“In British Columbia, we have made considerable progress over the past 10 to 15 years. We are on the right track," stated Kim Stephens. "By 2017 we would hope that everyone is beginning to understand where we need to go next. We are tying the process to asset management because we have a provincial initiative that is a factor in what everyone in local government does in their day job. Through sharing and learning, ensure that where we are going is indeed the right way.”
“The Forum was the kick-off for an inter-regional education initiative to be implemented in four regions over several years. Sharing of experiences, collaboration, alignment and a consistent approach on Vancouver Island will allow everyone to go farther, more efficiently and effectively,” stated Kate Miller. “Our emphasis will be on “targets and criteria”, lessons learned, and practices necessary to protect stream health.”
A decade ago, local governments ventured into uncharted waters when undertaking Integrated Stormwater Management Plans. “The genesis for ISMPs was a desire to integrate the community, engineering, planning and environmental perspectives,” stated Robert Hicks. "The implicit goal was to build and/or rebuild communities in balance with ecology. Local governments knew they had to do business differently in order to protect and/or restore watershed health."
"The program design was approached from a shared responsibility perspective; it explored how policy and legal tools can help developers, regulators and designers collaborate to ensure responsible outcomes," stated Vincent Lalonde.
“In the larger context, the forum is indicative of how far along our community of Vancouver Island practitioners has come,” stated Jay Bradley. “We are fostering a growing understanding of the fact that what goes on at a site, in terms of how rainwater is treated, is linked not only to stream and watershed health, but also to our social well-being and aesthetics of our communities.”
Surrey's Fergus Creek Watershed Plan is the pilot for Beyond the Guidebook. The plan is based entirely on implementing ‘green solutions’ as an alternative to conventional engineered ‘blue solutions’. "The Fergus plan demonstrates how to protect stream health in the urban environment”, noted David Hislop. “In addition to rainwater capture on individual lots, the strategy for replicating natural infiltration processes includes creation of contiguous large-scale green corridors through the watershed."
“Two rainfall-runoff tools have been merged to create a new tool, the Water Balance Model powered by QUALHYM, that integrates the site with the stream and watershed,” stated Ted van der Gulik. “Funded by the Province of British Columbia, the new tool supports Beyond the Guidebook: The New Business As Usual, a provincial initiative to influence the greening of the Built Environment.”
“Partners were encouraged to present a 5-minute synopsis of how the WBM is being applied in their community, what related initiatives are being implemented, and what lessons have been learned,” stated Kim Stephens. “This provided a starting point for sharing of experiences and offering feedback on what the Inter-Governmental Partnership can do to make the WBM even better."
“The purpose of the Water Balance Model is to demonstrate how to meet performance targets for water balance management at the site, neighbourhood and watershed scales, and derive feasibility and affordability relationships,” explained Laura Maclean. “Use of the Water Balance Model will help local governments determine what watershed target may be achievable and affordable over time through land redevelopment."
“The purpose of the forum was to secure financial commitments from willing federal, provincial and local governments. Ted van der Gulik and Laura Maclean represented the Province and Environment Canada, respectively, and agreed to serve as Co-Chairs," recalls Kim Stephens. "With the Province and Metro Vancouver contributing one-third of the budget, the Water Balance Model project was well and truly launched.”
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