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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 Kim Stephens.

Cowichan Valley ‘rainwater brochure’ informs and educates property owners about building blocks to healthy watersheds

“Our community is deeply committed to watershed management and stewardship. However, often they are missing the specific tools and information to transform that commitment to concrete actions they can take in their own lives. This often means simple changes to how they develop or care for their properties," stated Kate Miller. "The purpose of the rainwater brochure is to inform and educate property owners as to how their properties can act like a watershed."

Towards a Watershed Health Legacy in the Georgia Basin: Five regional districts collaborate to “Integrate Natural Systems Thinking Into Asset Management”

“The initiative is a unique format for Georgia Basin local governments to learn from each other by sharing approaches and successes in managing our water resources. The program will integrate natural systems and climate change thinking into asset management, as well as demonstrate how local governments can progress along the ‘asset management continuum’ to achieve the goal of sustainable service delivery for watershed systems," stated Brian Carruthers.

FLASHBACK TO 2012: Prototype of ‘Water Balance Model Express for Landowners’ Unveiled in Victoria at Capital Regional District Workshop on Sustainable Rainwater Management

“The workshop was a one day, two-part session. It provided information about the tools, and how they have been successfully applied in other jurisdictions. The workshop was designed to provide everyone – from general managers to technicians – with a common understanding of the WHY, WHAT and HOW of better delivering on regulatory objectives and compliance,” stated Brianne Czypyha

FLASHBACK TO 2005: Organized by Don Moore (1959-2008), the “Let It Rain Conference” Showcased a Vision for Green Infrastructure in BC

“Don’s hallmark at this stage in his career were his ‘green infrastructure’ initiatives, which he enthusiastically promoted at each of his development sites, including Turtle Mountain (Vernon) and Burke Mountain (Coquitlam),” recalls David Desrochers, his longtime friend and former colleague at the City of Vancouver. Don Moore was responsible for constructing the first ‘engineered rain garden’ in British Columbia.

“The key to the Whole Systems approach is understanding the integrated significance of the three flow paths in a watershed,” says Chris May, Kitsap County

“We at Kitsap County have used this Whole Systems concept to develop our strategy for retrofit and rehabilitation – it is not sufficient to do only a single (or even a few) things – it is necessary to do everything! We know we need to work on multiple scales and on multiple fronts to improve conditions in our small stream watersheds – that’s our strategy," states Chris May.

“In the 1990s, Puget Sound research by Horner and May made it clear that stormwater management was as much or more about land use decisions as engineering solutions,” recalls Bill Derry, watershed champion

“In 1996, Richard Horner and Chris May published a seminal paper that synthesized a decade of Puget Sound research to identify and rank the four factors that degrade urban streams and negatively influence aquatic productivity and fish survival. This science-based ranking provides a framework for Integrated Watershed Management,” reports Bill Derry.

“To protect watershed health, understand the watershed as a Whole System,” says Dr. Richard Horner, University of Washington (Seattle)

In the mid-1990s, the pioneer work of Dr. Richard Horner and Dr. Chris May resulted in a hydrology-based framework for protecting watershed health. “So many studies manipulate a single variable out of context with the whole and its many additional variables,” states Dr. Richard Horner. “We, on the other hand, investigated whole systems in place, tying together measures of the landscape, stream habitat, and aquatic life.”

Application of “Whole Systems Approach” – Watershed protection starts with an understanding of how water gets to a stream….

"When the watershed goal is protection of aquatic resources, two decades ago Richard Horner and Chris May proved that it is necessary to first mitigate ‘changes in hydrology’ – that is, changes in how rainwater reaches streams. The Water Balance Methodology addresses flow path differences, and leads to solutions that would maintain watershed health,” states Richard Boase.

Historical Importance of SmartStorm Forums (1999-2001): Series was the Catalyst for Looking at Rainfall Differently in British Columbia

A goal was to advance implementation of an integrated and balanced approach to land use. “To change the way people think and do, we defined smart development as protecting property and sustaining natural systems in a cost-effective manner. We made it clear that RAINwater management is at the heart of smart development," stated Barry Janyk, Mayor of the Town of Gibsons (1999-2011).

‘Climate Change Resilient, Floodwater Smart’ Stewardship: Convening for Action in Vermont

"The goal of the 2015 Leahy Environmental Summit is to inspire multi­-organizational, regional teams to produce or further develop specific projects, programs, and plans that engage an enthusiastic community to address social and structural resiliency for flooding and stormwater issues related to climate change. Given the energy in the room, it is clear that we achieved that goal," stated Phelan Fretz.