"The Stormwater Guidebook and Water Balance Model initiatives link directly to land use planning, policy, and regulation," stated Mayor Barry Janyk. “Use of the Water Balance Model promotes a watershed-based approach that recognizes the relationships between the natural environment and the built environment, and manages them as integrated components of the same watershed."
The goal is to change land development practices so that sites and subdivisions function hydrologically like a natural forest. "By developing the Water Balance Model, the IGP is meeting its mission of providing local governments and landowners with a 'decision support and scenario modeling tool' that is interactive and scientifically defensible," stated Laura Maclean. “This will help them meet performance targets for runoff volume reduction.”
The ‘date of record’ for formal launch of the Inter-Governmental Partnership (IGP) to ‘make real’ the vision for the WBM initiative is July 17, 2002. On that date the Greater Vancouver Regional District (now known as Metro Vancouver) convened a meeting of representatives from three levels of government. "The defining outcome of that inaugural Water Balance Partners Forum was the decision to fund and proceed with WBM development," stated Kim Stephens.
"The WBM can be applied to evaluate the hydrologic performance of stormwater source
controls (e.g. bioretention, infiltration facilities, rainwater capture and re-use, green roofs)
and stormwater detention," stated Dr. Dan Medina. "The output hydrograph generated by the WBM can become an input to a wide range of hydraulic routing models. WBM hydrographs represent a major improvement over conventional hydrologic simulation of urban runoff."
"We are using the slogan The New Business As Usual to convey the message that, for change to really occur, practices that until now have been viewed as the exception must become the norm moving forward. We have to build regulatory models and develop models of practice and expertise,” stated Dale Wall, Deputy Minister.
"In 2002, 'Stormwater Planning: A Guidebook for British Columbia' articulated a principle that performance targets at the watershed scale provide a starting point to guide the actions of local government in the right direction," stated Kim Stephens. "The objective is to translate those targets into appropriate site design criteria that then provide local government staff and developers with practical guidance for achieving the goal of stream protection."
The plan is based entirely on implementing ‘green solutions’ as an alternative to conventional engineered ‘blue solutions’. "The Fergus Creek 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."
"We are at a crossroad in the path defining the methodologies and applications used in rainwater management. In a nutshell, Beyond the Guidebook enables us to make a clear distinction between a rainfall-based approach and a runoff-based approach”, stated Jim Dumont. “The runoff-based approach is best suited to the analysis needed to assess environmental impacts and effectiveness of mitigation techniques."
“While considerable research has been done in the natural environment, very little has been in an urban setting anywhere in North America. We have installed 60 tree canopy climate stations across the North Shore," stated Richard Boase. "At the end of the day, the project will enable communities to make informed planning decisions about designing with nature. Research results will populate the Tree Canopy Module in the Water Balance Model.”
Liliana Bozic noted that the inter-provincial dialogue with British Columbia provided the catalyst for formation of the Alberta Low Impact Development Partnership (ALIDP) in 2004. “The purpose in having an inter-provincial partnership with BC is to collaborate and share resources in order to facilitate improvements in land development practices in both provinces,” she stated.
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