The missing link in watershed planning has been a tool that quantifies the benefits - in terms of reducing rainwater runoff volume - of installing source controls under different land use, soil and climate conditions. The Water Balance Model for Canada provides the foundation for a natural systems approach to rainwater anagement. Furthermore, it promotes integration of perspectives that leads to better decision making, and can be applied at three scales: site, subdivision and watershed.
When the City of Calgary's Watershed Management Team developed a Best Management Practices and Source Control Manual, it researched the experience of other jurisdictions. In March 2005, the City convened an internal workshop for its Water and Wastewater Divisions so that City staff could gain a firsthand understanding of the path that British Columbia has followed in managing rainwater runoff, and how it is making a difference in providing higher levels of environmental protection.
When the International Water Association held its 10th International Specialist Conference on Watershed and River Basin Management in Calgary, this created an opportunity for a public unveiling of an inter-provincial partnership between British Columbia and Alberta that is founded on the Water Balance Model.
The Department of Fisheries and Oceans is one of three federal agencies that is a Water Balance Model partner. Use of this web-based decision support and scenario modeling tool will enable development project proponents to show how they can achieve stream protection objectives.
The early success of the Water Balance Model in British Columbia, particularly in promoting an understanding of how to improve the built environment and protect the natural environment, generated interest in expanding the focus of the tool to reach a national audience.
"Stormwater Planning: A Guidebook for British Columbia" formalized a science-based understanding to set performance targets for reducing rainwater runoff volumes and rates. These targets represent the synthesis of biological and hydrological understanding. At the heart of the Guidebook is the Water Balance Methodology. Recognizing that practitioners and others needed a tool so that they could readily apply the Methodology, the Inter-Governmental Partnership then developed the Water Balance Model for British Columbia.
The Inter-Governmental Partnership has partnered with the Real Estate Foundation to build broad-based support for the ‘design with nature’ approach to rainwater management via an Outreach and Continuing Education Program that comprises seminar presentations and training workshops for a range of audience types.
Kelowna was the venue for an evening technical session on October 19, 2005 that provided Okanagan municipalities and practitioners with the opportunity to gain insight into emerging practices and products for achieving rainwater management objectives in British Columbia.
The Kamloops chapter of the Association of Professional Engineers and Geoscientists of BC (APEGBC) and the EMCO Corporation collaborated in November 2005 to organize a technical session on Rainwater Management.
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