Five Regional Districts representing 75% of BC’s population are partners in the Georgia Basin Inter-Regional Educational Initiative (IREI). A program deliverable is the Beyond the Guidebook 2015. It is a progress report on how local governments are ‘learning by doing’ to implement affordable and effective science-based practices. It is the third in a series that builds on Stormwater Planning: A Guidebook for British Columbia.
"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.
"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."
“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,” states Al Jonsson of DFO.
"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.
"At the dawn of 2017, the purpose of this article is two-fold: take stock of our progress in 2016 to inform and educate; and foreshadow where we may be at year-end," stated Kim Stephens. "Other regions recognize BC as a leader. They perceive BC moving in the right direction with integration of watershed systems thinking and asset management. International exposure allows us to judge how BC stacks up against the rest of the world."
The influence of community-based community groups is expanding beyond the creek channel. “The stewardship and conservation sector has traditionally focused on habitat restoration and protection of lands with high ecological values,” states David Stapley. “With cumulative impacts from climate change, urban and resource development escalating, these groups have now become community leaders in educating and supporting improved land use practices.”
"Understanding leads to action. Getting to action is a step-by-step process to give practitioners the tools and experience to get the job done," stated Kim Stephens. "In addition, moving from understanding to implementation requires a sustaining commitment by local governments to implement ‘standards of practice’ that restore the desired watershed condition over time."
“Experience has taught engineers that we must always be learning, stretching the bounds of expertise, and anticipating new requirements," wrote Jim Dumont. "We will be able to advance the science and engineering practice in a manner intended by the author and proponents of the Guidebook. Is it time to now go ‘Beyond the Guidebook’? Do we have the knowledge to allow us to do this? The answer to both questions should be yes.”
"A systems approach to watershed health and protection recognizes that actions on the land have consequences for the three pathways to streams and hence the water balance of the watershed," stated Richard Boase. "Local governments regulate how land is developed, drained and serviced," stated, This means local governments have the authority and ability to determine and implement watershed-based volume targets that would help to prevent drainage impacts in wet weather."
“Through our years of research and advocacy on water management issues, we realized that there was something of a disconnect between information and action. Rain Ready seeks to close that gap by making it easier for homeowners, businesses, and government leaders to create Rain Ready plans," said Harriet Festing. The Rain Ready website features videos and how-to factsheets that show rain readiness in action.
"Several presentations dealt with stormwater management in a larger community context. Several of the speakers expressed interest in writing articles on the topic for Stormwater magazine. This initiated the idea that became our Green Infrastructure & Community Design Series. Colorado-based engineer Paul Crabtree coordinated the effort," stated Janice Kasperson.
By combining sensors and cloud computing, a new pilot project in Chicago provides an innovative solution for what can be an everyday urban problem: rainwater. “We would like to know at a high level whether the green stormwater infrastructure is working,” said Brenna Berman. “Is it preventing rainwater from entering the sewer system? Which designs work better in hard rains versus soft rains? Which work better during long storms versus flash floods?”
"The Stormwater Guidebook and Water Balance Model initiatives link directly to land use planning, policy, and regulation," stated Mayor Barry Janyk. “Use of the Water Balance Model promotes a watershed-based approach that recognizes the relationships between the natural environment and the built environment, and manages them as integrated components of the same watershed."
The goal is to change land development practices so that sites and subdivisions function hydrologically like a natural forest. "By developing the Water Balance Model, the IGP is meeting its mission of providing local governments and landowners with a 'decision support and scenario modeling tool' that is interactive and scientifically defensible," stated Laura Maclean. “This will help them meet performance targets for runoff volume reduction.”
A scenario comparison tool to assess green infrastructure effectiveness, achieve a lighter 'water footprint' and protect stream health. Learn More
The Water Conservation Calculator illustrates how specific water conservation measures can yield both fiscal and physical water savings for communities. Learn More
This Landscape Irrigation Scheduling Calculator uses real-time daily evapotranspiration (ET) rates determined from climate stations located within British Columbia. Learn More
This Agricultural Irrigation Scheduling Calculator uses real-time daily evapotranspiration (ET) rates determined from climate stations located within British Columbia. Learn More
The BC Agriculture Water Calculator enables water licensing for all irrigation purposes, whether agricultural or landscape. All non-domestic users of groundwater in BC are required to obtain a licence. Learn More