"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.
“Over the past year, we have begun to frame where we want to get to in British Columbia in terms of sustainable watershed systems. We are saying it is a three-step process, If you don't already have an asset management plan, then you cannot make that leap all the way to Step Three," stated Kim Stephens. “What the Partnership is trying to do right now is to get them ready in terms of where they need to be a couple of years down the road."
“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 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."
“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."
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
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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