GREEN INFRASTRUCTURE INNOVATION IN THE TOWNSHIP OF LANGLEY: A decade ago, three neighbourhood developments in Langley established successive provincial precedents that informed the evolution of the Water Balance Methodology

“Langley is unique in that DFO approved the water balance strategy at a neighbourhood scale for each of Routley, Yorkson and Northeast Gordon,” stated Jim Dumont. “DFO approval meant that design standards were applied uniformly across each neighbourhood. This was a time-saver for everyone. The approach resulted in consistency of implementation."

ANNOUNCEMENT: Partnership for Water Sustainability in British Columbia re-builds and re-launches waterbalance.ca website for easy access to an array of online tools that support the vision for “Sustainable Watershed Systems, through Asset Management” (Sept 2017)

“The current industry-wide move to on-line computation, propelled by changing approaches to software delivery as a multitude of enterprises commit to The Cloud, is hugely important," stated Dr. Charles Rowney. "The leadership shown by the Partnership for Water Sustainability in decisively moving in this direction well over a decade ago has led to a body of knowledge from which others can learn."

FLASHBACK TO 2012: Re-built on a new platform to expand its capabilities, the ‘Water Balance Model powered by QUALHYMO’ is a shared legacy that resulted from a building blocks process over time

"This unique web-based tool is the shared legacy of a team of senior practitioners," stated Kim Stephens in 2012. "It is the outcome of a process that has depended on the commitment of a number of organizations, and especially the efforts of the champions within those organizations, to produce a series of deliverables that successively advanced the practice of rainwater management within British Columbia."

FLASHBACK TO 2010: “Canada Mortgage & Housing Corporation is providing financial support for the Rainwater Harvesting Module to add to the capabilities of the Water Balance Model,” stated Cate Soroczan, CMHC Senior Researcher

"The early success of the Water Balance Model in British Columbia generated interest in expanding the focus of the tool to reach a national audience. This culminated in the decision by CMHC in 2004 to fund development of the national portal," stated Cate Soroczan. "The rainwater harvesting and storage component with variable sizing and demand will allow the user to optimize both the demand for potable water and the size of the physical storage."

FLASHBACK TO 2010: “Publication of the Technical Manual for the Water Balance Model allows users to follow the numbers,” stated Richard Boase, Co-Chair of the Inter-Governmental Partnership, at the time of its release

“The community of Water Balance Model users had been asking for a technical manual that documents the intelligent WBM interface that translates user information into data used by the QUALHYMO engine. The lens for manual development was the engineering user who wants to follow the numbers from the WBM interface keystroke to the QUALHYMO file. In a nutshell, it is all about data mapping," stated Richard Boase in 2010.

FLASHBACK TO 2010: “Erosion is a key factor in water resources management. Managing this effect has become a clear requirement,” stated Jim Dumont when Environment Canada and CMHC co-funded addition of the Stream Erosion Module to the Water Balance Model

"A principal result of increased volumes and rates of flow associated with urbanization is the consequent increase in stream erosion,” stated Jim Dumont. “This can be an economically important factor as maintenance and hydraulic capacity is affected, and it can also be an ecologically important factor as habitat is impaired through degradation, aggregation and increased suspended solids transport.”

FLASHBACK TO 2005: “The Watershed and Stormwater Management Webconference was precedent-setting in laying the groundwork for future inter-provincial collaboration for a water balance approach,” observed Cate Soroczan, CMHC Senior Researcher, and driving force behind the forum

"The event was an information exchange amongst agencies from across the country," stated Cate Soroczan. "I would like to see this as the first step toward national and international collaboration on watershed and stormwater management issues. Clearly there are opportunities to learn from each other's experiences in source protection, BMPs, land use planning approaches, etc."

Water Balance Model – On Tour!

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"Have a look at some of the Water Balance Model slideshow presentations that have been made to industry and government groups starting in 2001. This includes some of the early presentations on the Water Balance Methodology that helped pave the way for the paradigm-shift from 'peak flow thinking' to 'volume-based thinking'. The many presentations created awareness and influenced expectations," stated Ted van der Gulik.

British Columbia’s Partnership for Water Sustainability and Urban Watersheds Research Institute have an agreement to collaborate: “The Water Balance Model’s QUALHYMO engine is now linkable with SWMM,” reported Jim Dumont

The focal point for cross-border collaboration is the new US-based Center for Infrastructure Modelling & Management, the new home for SWMM. “Tools like SWMM and QUALHYMO can enable the hydrologic computations; it is up to us to recognize the need, and to deliver tools that facilitate the analysis. I expect that discussions about methodology will be as much a part of the Centre as the development of new code,” states Jim Dumont.

FLASHBACK TO 2003: “Water Balance Model for British Columbia” introduced to local government elected representatives as part of formal launch at UBCM Urban Forum (Sept 2003)

"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."