Latest News

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.

Rain Garden Initiative: Cleveland Botanical Garden spearheads “Vacant to Vibrant” region-wide pilot program (Indiana, Ohio and New York)

Three cities in the United States are part of a pilot program by the Cleveland Botanical Garden aimed at helping communities struggling with abandoned homes. Sandra Albro said the work isn’t meant to be the answer for all vacant properties, but it is one approach. “In many of the neighborhoods in Gary and Cleveland, these are the first investments that have taken place in these neighborhoods in decades,” she said.

What Happens on the Land Matters: Town of Gibsons “Eco-Asset Strategy” Incorporates Natural Capital in Infrastructure Management

Gibsons is one the first Canadian municipalities to explore managing the natural capital in their community. Their rationale is that natural services have tangible value to the community. "Bringing natural assets into the same asset management system as engineered infrastructure recognizes the quantifiable value they provide to the community and integrates them into the municipal framework for operating budgets, maintenance and regular support," stated Dave Newman.

Sustainable Watershed Systems, through Asset Management: Build Resiliency to Achieve a Balance: ‘Water OUT = Water IN’

"Climate change is exacerbating an existing vulnerability (a seasonal water imbalance). When we are vulnerable on the IN side of the equation, we then have to build in resiliency on the OUT side. But where will we do that, recognizing that everything is in flux? The answer is that we look for the little things that will yield cumulative benefits in the built environment. This is key," says Kim Stephens.

The New Paradigm: Watershed Systems as Infrastructure Assets

"A watershed is an integrated system, is infrastructure, and must be viewed as an asset that provides municipal services. Watershed systems thinking covers the continuum from water supply to drainage, and encompasses human and/or ecosystem needs. Where a local government regulates land use, a watershed is an integral part of the drainage infrastructure assets of the local government," says Kate Miller.

Connecting Dots: Asset Management & Sustainable Watershed Systems

“The asset management process is a continuum; and nature is an integral part of a community’s infrastructure system. The process starts with the engineered assets that local governments provide. Communities will progress along the continuum incrementally as their understanding grows. By also accounting for and integrating the services that nature provides, over time they can achieve the goal of Sustainable Service Delivery for watershed systems," states Wally Wells.

Convening for Action in Metro Vancouver: Goal of Resilient Rainwater Management is “Sustainable Watershed Systems”

“A systems approach to watershed health and protection recognizes that actions on the land have consequences for the three pathways to streams and hence the water balance of the watershed. Those consequences are felt in both dry weather and wet weather – too little or too much water, respectively. Resilient Rainwater Management accounts for all rainfall-days per year,” stated Kim Stephens.

Asset Management for Sustainable Service Delivery: A BC Framework

"The BC Framework points the way to a holistic and integrated approach to asset management. Nature, and the ecosystem services that it provides, are a fundamental and integral part of a community’s infrastructure system. This is not to suggest that all ecosystem services provide a municipal function. Trees, soil, green spaces, and water do contribute a valuable municipal function in maintaining the hydrologic integrity of a healthy watershed," states Glen Brown.

“Integrate water balance strategies with existing infrastructure strategies to visualise what a ‘resilient future’ would look like,” says Australia’s Peter Coombes – Systems Thinker, Scientist, Engineer, Problem Solver and Policy Analyst

“A history of top down management of water in Australia was challenged by drought. Concerned citizens called for implementation of bottom up strategies and inclusion in the decision making process. It was an emerging insight that there were no ‘silver bullet’ single solutions for water management. Both bottom-up and top-down approaches were needed," wrote Peter Coombes.

British Columbia and Cape Breton partnerships collaborate to implement “Water Balance Express for Membertou First Nation” (capture, sink & slow rainwater runoff)

“The Pitu’paq Partnership is a unique collaboration of Mi’kmaq and non-Mi’kmaq communities in Cape Breton Island, forming ten communities in all. The Pitu’paq Partnership learned early that in order to make good decisions about water, it needed to think like water. Water does not know boundaries of politics or culture, but it does hold the memory and tell the story of every contaminant we put into the land, air and water itself," stated Laurie Suitor.