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.
“An interface is needed to translate the complex products of science into achievable goals and implementable solution for practical resource management. This interface is what we now call a science-based understanding," stated Peter Law. "Understanding how land development impacts watershed hydrology and the functions of aquatic ecosystems provides a solid basis for making decisions to guide action where and when it is most needed.”
"BC and Australia are on parallel journeys, but our pathways to a water-resilient future differ. Still, by sharing and comparing, we can inspire each other. Also, we can learn from each other’s experience to avoid going down dead-ends," stated Kim Stephens. "In embarking on the journey to a water-resilient future, we can learn from our ancestors. The foundation for cathedral thinking is a far-reaching vision, a well thought-out blueprint, and long-term implementation.”
“In reflecting on our 2001 three day capacity building course in Newcastle, it did more than just build my capacity as a strategic natural resource planner. It fuelled my enthusiasm as an agent of change in our own 15 year journey in urban water cycle management," stated Karenne Jurd. “The window into BC water management he opened showed us ‘what was possible’. It was a seminal moment in time."
"The modern stormwater industry seeks to balance traditional issues with emerging priorities which are being placed on our infrastructure. Practitioners are experienced in working at the coal face," stated Andrew Allan. "The growing need to work in multidisciplinary teams, to lead and influence, to understand and assimilate different points of view and technical requirements, will be core skills required in the future."
Julie McGraw, acting on behalf of Stormwater Australia, announced the three inspirational keynote speakers for STORMWATER 2016. She highlighted that the three were invited to provide different forms of inspiration: Kim Stephens as a pioneer and champion in leading technical change; Rachel Robertson as leader of Australia's Antartic Research Expedition to Davis Station; and Michael Groom for demonstrating perseverance under life-threatening conditions.
"A commonality of understanding between BC and Australia is that we are managing a water balance in a connected system of human endeavour and ecosystem processes. This is a shared discovery. Systems analysis of water balances is a key shared process. Integration of urban planning and water resources management is a key issue," observed Dr. Peter Coombes, Australian water champion and advisor to governments, when he reviewed the Abstract for the keynote by Kim Stephens.
The ideas presented by Kim Stephens resonated with the Australian audience and opened eyes and minds to a different way of thinking. Rod Wiese, member of the Stormwater Australia Board, provided this perspective: “Australian ‘best practise’ (which is founded on water quality metrics) falls dramatically short of effective waterway protection. Clearly, we need to manage volume and restore water balance pathways as Kim Stephens explained in his keynote about the primacy of hydrology.”
Under the leadership of Meredith Laing, the Lower Hunter & Central Coast Regional Environmental Strategy is e a model for Local Government collaboration in Australia. In 2001, she invited Kim Stephens to share his British Columbia experience related to overcoming barriers to implementation ("fear and doubt") and implementing an ecosystem-based approach to stormwater management. It was a seminal moment.
Coined by Dr. Daniel Pauly in 1995, the Shifting Baseline Syndrome refers to a gradual change in the accepted norm for ecological conditions. This was the first of three 'big ideas' introduced to the Stormwater Australia audience. “Every generation will use the images that they got at the beginning of their conscious lives as a standard and will extrapolate forward. And the difference then, they perceive as a loss. But they don’t perceive what happened before as a loss," stated Daniel Pauly.
The ‘new normal’ in British Columbia is floods and droughts. What is changing is how and when water arrives. “After a period of relative hydro-climatic stability, changes in the composition of the Earth’s atmosphere have resulted in the acceleration of the global hydrologic cycle with huge implications for every region of the world and every sector of the global economy,” states Bob Sandford.
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