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Sustainable Watershed Systems, through Asset Management

SUSTAINABLE WATERSHED SYSTEMS, THROUGH ASSET MANAGEMENT: A workshop on "Stormwater Impacts Communities and Creeks – What Can Streamkeepers Do?" (March 2017)


“We need to draw community attention to the tangible things that all residents can do to support sustainable watersheds. Their cumulative beneficial actions will lead to good habitat and fish will thrive, if given a chance,” stated Glen Parker. “We cannot overlook the political nature of decisions in our communities. The workshop, kicked off by political representatives, helps reinforce the belief with our leaders that watersheds matter.”

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SUSTAINABLE WATERSHED SYSTEMS, THROUGH ASSET MANAGEMENT: Flashback to 2011- "Understand how water reaches the stream and design for interflow," urged Alan Jonsson, Habitat Engineer with the Department of Fisheries and Oceans


“Interflow is often the dominant drainage path in glaciated landscapes of British Columbia. Even undeveloped sites founded on till and bedrock rarely show overland flow because of interflow pathways. The lesson is that the interflow system is an incredibly important and yet fragile component of a watershed. It is critical for maintaining stream health and our fishery resource,” stated Alan Jonsson of DFO.

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WHAT HAPPENS ON THE LAND DOES MATTER! – hosted by Forester University (May 2017), the Water Balance Webinar from British Columbia introduced a North American audience to the methodology that underpins vision for “Sustainable Watershed Systems, through Asset Management”


“We are looking at the water cycle with fresh eyes to develop new approaches, methodologies and tools,” stated Kim Stephens. “The genesis for these methodologies and tools goes back 15, 20 years. It has been a building blocks process as we work towards restoration of the water balance in urban watersheds. For the past 18 months, we have been using the terminology of Sustainable Watershed Systems for the purposes of advancing a different way of doing business.”

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BACKGROUNDER SERIES ON SUSTAINABLE WATERSHED SYSTEMS: What the “Whole-System, Water Balance Approach” means for Lowland Drainage in BC (May 2017)


“Many years ago, the province established a set of criteria which determined the level of drainage improvements that were deemed to be acceptable in terms of cost-benefit, and the ability to pay,” explains Ted van der Gulik. “The supporting analysis optimized the relationship between agricultural return on production and cost of drainage infrastructure investment. These have come to be known as ARDSA criteria. ”

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BACKGROUNDER SERIES ON SUSTAINABLE WATERSHED SYSTEMS: Peer-based Learning is Motivating and Powerful (released May 2017)


“The Regional District of Nanaimo (RDN) and Comox Valley presentations to our Regional Board were of high quality and relevant. Board members were fully engaged. Learning from each other is motivating and powerful,” stated Brian Carruthers, CAO, Cowichan Valley Regional District. “Those regions provide a range of experience that we can learn from: the RDN has a true region-wide service function; and Comox Valley has a watershed-based service.”

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SUSTAINABLE WATERSHED SYSTEMS, THROUGH ASSET MANAGEMENT: “We have a drainage standard-of-practice that is generally accepted as not achieving what is best for the environment,” stated Jim Dumont at the Comox Valley Eco-Asset Symposium (March 2017)


“If communities are to truly benefit from use of nature’s assets to provide vital community infrastructure services, then two issues must first be recognized as being impediment to changes in practice,” stated Jim Dumont. “Issue #1 is widespread lack of understanding of the relationship between flow-duration and stream (watershed) health. Issue #2 is widespread application of a standard of practice that has little connection to real-world hydrology.”

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BACKGROUNDER SERIES ON SUSTAINABLE WATERSHED SYSTEMS: IREI program goal is to embed ‘state-of-the-art’ hydrology in engineering ‘standard practice’ (April 2017)


“Not only does water shape topography over time, but it sustains flora and fauna through its various functions: rainwater interception, surface water retention, infiltration, surface flows, inter-flows, and groundwater containment,” stated Tim Pringle. “These systems share a critical characteristic – flow duration. The condition (degree of proper functioning) of each of the ecosystem functions provided by water may be described based on flow duration.”

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BACKGROUNDER SERIES ON SUSTAINABLE WATERSHED SYSTEMS: Policy, Program and Regulatory Context for the Whole-System, Water Balance Approach in British Columbia (released in April 2017)


“The BC Framework sets a strategic direction that would refocus business processes on outcomes that reduce life-cycle costs and risks,” stated the Hon. Peter Fassbender, Minister of Community, Sport and Cultural Development. “Successful implementation provincewide of ‘Sustainable Watershed Systems, through Asset Management’, would represent an evolution in how infrastructure is planned, financed, implemented and maintained in British Columbia.”

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BACKGROUNDER SERIES ON SUSTAINABLE WATERSHED SYSTEMS: Forester University Webinar on Protecting Urban Watersheds and Stream Health in British Columbia (released in April 2017)


“We are delighted to have Kim Stephens and Jim Dumont share British Columbia’s cutting-edge continuous simulation model, known as the Water Balance Methodology, in their upcoming, featured webinar,” stated Emily Shine. “At Forester University, we aim to position ourselves at the forefront of innovation in rainwater management and green infrastructure, and that is why we are calling Water Balance Methodology a webinar that cannot be missed.”

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BACKGROUNDER SERIES ON SUSTAINABLE WATERSHED SYSTEMS: Watershed Moments – Something really good is happening in British Columbia (released in April 2017)


“We cannot forget that there has been a huge investment in what we now know is an unsustainable status quo. Investment must now be shifted towards restoration that uses the forces of nature itself to help build more efficiently integrated infrastructure that as much as possible maintains itself. What a gift to the world that would be,” stated Bob Sandford. “If you want to live here in perpetuity, then you need to do this. Do not forget the urgency.”

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