“Implementation of ‘whole systems’ thinking would include incorporating the benefits provided by nature into the delivery of local government services," stated Peter Law. “Community-based Environmental Stewardship has been an institution in BC for a generation. Today, community organizations partner with local governments to monitor and restore local watershed health. These groups provide thousands of volunteer hours to restore aquatic habitats," stated Peter Law.
"The Partnership for Water Sustainability brings together, and supports the efforts of, local and regional governments across BC. It’s overarching goal is to provide tools to help organizations achieve their water sustainability goals, and opportunities for shared learning. The IREI is an outstanding example of this shared learning approach, and is endorsed by 5 Regional Boards, representing 75% of the population in BC," stated Randy Alexander.
“Restoring the absorbency of the urban landscape would reduce demand for landscape irrigation water and sustain environmental flows during droughts. It would also reduce stream erosion in wet weather," stated Kim Stephens. ”Too often people think of land and water as being independent – almost like silos. But what we do on the land, and whether we treat the land with respect, has direct implications and consequences for water use."
"The presentation by Kim Stephens gave further insight into how thinking has evolved regarding stormwater management in our region and elsewhere. His discussion of Voodoo Hydrology reinforced the importance of questioning everything, a habit I try to encourage in my students," stated Laith Furatian. The term was coined by Andy Reese, an American engineer and writer, in 2006 to describe the mis-application of science.
"It is evident that there are many champions in local government; and it is important that we recognize and celebrate what they are doing. This is all part of creating our future. And when we ask ‘what will this community look like in 50 years’, we can point to the green infrastructure examples and then we will know what it will look like in 50 years," stated Mayor Lois Jackson.
The Capital Regional District has undergone a transition, from ‘stormwater-based thinking’ that is narrowly focussed, to ‘watershed-based thinking’ that is holistic in approach. Judy Brownoff, Chair of the Environmental Committee, welcomed Kim Stephens and invited him to update the members about the CRD chapter in Beyond the Guidebook 2015. CRD experience shows that local governments can foster a new ‘Land Ethic’ through Integrated Watershed Management Strategies.
"Moving beyond traditional engineered infrastructure asset management to also account for nature’s services will help influence ‘standards of practice’ and represent a leading-edge evolution in how infrastructure is planned, financed, implemented and maintained in BC. The long-term success of the IREI program will be measurable when community development activities and alterations of the built environment result in cumulative benefits, not impacts," wrote Wes Shoemaker.
"We each consider it a success when we can achieve more outputs with fewer inputs, and have committed to continue to adopt a sharing approach to their work," states Nancy Gothard. "Each community has different goals and capacities and each jurisdiction’s educational materials reflect this, while also providing similar messaging and layout elements for consistent branding."
“Storm Water Management innovation in BC is the result of not being overly regulated. Establish sound principles. Apply them. Adapt to the specific site conditions. Do not be too prescriptive, it may take away the opportunity for innovation," states Hugh Fraser. “Creating a watershed health legacy will ultimately depend on how well we are able to achieve rain water management improvements on both public and private sides of a watershed."
"Where a local government regulates land use, a watershed is an integral part of the drainage infrastructure assets of the local government. More specifically, the three pathways (surface, interflow, groundwater) by which rainfall reaches streams are infrastructure assets. They provide 'water balance services'. This has implications for asset management," stated Richard Boase.
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
This Landscape Irrigation Scheduling Calculator uses real-time daily evapotranspiration (ET) rates determined from climate stations located within British Columbia. Learn More
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