Note to Reader:
The Green Infrastructure Partnership (GIP) was an original element of the Water Sustainability Action Plan for British Columbia, released in 2004.
The early success of the GIP helped to lay a strong foundation for incorporation of the Partnership for Water Sustainability in BC. This entity is now the hub for a ‘convening for action’ network in the local government setting, and the “keeper of the GIP legacy”.
Under the umbrella of the Water Sustainability Action Plan, the GIP rolled out Beyond the Guidebook at a Vancouver seminar in November 2007.
Six months later, in May 2008, the Deputy Minister (Dale Wall) for the Ministry of Community Services used the occasion of a keynote address at the Gaining Ground Summit to make an inter-ministerial announcement about the embryo Beyond the Guidebook initiative.
Beyond the Guidebook:
The New Business As Usual
Released by the Province in 2002, Stormwater Planning: A Guidebook for British Columbia is the foundation document for a “design with nature” approach to land development and infrastructure servicing that achieves this goal: protect and/or restore hydrologic integrity.
The Water Balance Model (WBM) scenario comparison and decision support tool was developed as the extension of the Guidebook and launched in 2003. The WBM then became the centrepiece of the Water Sustainability Action Plan.
The new Water Balance Model
In 2006, the Province provided funding for integration of the WBM interface with the QUALHYMO engine in order to substantially enhance the capabilities of the WBM. Integration of the two tools enabled the Province to go Beyond the Guidebook in achieving stream health protection and water quality objectives.
Beta-testing of the new Water Balance Model powered by QUALHYMO was completed in early 2008. That milestone set the stage for an inter-ministerial announcement at the Gaining Ground Summit in May 2008. Deputy Minister Dale Wall spoke on behalf of three ministries – Community Services, Environment and Agriculture.
The New Business As Usual
“We are using the slogan ‘The New Business As Usual’ to convey the message that, for change to really occur, practices that until now have been viewed as the exception must become the norm moving forward. We have to build regulatory models and develop models of practice and expertise to support The New Business As Usual,” stated Dale Wall.
“The ‘new Water Balance Model’ underpins Beyond the Guidebook: The New Business As Usual, an initiative to further advance implementation of green infrastructure policies and practices throughout British Columbia. The desired outcome is to create liveable communities and protect stream health.”
Vancouver Island Demonstration Region
“Vancouver Island is the pilot region for implementing Beyond the Guidebook: The New Business As Usual,” continued Dale Wall. “The Real Estate Foundation, the Ministry of Environment, and the Ministry of Community Services are co-funding CAVI-Convening for Action on Vancouver Island.”
“The shared vision is to move toward water sustainability by implementing green infrastructure policies and practices. This is a multi-year commitment by the funding agencies.”
“The Real Estate Foundation was an early supporter of the Water Balance Model because our mission and that of the inter-governmental partnership are in alignment,” said Jack Hall, Chair of the Foundation’s Board of Governors. “We both wish to advance water-centric planning and a Design with Nature way-of-thinking and acting. The desired outcome is liveable communities in balance with ecology.”
To Learn More:
Download a PDF copy of Green Infrastructure: New Water Balance Model supports “The New Business As Usual”, the PowerPoint presentation by Dale Wall
Download the news release about Green Infrastructure: New Water Balance Model supports “The New Business As Usual”.