Latest News

North Vancouver, Cowichan Region, Surrey and Comox Valley: To test drive the “Water Balance Model Express for Landowners”…….


"The first four demonstration applications of the web-based and interactive WBM Express are now LIVE. Because the Express is hosted on the partner local government website, homeowners can quickly size and test landscape-based solutions - such as rain gardens and absorbent soil - that slow, sink and spread rainwater. The interface is no more complex than the dash board of a car," stated Ted van der Gulik.

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.

“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.

What Happens on the Land Matters: “North America’s first natural asset policy directs the municipality to consider the role of natural assets within our overall asset management strategy,” says Emanuel Machado, Town of Gibsons Chief Administrative Officer

“What gives life to the policy is the fact that, once the natural asset is within the policy, a budget must be set aside for its ongoing management and maintenance, and town staff must work together to preserve its integrity. The Town's Eco-Asset Strategy recognizes the role of nature as a fundamental component of the municipal infrastructure system, leading to improved financial and operational management plans,” states Emanuel Machado.

Moving Towards Sustainable Watershed Systems: “We need to re-learn basically ‘how we think’, using both the right and left hemispheres of our brain,” says Eva Kras, author of THE BLOCKAGE

"Short-term thinking governs much of what we do. In many organizations, the long-term view has somehow become excluded. Both ways of thinking are important, but the sad part is that we have convinced ourselves that the Left Hemisphere can do EVERYTHING. The new research by Ian McGilchrist now ‘turns the table’ because it demonstrates the true and indispensable role of the Right Hemisphere for ALL sustainable development work," states Eva Kras.

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.

Beyond the Guidebook 2015: “This is a true gift to everyone, individually and writ large,” says Erik Karlsen.

“This is superlative work. It records so much in visual and conversational ways that everyone who reads it will see how changes are informed and guided towards collaborative action to achieve real results. You have connected the dots enabling those who were part of the stories to see how they have contributed in so many meaningful ways for themselves and their communities of place and practice," stated Erik Karlsen.

“Beyond the Guidebook 2015″ introduced to regional district elected representatives in BC (Nov 2015)

“The ‘convening for action’ initiative is the best example of peer driven innovation that I have ever seen," states Dale Wall, former Deputy Minister. "It has led to nothing less than a quiet revolution in how we approach the design and construction of human settlements in British Columbia. I firmly believe that this ability to creatively innovate in support of sustainable practices will enable us to meet a host of future challenges."

“90% of the problems fish experience in small urban streams are caused by land use decisions and activities in the watershed,” says Peter Law, a founding Director, Partnership for Water Sustainability in BC

“It was through my work as a Provincial Fish Biologist that I became aware first-hand of the issue of water sustainability and watershed health. In the work we did to develop the 2002 Stormater Planning Guidebook, I felt it was important to showcase the science from the University of Washington that linked impacts to fish and fish habitat with changes associated with land development,” recalls Peter Law.

“The concrete of the future lets water run right through it,” wrote Jacqueline Ronson in her article about a water-absorbing driveway in Victoria, BC

"When Ron Manuel picked permeable concrete for his driveway, though, it wasn’t strictly out of altruism for the natural world (city officials forced his hand because a typical concrete driveway would require a runoff basin). His contractor came up with the idea of going permeable. It’s the first time permeable concrete had ever been used in a private driveway in Victoria," wrote Jacqueline Ronson.

Climate Change Adaptation Program funds “Across Canada Workshop Series” to showcase WBM Express and Water Balance Methodology

In 2002, looking at rainfall differently led the Province of British Columbia to adopt the Water Balance Methodology. This resulted in development of the Water Balance Model. “The series was selected from 75 submissions made by conservation authorities and non-governmental organizations from across the country. It met the project’s mandate to showcase viable and cost-effective adaptation solutions that ultimately will be replicated in communities across the country,” stated Dr. Blair Feltmate.

Flashback to 2003: “Re-Inventing Urban Hydrology for Watershed Protection” – British Columbia process showcased by EPA to an American audience at national conference

“The timing of this national conference, and the exposure to the British Columbia experience, coincided well with the implementation of U.S. EPA’s Phase II NPDES Storm Water Program during 2003," recalls Eric Strecker. “We invited Kim Stephens to present a paper about the British Columbia Guidebook because we thought it would make a good fit with the theme of thinking beyond regulations to solving the problem."