FLASHBACK TO 2013: “In the 21st century we are implementing smaller-scale solutions. In the long-term, this will produce a savings for the City and taxpayers,” wrote Councillor Lisa Helps in a primer about Victoria’s Stormwater Utility

In 2014 the City of Victoria will be rolling out its new Stormwater Utility. "This is something that makes the City of Victoria a leader in Canada. It’s innovative because it encourages people, at the level of their own properties, to take responsibility and leadership for creating solutions – like rain barrels, cisterns, raingardens, bioswales – that are good for the planet and good for the City’s stormwater system," wrote Lisa Helps.

FLASHBACK TO 2011: Watch Philadelphia’s “Green City, Clean Waters” Video – “Changing the world, or even one small piece of, requires a lot of trial and error,” stated Howard Neukrug, the visionary behind Philadelphia’s bold plan to peel back the concrete and asphalt and replace it with green infrastructure

Philadelphia has developed a US$1.6 bllion plan to transform the city over the next 20 years. The plan reimagines the city as an oasis of rain gardens, green roofs, permeable pavements, thousands of additional trees, and more. According to Howard Neukrug, the Philadelphia Water Department’s Director of the Office of Watersheds, "We are taking that (old, grey infrastructure) barrier down, and are stopping the water from ever hitting the system."

FLASHBACK TO 2007: “Funding provided by the Canadian Water Network enabled us to bring together a pan-Canadian team of academics and practitioners”, stated Dr. Hans Schreier when introducing the vision for a National Knowledge Translation Strategy led by the University of BC

“The Vancouver get-together is the first of three cross-Canada working sessions, and will be followed by an event in Calgary later in 2007, with the third event to be held in Toronto in early 2008”, stated Dr. Hans Schreier. Three universities are involved in the project: UBC, Guelph and Waterloo. Three local government organizations are also involved in order to provide a practitioner perspective for each of three participating provinces.

DESIGN WITH NATURE TO PREVENT STORMWATER FLOODING: “We are playing catchup – why is application of the science lagging far behind long established knowledge,” is the question posed by Rick Baumann in South Carolina guest column

"I read a recent article entitled Stormwater Flooding An Expensive Problem, Hot Issue. Well, it has been an 'expensive' and 'hot' issue for about a hundred years – and our leaders have mostly chosen to ignore that, " wrote Rick Baumann in a guest newspaper column. "We are playing catchup. The result of this brilliant mindset: we end up paying far more to fix a problem further down the road when the absolute need to address it leaves no other option."

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.

FLASHBACK TO 2012: “Incorporation of a Climate Change Module (in the Water Balance Model) allows communities to easily assess potential impacts and how land use decisions can either reduce or exacerbate impacts,” stated Chris Jensen, Senior Policy Analyst, Government of British Columbia

“Local government plans and policies typically state that land use and infrastructure planning will consider climate change adaptation. Hence, being able to quickly and effectively model how the ‘water balance’ may change over time is a critical input to local government decision processes," stated Chris Jensen."The Climate Change Module supports two provincial initiatives: Living Water Smart; and Preparing for Climate Change: BC’s Adaptation Strategy."

FLASHBACK TO 2006: West Vancouver Mayor Pam Goldsmith-Jones teamed with Green Infrastructure Partnership to champion ‘Design with Nature’ approaches, overcome barriers and create a legacy in British Columbia


The goal is to turn local governments on to the practical reality that designing with nature holds out hope for communities and cities to function better, to our lasting benefit. "As the leaders appointed to design the Sustainable Region Initiative, we view you as critical partners in affecting positive change with regard to infrastructure design in the region," stated Mayor Goldsmith-Jones in December 2006 at a Metro Vancouver Sustainability Community Breakfast.

DESIGN WITH NATURE: Data Show that Increased Tree Canopy Boosts Property Values in Sydney, Australia

“To ensure the value of green infrastructure is recognised, our research found a connection between canopy coverage and the value of Australia’s favourite investment, the family home," stated Roger Swinbourne. “The irony here is that the very development that often leads to the removal of trees suffers in the long run as the ‘double whammy’ of direct sunlight and more surface water increases maintenance frequency and cost.”

DESIGN WITH NATURE: Forester University webinar looks at the water cycle with fresh eyes and showcases how to apply new approaches, methodologies and tools

“Collaboration with Forester University means the Partnership for Water Sustainability will have created an online teaching resource that will keep on giving,” stated Richard Boase. “As a teaching tool, the webcast is intended to help these professionals ask the right questions. We would like them to focus on how they and others can apply science-based understanding, properly and effectively, turn the clock back."