"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.
"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.
"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."
“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.”
"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."
"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."
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.
"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.”
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.
“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.
“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.”
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.
“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.”
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