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.
"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.
“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.
Where a local government regulates land use, a watershed is an integral part of the drainage infrastructure assets of the local government. “Implementation of asset management along with the associated evolution of local government thinking is a continuous process," stated Glen Brown. "The continuum bridges to integration of natural capital, natural assets and watershed systems thinking.”
“Delivering green cities requires integrated and coordinated action by councils, urban water authorities, state governments and private industry, so it’s encouraging to hear that the Federal Government will develop a vision for greener Australian cities and work with the States to implement this vision," said Jurg Keller of the Cooperative Research Centre for Water Sensitive Cities at the University of Queensland.
“It does not matter how far away you live or build from a creek, lake, bog or the ocean – you are in a watershed. The Comox Valley consists of 26 watersheds. Each of us has a role to play to ensure these watersheds remain healthy for generations to come,” stated Judith Walker, Village of Cumberland planner. “The four local governments in the Comox Valley are striving for consistent application of outcome-oriented actions.”
“There is a provincial story. But nobody has been telling it. Part B of Beyond the Guidebook 2015 is intended to fill that gap. It connects the dots. It does this by linking the landmark initiatives that have been spearheaded by different divisions within different ministries. This should help convey how mandates, roles and responsibilities are aligned to achieve the Watershed Health Goal in BC," writes Kim Stephens.
“During the late 1960s, BC began its multi-faceted and ongoing journey towards sustainability. By the 1980s, local governments were given enabling legislation to protect the environment,” states Erik Karlsen. “By the mid-1990s, inter-governmental partnerships were formed to address environmental challenges; and were supported by protocol agreements between the Province and the Union of BC Municipalities.”
The 45 actions and targets in Living Water Smart, BC’s Water Plan establish expectations vis-à-vis how land will be developed (or redeveloped) and how water will be used. “Living Water Smart acknowledges that what government does is only part of the solution. Living Water Smart challenges all British Columbians to step up and be water stewards. Embrace shared responsibility. Create a legacy for those who follow in our footsteps,” states Lynn Kriwoken, Executive Director in the Ministry of Environment.
“Adaptation is local in application. The Province has developed information and tools to support practitioners and decision makers to take action at a local level. Sharing of knowledge and experience through ‘organic collaboration’ is also vital because peer-to-peer learning is what practitioners respect most,” states Thomas White, Manager, Climate Risk Management, Climate Action Secretariat (Ministry of Environment).
Looking into the future, collaboratively developed Water Sustainability Plans can integrate water and land use planning and can be combined with other local, regional or provincial planning processes to address water-related issues. “The scale and scope of each plan – and the process used to develop it – would be unique, and would reflect the needs and interests of the watersheds affected," states Jennifer Vigano.
Develop with Care 2014 is a tool to engage with local governments, planners, developers and others involved in land use about the provincial mandate and issues. “Develop with Care 2014 incorporates the integration piece that now makes the direct connection to the Built Environment and the local government mandate. A focus on the Built Environment provides an opportunity to look at environmental protection from perspective of land use, and get out in front of issues," stated Helene Roberge.