WHAT HAPPENS ON THE LAND MATTERS: “The benefits of source control cannot be understated,” stated John Argue, pioneer and champion for Water Sensitive Urban Design in Australia

"The genesis of this approach lies at the point where rainfall strikes an urban environment surface, where it can be captured via rooftop gardens and water tanks under a notion of retaining water as opposed to having it wash away," says John Argue. "Water which is not captured by these practices can potentially be infiltrated into the soil or be channelled through vegetated bio retention systems or rainwater gardens."

LOOK AT RAINFALL DIFFERENTLY: What would it take to build 12,000 rain gardens on Metro Vancouver’s North Shore?

Inspired by a ground-breaking campaign to install 12,000 rain gardens in the Seattle/Puget Sound region of Washington State, a multi-partner initiative is now underway in British Columbia to build support for a similar rain garden vision in the Metro Vancouver region. “On the North Shore, we can learn from the experience in the Puget Sound region and from the green infrastructure initiatives that are taking place at the municipal level,” states Dr. Joanna Ashworth.

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.

“Green City, Clean Waters”: An interview with Philadelphia’s Howard Neukrug about the bold vision for re-imagining the urban landscape

"Instead of expanding our infrastructure, we put together a plan to price, value, reuse, recycle, infiltrate, transpire or otherwise manage, every drop of rainwater we could. We started to invent the millions of ways to reduce the amount of rainwater that arrived at our sewer inlets. The goal was to consider rainwater as a commodity and a resource—if it enters a sewer drain it becomes a costly waste product," explained Howard Neukrug.

FLASHBACK TO 2011: Value of Water Balance Model / Express recognized by Metro Vancouver Regional Board


At a Special Meeting held in October 2011, the Metro Vancouver Board amended the 2012 Budget to include a grant for the Water Balance Model / Express. “Metro Vancouver has contributed $50,000 to fund further enhancement of the Water Balance Model because widespread use of this decision tool will help Metro Vancouver and members fulfil our regulatory commitments, in particular those related to integrated rainwater management,” stated Port Coquitlam Mayor Greg Moore, Board Chair.

BACKGROUNDER SERIES ON SUSTAINABLE WATERSHED SYSTEMS: What the “Whole-System, Water Balance Approach” means for Lowland Drainage in BC (May 2017)

"Many years ago, the province established a set of criteria which determined the level of drainage improvements that were deemed to be acceptable in terms of cost-benefit, and the ability to pay,” explains Ted van der Gulik. “The supporting analysis optimized the relationship between agricultural return on production and cost of drainage infrastructure investment. These have come to be known as ARDSA criteria. "

BACKGROUNDER SERIES ON SUSTAINABLE WATERSHED SYSTEMS: Forester University Webinar on Protecting Urban Watersheds and Stream Health in British Columbia (released in April 2017)

"We are delighted to have Kim Stephens and Jim Dumont share British Columbia’s cutting-edge continuous simulation model, known as the Water Balance Methodology, in their upcoming, featured webinar,” stated Emily Shine. "At Forester University, we aim to position ourselves at the forefront of innovation in rainwater management and green infrastructure, and that is why we are calling Water Balance Methodology a webinar that cannot be missed."

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.

SUSTAINABLE WATERSHED SYSTEMS, THROUGH ASSET MANAGEMENT: Governments of Canada and British Columbia fund Georgia Basin Inter-Regional Education Initiative

"Successful implementation provincewide of 'Sustainable Watershed Systems, through Asset Management', would represent an evolution in how infrastructure is planned, financed, implemented and maintained in British Columbia,” stated the Hon. Peter Fassbender, Minister of Community, Sport and Cultural Development. "Work needs to be done today to ensure we have a secure water future. Benefits are long-term."

SUSTAINABLE WATERSHED SYSTEMS, THROUGH ASSET MANAGEMENT: “Collaboration is leading to precedents for integrating watershed systems with land use and infrastructure decisions,” stated Jon Lefebure, Chair of the Cowichan Valley Regional District

“Local government collaboration under the umbrella of the Georgia Basin Inter-Regional Educational Initiative (IREI) is producing tools and resources that will help communities integrate watershed systems with land use and infrastructure decisions. There is no reason for any of us to re-invent the wheel. We are sharing and learning from each other. We are cross-pollinating our experience," stated Jon Lefebure.