City of Victoria Stormwater Utility — “We have designed the utility so that it will be one of the most fair and representative stormwater utilities in North America,” stated Adam Steele

Over time, the Stormwater Utility provides the City with the capability to foster a watershed stewardship ethic and influence landowner actions on the ground for the common good. “With implementation of our stormwater utility and Rainwater Rewards Program, we have provided a basis to facilitate and grow a change in thinking, so that increased awareness results in action. The program foundation resulted from listening to feedback."

OP-ED: “Water wise: Where have all the coho gone?” asks Tanis Gower

“Without even discussing the challenges of ocean life in a changing climate – or the unanticipated problems wrought by hatcheries – it is easy to see that changes to small streams are not beneficial to coho salmon. This is one reason coho haven’t been doing so well," stated Tanis Gower. “The bright part of this story is that small streams don’t have to be wrecked by development. We now have the understanding and the technology to do better.”

Moving Towards Healthy Watersheds: Do you wonder how to visually depict “Watershed Health” for a public audience?

“For the Bowker Creek watershed, we realized that the community, especially the youth, had no memory of Bowker Creek in a natural state because almost 70% of the creek was in pipes,” recalls Jody Watson. "When developing the Bowker Blueprint, we used stylized graphics to represent an open and above-ground creek and to depict many of the design with nature concepts that the Blueprint contemplates for the watershed. We did this to help the community visualize what is possible.”

“The concrete of the future lets water run right through it,” wrote Jacqueline Ronson in her article about a water-absorbing driveway in Victoria, BC

"When Ron Manuel picked permeable concrete for his driveway, though, it wasn’t strictly out of altruism for the natural world (city officials forced his hand because a typical concrete driveway would require a runoff basin). His contractor came up with the idea of going permeable. It’s the first time permeable concrete had ever been used in a private driveway in Victoria," wrote Jacqueline Ronson.

Rainwater brochure encourages “water balance actions” in the Cowichan Valley (Vancouver Island)

"Our community is deeply committed to watershed management and stewardship. However, often they are missing the specific tools and information to transform that commitment to concrete actions,” stated Kate Miller. “The purpose of the rainwater brochure is to inform and educate property owners as to how their properties can act like a watershed – that is, managing rainwater properly by first capturing runoff and then slowly releasing it back into the ground and to streams.”

A Tale of Two Urbanizing Watersheds in the City of Courtenay

“The City of Courtenay State of the Environment annual report series is our way of sharing information on the ways that the City works with the environment on a daily basis. Healthy natural heritage systems are the foundation for a sustainable community. This year we have taken a look at the ecological systems that connect our neighbourhoods and communities – our backyard streams,” states Nancy Hofer.

“Bowker Creek Watershed Blueprint is a provincial game-changer,” Kim Stephens informs Capital Region elected representatives

"Bowker Creek is provincially significant and precedent-setting. It is also inspirational. In my 40-year career as a professional engineer, there is nothing that equals it. And the reason it is so important is that it gave the rest of us a vision of what can be. The experience of what this region has done is informing others, from Metro Vancouver all the way up to the Comox Valley," stated Kim Stephens.

FLASHBACK TO 2011: From Stormwater to Rainwater – POLIS Project and University of Victoria Environmental Law Clinic released “Peeling Back the Pavement”

The inspiration for “Peeling Back the Pavement” was a report titled Re-Inventing Rainwater Management: A Strategy to Protect Health and Restore Resources in the Capital Region. "Environmental and stream health problems in the Capital Region are the legacy of an obsolete 19th century stormwater management system—a system that fails to respect natural systems and water cycles,” states Calvin Sandborn.