Note to Reader:
Published by the Canadian Water Resources Association, the April 2008 issue of Runoff includes an article titled “Create Liveable Communities and Protect Stream Health: Water Balance Model powered by QUALHYMO integrates the site with the watershed and the stream“.
The article highlights several key messages in providing a concise overview of the considerations that have led to integration of two hydrologic models.
Create Liveable Communities & Protect Stream Health
In June 2006, the inter-governmental partnership responsible for development of the Water Balance Model announced its plans to expand the capabilities of the online tool by integrating it with the QUALHYMO hydrologic engine. Integration was completed in 2008.
The CWRA Runoff article was an important element in the communication plan for rollout of ‘Water Balance Model powered by QUALHYMO’. The integrated tool is unique, bridges engineering and planning, links development sites to the stream and watershed, and enables local governments to establish science-based runoff performance targets.
The significant benefit of the “new Water Balance Model” is the resulting emphasis on strategy and alternative implementation methodologies, as well as the focus on a multitude of design details available to achieve the desired objectives.
“The Water Balance Model powered by QUALHYMO underpins Beyond the Guidebook: The New Business As Usual (2007), a provincial initiative to advance implementation of green infrastructure policies and practices throughout British Columbia. The mantra for this provincial initiative is: Today’s Expectations are Tomorrow’s Standards,” stated Paul Ham, Past-Chair (2005-2008) of the Green Infrastructure Partnership.
This initiative incorporates lessons learned over the past six years in order to help municipalities establish what performance targets makes sense at the site, catchment and watershed scales. This experience has set the stage for the next leap forward – which is to apply a “runoff-based approach” to rainwater management at a watershed scale to protect stream health.
The Water Balance Model powered by QUALHYMO is a tool that is simple to use, yet can provide detailed calculations needed by designers. The intelligent interface allows users with different levels of technical knowledge to benefit from its use.
The Stream Health Methodology embedded in the Water Balance Model powered by QUALHYMO enables a watershed target to be established; it also enables the user to assess how to meet the watershed target at the site scale. In a matter of hours, any user can apply scenario modelling to assess a range of performance targets and evaluate options for achieving these targets. Previously, these analyses would have taken weeks to complete.
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