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Rainwater Management

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BLUEPRINT COLUMBUS – Clean Streams, Strong Neighborhoods: "One of the most exciting aspects to Blueprint is its creativity. Blueprint attacks the root problem by addressing the rain water that is entering the sewer system," stated Columbus Mayor Michael B. Coleman


“The City was concerned that building 28 miles of tunnels to eliminate Sanitary Sewer Overflows (SSOs) was of questionable value, because SSOs are such a small volume of overflows compared to Combined Sewer Overflows (CSOs). The proposed tunnels would cost approximately $2 billion and only be used 4 or 5 times a year,” stated Mayor Michael Coleman. “Blueprint Columbus will be significantly better for the environment.”

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FLASHBACK TO 2013: "In the 21st century we are implementing smaller-scale solutions. In the long-term, this will produce a savings for the City and taxpayers," wrote Councillor Lisa Helps in a primer about Victoria's Stormwater Utility


In 2014 the City of Victoria will be rolling out its new Stormwater Utility. “This is something that makes the City of Victoria a leader in Canada. It’s innovative because it encourages people, at the level of their own properties, to take responsibility and leadership for creating solutions – like rain barrels, cisterns, raingardens, bioswales – that are good for the planet and good for the City’s stormwater system,” wrote Lisa Helps.

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KEYNOTE AT COMOX VALLEY ECO-ASSET SYMPOSIUM (March 2017): "It has taken more than a decade to implement a policy, program and regulatory framework that makes possible 'water-resilient communities',"stated Kim Stephens, Executive Director of the Partnership for Water Sustainability in BC, when he elaborated on the vision for 'sustainable watershed systems'


“Too often we talk about water and land as silos. But what happens on the land does matter! It is whether and how we respect the land that really affects what happens with water. That is a key message. It is why we are moving forward with the program for informing and educating local governments and the stewardship sector about the vision for Sustainable Watershed Systems, through Asset Management,” stated Kim Stephens.

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FLASHBACK TO 2012 (Video): River advocate, Mark Angelo, and others tell an inspiring story about salmon and the transformation of Still Creek, a long-abused urban stream in the Vancouver region – "Never give up on any river!," says Mark Angelo


“Over many decades, people in the area have worked tirelessly to help bring the creek back to health,” stated Mark Angelo, founder of World Rivers Day. “To see salmon return has been incredibly exciting, especially given that just a few decades ago, this stream was widely viewed as one of Canada’s most polluted waterways. Quite simply, the events that have unfolded on Still Creek highlight the fact that we should never give up on any river,” states Mark Angelo.

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FLASHBACK TO 2012: "A key challenge has been translating global climate science to local land-use decisions. The new Climate Change Module in the Water Balance Model helps overcome this obstacle,” stated Chris Jensen, Senior Policy Analyst, Government of British Columbia


“If mitigation is about CARBON, then adaptation is about WATER. Hence, being able to quickly and effectively model how the ‘water balance’ may change over time is a critical input to local government decision processes,” stated Chris Jensen. ” We heard from communities that they desired an easy to use tool, one that would help them understand and identify evaluate options for climate adaptation. This need served as a catalyst for development of the Climate Change Module.”

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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.”

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FLASHBACK TO 2011: Watch Philadelphia's "Green City, Clean Waters" Video – "Changing the world, or even one small piece of, requires a lot of trial and error," stated Howard Neukrug, the visionary behind Philadelphia's bold plan to peel back the concrete and asphalt and replace it with green infrastructure


Philadelphia has developed a US$1.6 bllion plan to transform the city over the next 20 years. The plan reimagines the city as an oasis of rain gardens, green roofs, permeable pavements, thousands of additional trees, and more. According to Howard Neukrug, the Philadelphia Water Department’s Director of the Office of Watersheds, “We are taking that (old, grey infrastructure) barrier down, and are stopping the water from ever hitting the system.”

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STORMCON 2017 (August 27-31): A Flood of Stormwater Management Experts to Hit the Shores of Puget Sound to Reassess Stormwater in Response to Climate Change


“The threat of extreme heat and climate change, however, remains an imminent public health risk in the Puget Sound region and across the globe. In addition to blistering heat waves, increased stormwater runoff, flooding, low flows, and drought are increasingly threatening public health and safety, as rainfall frequency, duration, and magnitude are contingent on the climate,” stated Brigette Burich.

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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.”

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KEYNOTE AT REGIONAL WORKSHOP ORGANIZED BY NORTH SHORE STREAMKEEPERS (March 2017): "Redevelopment of neighbourhoods creates opportunities to 'get it right' the second time and restore watershed health," stated Kim Stephens, Executive Director, Partnership for Water Sustainability in British Columbia


“Our region is hemmed in by the mountains, the sea, the US border and the Agricultural Land Reserve. This means population growth will be accommodated through redevelopment, and this involves redevelopment of watersheds. This is what gives us the second chance to get it right,” stated Kim Stephens. “As the housing stock turns over, there is a window of opportunity. We get one window every 50 years. Will local government take action in time?”

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