems.”
Rainwater Management is Landscape-based
“Lately, I have observed that the term rainwater management resonates with non-engineers and the community at large. They intuitively get it,” Kim continued, “The presentations by Paul de Greeff and Lehna Malmkvist really brought home the point that rainwater management is about integration and an interdisciplinary approach that is landscape-based, and therefore goes well beyond the narrow engineering definition for conventional stormwater management.”
Kim observed that a Vancouver Island inter-agency team has been formed to promote the landscape-based approach because rainwater management is at the heart of green infrastructure.
The Province’s Perspective & Expectations
“Under the umbrella of the Water Sustainability Action Plan for British Columbia, the Green Infrastructure Partnership began the roll-out of Beyond the Guidebook in June 2007,” stated Kim Stephens. “Because the Green Infrastructure Partnership includes the Ministry of Community Services and Fisheries and Oceans Canada, the Beyond the Guidebook Seminar that was held the week before the CRD workshop was timely.
“The seminar provided an opportunity to inform local government and land use practitioners regarding the emerging policy framework. It also provided a platform for stating senior government expectations for applying a Beyond the Guidebook approach to land development and watershed management.”
Beyond the Guidebook –
Where Science Meets Analysis
“Beyond the Guidebook refers to a runoff-based approach to drainage modeling that connects the dots between source control evaluation and stream health assessment. In a nutshell, it means this is ‘where science meets analysis’ because runoff volume management is directly linked to stream erosion and water quality.”
“Today, the Province’s grant program guides provide direction and the associated evaluation criteria support green projects. Tomorrow grant conditions will be used to bring some recipients up to a certain ‘green’ standard; and down the road meeting a ‘green’ standard will be a requirement for grant eligibility,” foreshadowed Kim Stephens in his closing remarks.
To Learn More:
Download Integration of Rainwater Management & Green Infrastructure in British Columbia: The Province’s Perspective, the presentation by Chris Jensen (Ministry of Community Services) at the Beyond the Guidebook Seminar, November 2007.