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Contextual Resources

Moving Towards Sustainable Watershed Systems: “We need to re-learn basically ‘how we think’, using both the right and left hemispheres of our brain,” says Eva Kras, author of THE BLOCKAGE


“Short-term thinking governs much of what we do. In many organizations, the long-term view has somehow become excluded. Both ways of thinking are important, but the sad part is that we have convinced ourselves that the Left Hemisphere can do EVERYTHING. The new research by Ian McGilchrist now ‘turns the table’ because it demonstrates the true and indispensable role of the Right Hemisphere for ALL sustainable development work,” states Eva Kras.

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Flashback to 2003: "Re-Inventing Urban Hydrology for Watershed Protection" – British Columbia process showcased by EPA to an American audience at national conference


“The timing of this national conference, and the exposure to the British Columbia experience, coincided well with the implementation of U.S. EPA’s Phase II NPDES Storm Water Program during 2003,” recalls Eric Strecker. “We invited Kim Stephens to present a paper about the British Columbia Guidebook because we thought it would make a good fit with the theme of thinking beyond regulations to solving the problem.”

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MILESTONE RECOGNITION IN 2012 – 'Stormwater Planning: A Guidebook for British Columbia' has proven to be a catalyst for decade-long action


“In 2002, the Guidebook applied a science-based understanding, developed the water balance methodology to establish performance targets, and demonstrated that urban watershed restoration could be accomplished over a 50-year time-frame as and when communities redevelop,” states Peter Law. “The premise underpinning the Guidebook was that land development and watershed protection can be compatible.”

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FLASHBACK TO 2011: "Visualize what we want our watersheds to look like in 50 years" – theme for ISMP Course Correction in British Columbia


“The genesis for Integrated Stormwater Management Plans was a desire to integrate the community, engineering, planning and environmental perspectives. The implicit goal was to build and/or rebuild communities in balance with ecology. Local governments knew they had to do business differently to restore watershed health,” stated Robert Hicks.

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Affordable & Effective Asset Management: Drainage Infrastructure Screening Tool supports implementation of “Sustainable Service Delivery” by local governments in British Columbia


“The Screening Tool is an intermediary step in the assessment process that also happens to include the opportunity to provide a look at how climate change will affect the drainage systems. The tool also makes it is easy to assess the relative significance of changes in land use, in particular densification. Local governments can now consider both climate change and land use change at the same time, and with the same tool,” says Jim Dumont.

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Creating the Future in British Columbia: Recognize and Address the “Shifting Baseline”


“Every generation will use the images that they got at the beginning of their conscious lives as a standard and will extrapolate forward. And the difference then, they perceive as a loss. But they don’t perceive what happened before as a loss. You can have a succession of changes. At the end you want to sustain miserable leftovers. And the question is, why do people accept this?,” stated Daniel Pauly.

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Mantra for Sustainable Rainwater Management in British Columbia: "Build a Vision, Create a Legacy"


“Fundamental change in the scope of rainwater/stormwater planning, development standards, construction and operations will only happen if there is a broad understanding as to why the changes are needed, what they are, and how they can be practically implemented. The ability of consumers and the development community to adapt will then set the pace of change,” stated Erik Karlsen.

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Adapting to a Changing Climate: “We try to inspire communities to have a vision of their future, what they will look like on the ground in fifty years,” says Tim Pringle


“After ten years of involvement with the Partnership for Water Sustainability, I feel as committed as ever. At times, I find myself amazed at the collective expertise of the volunteers who work in Partnership initiatives. Their wisdom makes the work of the Partnership efficient; it allows a great deal to be done with very limited dollars. We collaborate with practitioners as equals and take services to their territories,” states Tim Pringle.

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Green, Heal and Restore the Earth: Ian McHarg's "Design with Nature" vision has influenced Sustainable Rainwater Management in BC


In his 1969 book, Design With Nature, Ian McHarg pioneered the concept of environmental planning. “So, I commend Design with Nature to your sympathetic consideration. The title contains a gradient of meaning. It can be interpreted as simply descriptive of a planning method, deferential to places and peoples, it can invoke the Grand Design, it can emphasize the conjunction with and, finally it can be read as an imperative. DESIGN WITH NATURE!,” wrote Ian McHarg.

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Gas Tax Grant Program: British Columbia Links Infrastructure Funding to Implementation of "Watershed-Based Approach"


“Avoidance of a future financial liability is a driver for Sustainable Service Delivery. This starts with land use and watershed-based planning. No matter what level of Asset Management implementation a local government is at, the key message is that including nature, natural resource management and natural services into their thinking should be done at the beginning – and the beginning has everything to do with planning,” stated Glen Brown.

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