Green Infrastructure: Linkage to Infrastructure Asset Management is a Way to Re-Focus ISMPs on Outcomes and ‘Achieve More With Less’
A decade ago, local governments were venturing into uncharted waters when undertaking ISMPs, the acronym for Integrated Stormwater Management Plans. Now, the collective experience of the City of Surrey, the Bowker Creek Initiative (in the Capital Region) and other pioneer leaders such as the District of North Vancouver serves as a guide for an approach that connects with the community and gets the watershed vision right.
During the period November-December 2010, the Water Sustainability Action Plan for British Columbia released the 5-part ISMP Course Correction Series. To help those about to embark upon an ISMP process, the Action Plan has today released a Summary Report for the series.
“Through a watershed-based plan, local governments can strategically connect the dots between land use planning, development, watershed health AND infrastructure asset management. And by ‘designing with nature’, local governments could make a very strong case for a ‘sustainable drainage system’, at a lower life-cycle cost,” stated Ray Fung, Chair of the Green Infrastructure Partnership.
Recommended Framework for Action
To guide those about to embark upon an ISMP or comparable watershed-based planning process, a recommended framework comprises these five actions:
- Re-Focus on Stream Health and Watershed Outcomes
- Capitalize on Green Infrastructure Opportunities to ‘Design with Nature’
- Apply a Knowledge-Based Approach to Focus on Solutions and Outcomes
- Move to a Levels-of-Protection Approach to Sustainable Service Delivery
- Apply Inexpensive Screening Tools to ‘Do More with Less’
“The linkage to infrastructure asset management is a way to (re)focus ISMPs on outcomes: create a vision of a future watershed complete with intact environmental values, healthy streams, abundant fishery resources, and a functional infrastructure,” stated Ted van der Gulik, Chair of the Water Balance Model Partnership. At the time he was the Senior Engineer with the Ministry of Agriculture.
“By ‘designing with nature’, local governments could make a very strong case for a ‘sustainable drainage system’, at a lower life-cycle cost.”