ANNOUNCEMENT: Partnership for Water Sustainability in British Columbia re-builds and re-launches waterbalance.ca website for easy access to an array of online tools that support the vision for “Sustainable Watershed Systems, through Asset Management” (Sept 2017)

“The current industry-wide move to on-line computation, propelled by changing approaches to software delivery as a multitude of enterprises commit to The Cloud, is hugely important," stated Dr. Charles Rowney. "The leadership shown by the Partnership for Water Sustainability in decisively moving in this direction well over a decade ago has led to a body of knowledge from which others can learn."

SUSTAINABLE WATERSHED SYSTEMS: Flood, drought, fire, wind and cold – because extreme events are becoming the norm…..

As communities face the increasing impacts of climate change, there is an unfunded liability – the cost to restore watershed hydrology and water resilience in the built environment. “The Partnership for Water Sustainability is evolving, online tools that support implementation of the whole-system, water balance approach. British Columbia, Washington State and California are leaders. We are moving forward in parallel on this journey,” states Jim Dumont.

Towards a Water-Resilient Future (Video): Released by the Senate of Berlin in August 2017, the plan “StEP Klima KONKRET” seeks to mimic nature and tackle extreme conditions by making Berlin a “Sponge City”

Heat waves and rainstorms will become common in northern Germany as climate change deepens. To make Berlin more resilient and livable in the coming future, Berlin’s infrastructure is being redesigned to solve drainage and heat problems as climate change accelerates. Rummelsberg, built 20 years ago in east Berlin, has become a large-scale example of the Sponge City concept. Heiko Seiker is the brains behind the neighbourhood's innovative use of rainwater as a resource.

Sponge City: Solutions for China’s Thirsty and Flooded Cities

In 2013, Chinese President Xi Jinping offered a new way to think about flooding and drought. At China’s Central Government Conference on Urbanization, he announced that cities should act “like sponges.” This proclamation came with substantial funding to experiment with ways cities can absorb precipitation. It also injected a new term into the global urban design vocabulary.

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."

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.

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."

FLASHBACK TO 2002: Build a Vision, Create a Legacy – which is the Tenth Paradigm on Andy Reese’s Stormwater Management Continuum – is the guiding philosophy for “Stormwater Planning: A Guidebook for British Columbia”

"We can begin to think about the Tenth Paradigm as one involving making decisions aimed at achieving healthy urban watersheds," wrote Robert Hicks. "Deciding what we want means we start with a common understanding and a shared vision of the future Target Condition for a healthy watershed. Having a Target Condition provides a direction for the long-term processes of change. An Action Plan then provides a ‘road map’ for getting there over time."

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.