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

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"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.

TO TEST DRIVE…

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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.

Water Balance Model – On Tour!

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"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.

DOWNLOAD: Stormwater Planning: A Guidebook for British Columbia

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"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."

LOOK AT RAINFALL DIFFERENTLY: “Best practice falls dramatic short of effective waterway protection,” stated Rod Wiese, a champion for ‘doing business differently’ in Australia, at the 2016 Stormwater Australia National Conference

“This study explores the genuine desire to protect and enhance urban waterways through whole of water cycle measures having wide ranging benefits to community health and climate change resilience,” wrote Rod Wiese in a conference paper titled Why Best Practice is Destroying Our Waterways. “Clearly, we need to manage volume and restore water balance pathways as Kim Stephens explained in his keynote at Stormwater 2016 about the primacy of hydrology.”

FLASHBACK TO 2006: At the Water in the City Conference, Tom Liptan explained why City of Portland coined the RAIN acronym as an alternative to ‘Stormwater’ Management’

“It is great to see that the Province of British Columbia is proactively encouraging the drainage community to start using the all-encompassing Rainwater Management as an alternative to single-objective Stormwater Management," stated Tom Liptan. "The language-shift that you have initiated in British Columbia is what we would like to see happen in Portland."

WHAT HAPPENS ON THE LAND MATTERS: “The benefits of source control cannot be understated,” stated John Argue, pioneer and champion for Water Sensitive Urban Design in Australia

"The genesis of this approach lies at the point where rainfall strikes an urban environment surface, where it can be captured via rooftop gardens and water tanks under a notion of retaining water as opposed to having it wash away," says John Argue. "Water which is not captured by these practices can potentially be infiltrated into the soil or be channelled through vegetated bio retention systems or rainwater gardens."

SUSTAINABLE WATERSHED SYSTEMS, THROUGH ASSET MANAGEMENT: “We are looking at the water cycle with fresh eyes to develop new approaches, methodologies and tools,” stated Kim Stephens in his keynote presentation to the Coquitlam River Watershed Roundtable (June 10, 2017)

"The keynote presentation by Kim Stephens was a highlight of the day," reports Melissa Dick, Coordinator for the Coquitlam River Watershed Roundtable. "The messages he shared about what happens on the land matters, and the steps needed to succeed at convening for action, resounded well with the Roundtable participants. His support for the Community Meeting and his contributions throughout the day were very much appreciated."

LOOK AT RAINFALL DIFFERENTLY: What would it take to build 12,000 rain gardens on Metro Vancouver’s North Shore?

Inspired by a ground-breaking campaign to install 12,000 rain gardens in the Seattle/Puget Sound region of Washington State, a multi-partner initiative is now underway in British Columbia to build support for a similar rain garden vision in the Metro Vancouver region. “On the North Shore, we can learn from the experience in the Puget Sound region and from the green infrastructure initiatives that are taking place at the municipal level,” states Dr. Joanna Ashworth.

Both public-side and lot-­level (private-­side) measures are important for effective mitigation of urban flood risk

“Basement flooding is one of the most substantial drivers of natural disaster losses in Canada,” states Dan Sandink. “Our report explores legal tools that could be used to require private property owners in existing developments to better manage excessive rainwater and protect against flood risk. We examine the legal implications of applying these tools in the Canadian municipal context.”

VIDEO – Slow the Flow: Make Your Landscape Act Like a Sponge

"When much of California is facing drought and limited water supplies, capturing and reusing every drop of water will not only be clever, but crucial. By moving water away from the people and places that need it, stormwater cannot percolate into the ground and replenish water we keep drilling deeper and deeper to reach. Californians can counteract the negative impacts of stormwater runoff by promoting water infiltration," wrote Paula Luu.

Use the Rain, Reduce the Runoff in Whatcom County (Washington State)

“Given that you can’t have everybody move out of the watershed, that’s where low impact development and managing rainwater onsite comes into play,” CJ Huxford explained. “About 25-35 percent of the water you use indoors gets flushed down the toilet or is used in your cold water laundry. So the philosophy is that if you have more people in the watershed with toilet flushing systems, there is a lot of potential cost savings.”

IMAGINE: Once we know what we want our watersheds and neighbourhoods to look like, the next step is to decide what the tools are that will get us there

The Green Infrastructure Guide is an invaluable reference document for those who embrace a ‘design with nature’ philosophy. “All of us have an impact on the land, on the water, and on the way things look. Each party in the process has a responsibility. There are solutions to be found if all parties in the development process simply talk to each other about how they could all work together more effectively, using law reform or other process changes as tools," wrote Susan Rutherford.