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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.

BEYOND THE GUIDEBOOK 2015: To download a copy of “Sustainable Watershed Systems, through Asset Management”……


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


"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.

DOWNLOAD: Stormwater Planning: A Guidebook for British Columbia


"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."

“Understand How Water Reaches the Stream and Design for Interflow”, urges 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,” states Al Jonsson of DFO.

Water Balance Model – On Tour!


"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.

City of Victoria Stormwater Utility — “We have designed the utility so that it will be one of the most fair and representative stormwater utilities in North America,” stated Adam Steele

Over time, the Stormwater Utility provides the City with the capability to foster a watershed stewardship ethic and influence landowner actions on the ground for the common good. “With implementation of our stormwater utility and Rainwater Rewards Program, we have provided a basis to facilitate and grow a change in thinking, so that increased awareness results in action. The program foundation resulted from listening to feedback."

Sustainable Watershed Systems: CBC’s Bob McDonald headlines an all-star team of presenters in Kelowna at “FLOWnGROW Workshop” (Nov 29)

Bob McDonald is loved by radio and TV audiences across Canada for making complex scientific issues understandable, meaningful, and fun. "There is an emerging global sense that protecting fresh water has the potential of being a catalyst for cooperation rather than conflict, a level of cooperation that seeks solutions for the common good and survival,” says Bob McDonald.

Leadership & Innovation in Victoria: “Creation of the Stormwater Utility and Rainwater Rewards Program is a significant milestone in a journey that leads to a water-resilient future,” wrote Kim Stephens in an Op-Ed for Victoria Times-Colonist

"It took generations to short-circuit the water balance in Victoria. Similarly, it would take generations of landowners incorporating rain gardens in redeveloped properties in order to mimic the function of natural systems, and restore the water balance while meeting their drainage needs," observed Kim Stephens. "The phrase 'cathedral thinking' aptly describes the long-term commitment that would be required to achieve the City’s design with nature vision for sustainable rainwater management."

ARTICLE: “Unless and until land development practices mimic the natural water balance, communities cannot expect to restore the biological communities within streams,” stated Dr. Richard Horner

"Simply put, hydrology hits first and hardest—one could pour an equivalent volume of distilled water into a stream, and the consequences for stream health would be the same as if it was urban runoff," explained RIchard Horner. "Changes in hydrology, not water quality, must be the primary focus of our efforts. If we get the hydrology right, water quality typically takes care of itself in a residential development.

FLASHBACK TO 2011: Partnership for Water Sustainability and City of Surrey co-hosted pilot 2-day “Course on the ISMP Course Correction”

“The genesis for ISMPs (Integrated Stormwater Management Plans) was a desire to integrate the community, engineering, planning and environmental perspectives. In 2001, Metro Vancouver’s member municipalities recognized the benefits of this approach and made a legal commitment to the Province to have ISMPs in place by 2014 for their watersheds,” reported Robert Hicks.

Sustainable Watershed Systems: Communities urged to integrate “water balance solutions” into land use decisions

"Work needs to be done today to ensure we see a secure water future. Benefits are long-term," wrote Kim Stephens. "Successful programs that are politically supported would ensure we restore the water balance and have sustainable watershed systems. This approach has the potential to re-set the ecological baseline along the east coast of Vancouver Island and in the Lower Mainland. Success would be abundant salmon in urban streams."

Interview offers insight into ‘watershed / stream’ approach: Watershed objectives start with the stream and end with the stream, say Jim Dumont & Kim Stephens

James Careless had an assignment to look into stormwater modelling tools (for projecting flow and other patterns); both to determine the most common tools used, and some of the most innovative approaches that are coming into use. His research into BC's water balance approach led him to switch gears from an examination of modelling tools to learning what 'establishing watershed objectives for stormwater management' means in practice.

YOUTUBE VIDEO: The Well-Tempered City – use nature instead of the brute force of steel and concrete to mitigate flooding and harmful runoff, advocates visionary Jonathan Rose

Drawing from the musical concept of “temperament” as a way to achieve harmony, Jonathan Rose argues that well-tempered cities can be infused with systems that bend the arc of their development toward equality, resilience, adaptability, well-being, and the ever-unfolding harmony between civilization and nature. He advocates using green infrastructure to mitigate damage from destructive storms. "What's so compelling about natural systems solutions is that they not only save costs but also improve the quality of life," he contends.

“Benefits provided by nature are being recognized and incorporated into the delivery of local government services,” states CAO David Allen, City of Courtenay

"Unlike the built environment, healthy ecological services are self-sustaining, and don’t require expensive operations and maintenance costs. The ecological services provided by wetlands, aquifers, and community forests support stormwater management, drinking water protection, and climate change mitigation, all key issues for municipalities in BC," wrote David Allen.