Living Water Smart: Summary Report on 2008 Cowichan Valley Water Balance Model Forum

The Province and local government are collaborating to develop a suite of user-friendly tools and approaches for assessment purposes and to provide consistency when reviewing development applications. "The Water Balance Model is a great way to do this. It provides local government reviewers with a measurable way of determining what is a good solution for a particular site," states Rob Conway.

2008 Cowichan Water Balance Forum: “The success of the Forum is demonstrated by a number of results,” wrote Jay Bradley, Chair, Vancouver Island Coordinating Team


“In the larger context, the forum is indicative of how far along our community of Vancouver Island practitioners has come,” concludes 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.”

Cowichan Water Balance Model Forum introduces “Living Water Smart” application to development community

"The Forum was an outcome of the Cowichan Valley Learning Lunch Seminar Series, also a provincial pilot,” explained Kate Miller. “We described the Forum as a hybrid-training workshop because the day was built around case study applications of the Water Balance Model. These provided the technical foundation for roundtable sharing, exploration and cross-fertilization of ideas on how to implement green infrastructure effectively.”

Cowichan Water Balance Model Forum features case study applications at three scales: watershed, neighbourhood and site

“Too often technical people jump prematurely into the details, make technical analyses unnecessarily complex, and solve the wrong problem. Thus, an over-arching message is: pause, step back and define the problem first,” observes Kim Stephens. “The Water Balance Model helps us solve the right problem. The desired outcome is to create liveable communities and protect stream health.”

ANNOUNCEMENT: Cowichan Valley Forum is provincial pilot for building developer and local government capacity to apply the Water Balance Model (2008)

"The provincial and regional water regulations are changing, and by 2012 provincial water laws will substantially change how development occurs. The purpose of the workshop is to review progressive rainwater/stormwater management techniques and how they can be incorporated into the planning and development process," wrote Jack Peake, Chair of the Cowichan Valley Regional Board.