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Use the Rain, Reduce the Runoff in Whatcom County (Washington State)

“Given that you can’t have everybody move out of the watershed, that’s where low impact development and managing rainwater onsite comes into play,” CJ Huxford explained. “About 25-35 percent of the water you use indoors gets flushed down the toilet or is used in your cold water laundry. So the philosophy is that if you have more people in the watershed with toilet flushing systems, there is a lot of potential cost savings.”

IMAGINE: Once we know what we want our watersheds and neighbourhoods to look like, the next step is to decide what the tools are that will get us there

The Green Infrastructure Guide is an invaluable reference document for those who embrace a ‘design with nature’ philosophy. “All of us have an impact on the land, on the water, and on the way things look. Each party in the process has a responsibility. There are solutions to be found if all parties in the development process simply talk to each other about how they could all work together more effectively, using law reform or other process changes as tools," wrote Susan Rutherford.

SUSTAINABLE WATERSHED SYSTEMS, THROUGH ASSET MANAGEMENT: A decade long journey has its beginning in the seminar that launched the Beyond the Guidebook Initiative (November 2007)

“The Stormwater Guidebook set in motion a chain of outcomes that has resulted in BC being recognized internationally as a leader in implementing a natural systems approach to rainwater management in the urban environment,” stated Minister of Environment Barry Penner in 2007. “The Convening for Action initiative creates an opportunity to move beyond rainwater management to embrace all components of the water cycle through integrated water management.”

SUSTAINABLE WATERSHED SYSTEMS, THROUGH ASSET MANAGEMENT: “Streamkeeper involvement and influence is expanding beyond the creek channel,” observed Kim Stephens at a North Vancouver workshop organized by the North Shore Streamkeepers (March 2017)

"Across this province there is a movement taking place within the stewardship sector. The key is how the stewardship sector partners with local government," stated Kim Stephens. "An informed stewardship sector may prove to be the difference-maker that accelerates implementation of the whole-system, water balance approach. Wouldn’t it be great if everyone really understood what it means to think and act like a watershed."

Celebrating Green Infastructure in the Metro Vancouver Region: “The goal of the inaugural Showcasing Innovation Series in 2006 was to build regional capacity in local government to design with nature,” stated Paul Ham, (former) Chair of the Green Infrastructure Partnership

“The 2006 Showcasing Innovation Series was a provincial pilot. When we talked to practitioners in local government, it doesn't matter what the region, the message was the same…they tell us that they are too busy to communicate with their colleagues in neighbouring municipalities. Yet the irony is that there is much to learn by sharing information with each other. At the end of the day, it seems that it takes a third party to bring people together," stated Paul Ham.

SUSTAINABLE WATERSHED SYSTEMS, THROUGH ASSET MANAGEMENT: “My students really love using the Water Balance Express,” stated UBC’s Julie Wilson at a North Vancouver workshop organized by the North Shore Streamkeepers (March 2017)

"Land and water are connected in a watershed, with the resulting impact being due to cumulative effects of impervious surfaces from individual properties," stated Julie Wilson. "The redevelopment cycle presents an opportunity to reduce these effects. Use of the Express tool can help to illustrate these dynamics in greater detail, and can give homeowners and developers opportunities to explore alternative designs to improve water balance on a property."

SUSTAINABLE WATERSHED SYSTEMS, THROUGH ASSET MANAGEMENT: Can money really grow on trees in the urban environment? – Australian research finding is YES

Australian researchers compiled urban data analytics across three different suburbs in Sydney, Australia, and found that for every 10 per cent increase in the canopy coverage within the street corridor, the value of properties increased by an average of $50,000 Australian. In addition - “Our report found that without sufficient ‘green infrastructure’ Sydney would be hotter, more polluted and could be worth $50 billion less," stated James Rosenwax.

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.”

WHAT HAPPENS ON THE LAND DOES MATTER: To Protect Agricultural Lowlands, Restore Watershed Hydrology in the Uplands

In British Columbia, agricultural development is often situated in the lowlands, with urban development mostly in the uplands. “Without compliance with the drainage standards, the viability of agriculture and local food supply is potentially at risk. The criteria are essential in protecting crops (food on the table) from damage caused by excessive durations of flooding and saturation of roots. If crops are at risk, then so is the sustainability of a region,” stated Jim Dumont.

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.