BLUEPRINT COLUMBUS – Clean Streams, Strong Neighborhoods: “One of the most exciting aspects to Blueprint is its creativity. Blueprint attacks the root problem by addressing the rain water that is entering the sewer system,” stated Columbus Mayor Michael B. Coleman

"The City was concerned that building 28 miles of tunnels to eliminate Sanitary Sewer Overflows (SSOs) was of questionable value, because SSOs are such a small volume of overflows compared to Combined Sewer Overflows (CSOs). The proposed tunnels would cost approximately $2 billion and only be used 4 or 5 times a year," stated Mayor Michael Coleman. "Blueprint Columbus will be significantly better for the environment."

FLASHBACK TO 2009: “Our goal in constantly improving the Water Balance Model is to serve an ever widening range of user sophistication and problem-solving capabilities,” stated Ted van der Gulik when he announced the plan for implementing a $500,000 program over 3 years

“Among the many enhancements that will be implemented over the next three years are capabilities not currently available in commercial software," stated Ted van der Gulik. “The rapid growth and success of the present second generation model has made it clear that the time has come for the next bold leap forward in the evolution of our web-based tool."

FLASHBACK TO 2008: “We are using the slogan ‘The New Business As Usual’ to convey the message that practices that until now have been viewed as the exception must become the norm,” stated Dale Wall, Deputy Minister, when he announced that Vancouver Island would be the demonstration region for green infrastructure capacity building

"Vancouver Island is the pilot for the Learning Lunch Seminar Series, a continuing education program for local government practitioners. This program will build capacity to apply 'the new Water Balance Model', and it will help make the transition to The New Business As Usual," announced Dale Wall. "The Cowichan Valley Regional District and the City of Courtenay are the host local governments for series in the Spring and Fall, respectively."

FLASHBACK TO 2006: Cochrane Innovations in Urban Development Conference introduced Alberta audience to the Water Balance Model

The conference resulted from concerns about protecting escarpments, riparian areas, groundwater supplies and the Bow River watersheds during development. According to Bert van Duin, the pre-conference workshop provided an opportunity for the British Columbia team to inform Albertans about the benefits of the water balance way-of-thinking. "We received excellent feed-back on the format and contents of the conference, in general, and the workshop in particular," he said.

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."

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.

FLASHBACK TO 2013: Low Impact Development – the United States can learn from British Columbia experience, concluded Paul Crabtree, leader of the US-based Rainwater in Context Initiative

“The Canadians do appear to be ahead of the US in this field because the US EPA took a really bad approach to LID that was based on the premise that enforcing every site to the same standard would somehow fix the problems of water quality in the US,” commented Paul Crabtree. “The USA EPA approach has done some good, but has several crippling drawbacks."

“Green City, Clean Waters”: An interview with Philadelphia’s Howard Neukrug about the bold vision for re-imagining the urban landscape

"Instead of expanding our infrastructure, we put together a plan to price, value, reuse, recycle, infiltrate, transpire or otherwise manage, every drop of rainwater we could. We started to invent the millions of ways to reduce the amount of rainwater that arrived at our sewer inlets. The goal was to consider rainwater as a commodity and a resource—if it enters a sewer drain it becomes a costly waste product," explained Howard Neukrug.