"Unlike the built environment, healthy ecological services are self-sustaining, and don’t require expensive operations and maintenance costs. The ecological services provided by wetlands, aquifers, and community forests support stormwater management, drinking water protection, and climate change mitigation, all key issues for municipalities in BC," wrote David Allen.
Commencing in 2003, consistent and repeated use of the phrase ‘design with nature’ has proven effective in facilitating a paradigm-shift in the local government setting. The phrase is borrowed from the title of a seminal book by Ian McHarg, published in 1969. His book Design with Nature pioneered the concept of ecological planning. Ian McHarg’s premise is simple: “that the shaping of land for human use ought to be based on an understanding of natural process.”
“Delivering green cities requires integrated and coordinated action by councils, urban water authorities, state governments and private industry, so it’s encouraging to hear that the Federal Government will develop a vision for greener Australian cities and work with the States to implement this vision," said Jurg Keller of the Cooperative Research Centre for Water Sensitive Cities at the University of Queensland.
“Healthier watersheds can handle high and low rainfall better, and are therefore more resilient to the coming changes," stated Kris La Rose. "From the regional perspective, mitigation of flood risk, water conservation and restoration and protection of our streams and rivers are all key priorities. The increase in extreme weather is highlighting the need to build better resiliency into the natural systems that we all rely so heavily upon."
For the last 50 years, heavy rain events have been happening more frequently across the Midwest. “It’s not a large increase, but it’s measurable, We’re going to have to build our systems to be more resilient to basically cope with changing variability. Variability is a key, key issue for us as a society," says Jeffrey Andresen.
Instead of simply storing excess water that seeps into the sanitary sewer system when rain falls and snow melts, Blueprint Columbus will address the source of the problem. "What we're seeing in cities like Columbus is part of a trend toward using green infrastructure to meet specific needs of utilities while generating a host of additional benefits for their communities. These cities are turning their infrastructural liabilities into assets," wrote Steve Goldsmith.
“There’s no question that land development has an impact on our local ecology. One of the most visible and loved ecological features of a community is its water – its streams and rivers, lakes and wetlands. In working with the conservation sector, we decided to focus on these ecosystems to highlight their value and show how they are changing as our community grows over time," said Nancy Hofer.
"A watershed blueprint helps to create a picture of how to achieve a desired future condition. If communities reduce their 'water footprint', and if local government actions ensure the integrity of groundwater flow, they can then protect watershed and stream health. This is a reason for conserving wetlands," stated Kim Stephens.
"Urban trees have popular appeal and are also highly regulated. Most cities have bylaws that protect mature trees from being cut down and dictate how many trees must accompany new development. There is also increasing research and awareness around the role trees play in urban ecosystems and infrastructure," wrote Wendy Stueck.
“All the impermeable surfaces in cities create the ideal condition for excess water to overwhelm our already strained municipal stormwater systems. Municipalities, property developers and homeowners must work together to better manage stormwater," stated Bob Sandford.
A scenario comparison tool to assess green infrastructure effectiveness, achieve a lighter 'water footprint' and protect stream health. Learn More
The Water Conservation Calculator illustrates how specific water conservation measures can yield both fiscal and physical water savings for communities. Learn More
This Landscape Irrigation Scheduling Calculator uses real-time daily evapotranspiration (ET) rates determined from climate stations located within British Columbia. Learn More
This Agricultural Irrigation Scheduling Calculator uses real-time daily evapotranspiration (ET) rates determined from climate stations located within British Columbia. Learn More
The BC Agriculture Water Calculator enables water licensing for all irrigation purposes, whether agricultural or landscape. All non-domestic users of groundwater in BC are required to obtain a licence. Learn More