Resilient Rainwater Management: An Introduction to the 2014 Across Canada Workshop Series

“Sustainable and resilient are complementary terms that draw attention to the future, and help focus thought and action. However, use of resilient more clearly shines the spotlight on Context, Intent and Results. Sustainable refers to attaining certain conditions in the context of social, economic and environmental considerations. Resilient in a biological sense is primarily the ability for an ecosystem to recover from an intervention," states Erik Karlsen.

Across Canada Workshop Series on Resilient Rainwater Management included a session for the Toronto region: “The workshop provided an opportunity to bring together those who are ‘influencers’ in stormwater management,” said Glenn MacMillan of the host TRCA

“We anticipated that the workshop program would be good. In fact, it exceeded expectations. One technical area in which the BC team had an impact was the way in which they drew audience attention to the fundamental importance of soil-water interaction; and how an understanding of this relationship holds the key to implementing water balance solutions," stated Glenn MacMillan.

Across Canada Workshop Series on Resilient Rainwater Management included a session in Quebec: “We had the chance to welcome the three ‘tenors’ of water sustainability,” said Frédéric Moreau, co-moderator

“This single day workshop gave us the chance to listen and discover practices from BC in regards to watershed-based approach to rainwater management. The audience had not only the opportunity to learn about best-practices but also to discover tools that can be customized to the local context. We are grateful that the group stopped in Montreal to share this priceless information," said Frédéric Moreau.

Across Canada Workshop Series on Resilient Rainwater Management included a session for Eastern Ontario: “The insight provided by the speakers on moving change forward was invaluable,” stated Darlene Conway, City of Ottawa

“The workshop was very enlightening – BC’s issues are very different in many ways from ours but the insight provided by the speakers on moving change forward was invaluable. The workshop was a great blend of the technical combined with the compelling back story of how and why BC and local municipalities are addressing their many stormwater management challenges,” stated Darlene Conway.

Across Canada Workshop Series on Resilient Rainwater Management concluded in Halifax: “What impressed me the most was hearing engineers linking stormwater management to watershed health and fish habitat!”, said Jocelyne Rankin, Ecology Action Centre host

“The workshop was the ideal stepping stone to advance our collective thinking on rainwater management and climate change adaptation in the Atlantic region. It provided the theory and delivered an overview of user-friendly tools to help practitioners implement rainwater management techniques to meet watershed health goals and adapt to a changing climate," stated Jocelyne Rankin.

Across Canada Workshop Series on Resilient Rainwater Management launched in Calgary: “It was an overwhelming success,” said Bert van Duin, City of Calgary host

"The big takeaway for me is confirmation that in Calgary we are actually on the right track; and it fits with a number of items that I heard. There is a lot of discussion pertaining to degraded areas, wetlands and streams. People say 'well, it is degraded and so it has no value'. In contrast to that mind-set, the notion of the Shifting Baseline continuum tells us that we can go back to a higher state," stated Bert van Duin.

Partnership for Water Sustainability in British Columbia posts PowerPoint presentations for “Across Canada Workshop Series on Resilient Rainwater Management”

"In the morning sessions, it was essentially a case of 'presenting at' our audiences. Each time, we needed to bring a mixed audience up to a common level of understanding of basic concepts. The process was intense. Our audiences had to absorb a large body of knowledge in a very period of time. And they did. As a result, the afternoon sessions were highly interactive and highly effective," reports Kim Stephens.

Across Canada Workshop Series on Resilient Rainwater Management: Final Program released by BC’s Partnership for Water Sustainability

“Our story is about what it means for a group of people to share a vision and make a long-term personal and professional commitment to creating a better future in the regions of BC. We challenge our audiences by asking ‘What do you want this place to look like in 50 years’ because the decisions that we make today will ripple through time,” states Kim Stephens.