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."
“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.”
“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.”
"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.
"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.”
“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 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.
“In the twentieth century we put lots of pipes in the ground to deal with the City’s stormwater runoff. In the 21st century we are implementing smaller-scale solutions. In the long-term, this will produce a savings for the City and taxpayers,” said City of Victoria Councillor Lisa Helps.
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.
Through collaboration, the four Comox Valley local governments are striving for a coordinated approach to watershed-based rainwater management in the Comox Valley and across boundaries. There is region-wide commitment to develop Watershed Blueprints. Kevin Lagan’s leadership helped make this possible.
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