SUSTAINABLE WATERSHED SYSTEMS, THROUGH ASSET MANAGEMENT: "My students really love using the Water Balance Express," stated UBC's Julie Wilson at a North Vancouver workshop organized by the North Shore Streamkeepers (March 2017)
Note to Reader:
In March 2017, the 2nd annual North Vancouver workshop organized by the North Shore Streamkeepers (NSSK) attracted participants from communities throughout the Metro Vancouver region, and on a Saturday afternoon!
The workshop provided a window into the longstanding and 3-way collaboration between the District of North Vancouver, the Partnership for Water Sustainability in BC, and the University of British Columbia (Master of Land and Water Systems Program).
Exploring the Water Balance –
On Your Property
Julie Wilson, UBC Academic Coordinator, showcased how the Water Balance Express for North Vancouver would help landowners quantify how well their properties slow, sink and spread rainwater runoff; and thereby show how they are meeting pre-set watershed targets for volume, infiltration and flow.
A homeowner can create a simulation of their own property. An online video tutorial provides step-by-step guidance on Express use. The video was created by Julie Wilson. The Express is part of the curriculum for an online course that she teaches.
Slow, Sink and Spread the Rainwater Runoff
“My goal is for us to think about how water moves through the landscape, as it falls as precipitation and is altered by the urban environment, and then….how can we go about mimicking the natural water balance,” stated Julie Wilson when she described the context for her presentation storyline.
“My focus is on demonstration of online tools – the Water Balance Express, and the District of North Vancouver’s GeoWeb – that can help homeowners and developers to consider the water balance on their own properties. When they make a decision to renovate or redevelop, maybe they will think about how to do things differently.
“I have used the Water Balance Express for a few years in the courses that I teach. The reception that I get is overwhelmingly positive. Students really love using the Water Balance Express because it is fun and user friendly.”
Water Balance Express Engages the User
“The tool is an example of how science can be translated into a meaningful form to help inform non-scientists on how to contribute to positive change,” explains Julie Wilson.
“It’s more than just a conceptual tool. It has a really well-designed interface, where users can create a simulation of their own property. People can locate their property on a map, recreate their current house and yard, and then like Lego, add building blocks of different rainwater management features to the property, to reduce their property’s runoff and infiltrate more water into the soil.”
To Learn More:
Download Exploring the Water Balance on Your Property to view presentation by Julie Wilson at the 2017 North Shore Streamkeepers Workshop.