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Waterbucket.ca provides access to British Columbia Guidance Documents on Watershed-Based Rainwater Management

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"Recognizing that it is often challenging for practitioners to find what they are looking for, we believe that we have filled a gap. This page links to British Columbia documents that provide communities, engineers and land use professionals with guidance for implementing watershed-based planning, rainwater management, green infrastructure, and water sustainability," reports Mike Tanner.

TO TEST DRIVE…

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Click on "Read Article" first. Then click on links to access these versions of the Express: North Vancouver, Cowichan Region, Surrey, Coquitlam and Comox Valley in BC; and Membertou in Cape Breton.

Water Balance Model – On Tour!

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"Have a look at some of the Water Balance Model slideshow presentations that have been made to industry and government groups starting in 2001. This includes some of the early presentations on the Water Balance Methodology that helped pave the way for the paradigm-shift from 'peak flow thinking' to 'volume-based thinking'. The many presentations created awareness and influenced expectations," stated Ted van der Gulik.

DOWNLOAD: Stormwater Planning: A Guidebook for British Columbia

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"Released in 2002, the Guidebook provides a framework for effective rainwater management throughout the province. This tool for local governments presents a methodology for moving from planning to action that focuses on implementing early action where it is most needed," states Laura Maclean. "The Guidebook approach contrasts with conventional 'flows-and-pipes' stormwater management."

SUSTAINABLE WATERSHED SYSTEMS, THROUGH ASSET MANAGEMENT: A decade long journey has its beginning in the seminar that launched the Beyond the Guidebook Initiative (November 2007)

“The Stormwater Guidebook set in motion a chain of outcomes that has resulted in BC being recognized internationally as a leader in implementing a natural systems approach to rainwater management in the urban environment,” stated Minister of Environment Barry Penner in 2007. “The Convening for Action initiative creates an opportunity to move beyond rainwater management to embrace all components of the water cycle through integrated water management.”

SUSTAINABLE WATERSHED SYSTEMS, THROUGH ASSET MANAGEMENT: “Streamkeeper involvement and influence is expanding beyond the creek channel,” observed Kim Stephens at a North Vancouver workshop organized by the North Shore Streamkeepers (March 2017)

"Across this province there is a movement taking place within the stewardship sector. The key is how the stewardship sector partners with local government," stated Kim Stephens. "An informed stewardship sector may prove to be the difference-maker that accelerates implementation of the whole-system, water balance approach. Wouldn’t it be great if everyone really understood what it means to think and act like a watershed."

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)

"Land and water are connected in a watershed, with the resulting impact being due to cumulative effects of impervious surfaces from individual properties," stated Julie Wilson. "The redevelopment cycle presents an opportunity to reduce these effects. Use of the Express tool can help to illustrate these dynamics in greater detail, and can give homeowners and developers opportunities to explore alternative designs to improve water balance on a property."

SUSTAINABLE WATERSHED SYSTEMS, THROUGH ASSET MANAGEMENT: Can money really grow on trees in the urban environment? – Australian research finding is YES

Australian researchers compiled urban data analytics across three different suburbs in Sydney, Australia, and found that for every 10 per cent increase in the canopy coverage within the street corridor, the value of properties increased by an average of $50,000 Australian. In addition - “Our report found that without sufficient ‘green infrastructure’ Sydney would be hotter, more polluted and could be worth $50 billion less," stated James Rosenwax.

SUSTAINABLE WATERSHED SYSTEMS, THROUGH ASSET MANAGEMENT: A workshop on “Stormwater Impacts Communities and Creeks – What Can Streamkeepers Do?” (March 2017)

"We need to draw community attention to the tangible things that all residents can do to support sustainable watersheds. Their cumulative beneficial actions will lead to good habitat and fish will thrive, if given a chance," stated Glen Parker. "We cannot overlook the political nature of decisions in our communities. The workshop, kicked off by political representatives, helps reinforce the belief with our leaders that watersheds matter.”

WHAT HAPPENS ON THE LAND DOES MATTER: To Protect Agricultural Lowlands, Restore Watershed Hydrology in the Uplands

In British Columbia, agricultural development is often situated in the lowlands, with urban development mostly in the uplands. “Without compliance with the drainage standards, the viability of agriculture and local food supply is potentially at risk. The criteria are essential in protecting crops (food on the table) from damage caused by excessive durations of flooding and saturation of roots. If crops are at risk, then so is the sustainability of a region,” stated Jim Dumont.

SUSTAINABLE WATERSHED SYSTEMS, THROUGH ASSET MANAGEMENT: Flashback to 2011- “Understand how water reaches the stream and design for interflow,” urged Alan Jonsson, Habitat Engineer with the Department of Fisheries and Oceans


“Interflow is often the dominant drainage path in glaciated landscapes of British Columbia. Even undeveloped sites founded on till and bedrock rarely show overland flow because of interflow pathways. The lesson is that the interflow system is an incredibly important and yet fragile component of a watershed. It is critical for maintaining stream health and our fishery resource,” stated Alan Jonsson of DFO.

WHAT HAPPENS ON THE LAND DOES MATTER! – hosted by Forester University (May 2017), the Water Balance Webinar from British Columbia introduced a North American audience to the methodology that underpins vision for “Sustainable Watershed Systems, through Asset Management”

“We are looking at the water cycle with fresh eyes to develop new approaches, methodologies and tools,” stated Kim Stephens. “The genesis for these methodologies and tools goes back 15, 20 years. It has been a building blocks process as we work towards restoration of the water balance in urban watersheds. For the past 18 months, we have been using the terminology of Sustainable Watershed Systems for the purposes of advancing a different way of doing business.”

FLASHBACK TO 2006: West Vancouver Mayor Pam Goldsmith-Jones teamed with Green Infrastructure Partnership to champion ‘Design with Nature’ approaches, overcome barriers and create a legacy in British Columbia


The goal is to turn local governments on to the practical reality that designing with nature holds out hope for communities and cities to function better, to our lasting benefit. "As the leaders appointed to design the Sustainable Region Initiative, we view you as critical partners in affecting positive change with regard to infrastructure design in the region," stated Mayor Goldsmith-Jones in December 2006 at a Metro Vancouver Sustainability Community Breakfast.

DESIGN WITH NATURE: Data Show that Increased Tree Canopy Boosts Property Values in Sydney, Australia

“To ensure the value of green infrastructure is recognised, our research found a connection between canopy coverage and the value of Australia’s favourite investment, the family home," stated Roger Swinbourne. “The irony here is that the very development that often leads to the removal of trees suffers in the long run as the ‘double whammy’ of direct sunlight and more surface water increases maintenance frequency and cost.”