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Georgia Basin Inter-Regional Education Initiative

Moving Towards Healthy Watersheds: Local government champions on Vancouver Island share the proverbial wheel, rather than reinventing it


“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.”

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Delta’s rain garden experience informs Georgia Basin Inter-Regional Educational Initiative


“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.”

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The New Paradigm: Watershed Systems as Infrastructure Assets


“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.

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Georgia Basin IREI Connects the Dots: Sustainable Watershed Systems & Asset Management


“The asset management process is a continuum; and nature is an integral part of a community’s infrastructure system. The process starts with the engineered assets that local governments provide. Communities will progress along the continuum incrementally as their understanding grows. By also accounting for and integrating the services that nature provides, over time they can achieve the goal of Sustainable Service Delivery for watershed systems,” states Wally Wells.

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Georgia Basin Inter-Regional Education Initiative: Moving Towards “Sustainable Watershed Systems, through Asset Management”


“Over the next two years, the Inter-Regional Education Program (IREI) program would progressively inform and educate an expanding network of practitioners on how to integrate watersheds systems thinking and climate change adaptation into asset management to achieve hydrologic integrity and hence avoid expensive fixes. This would result in a common understanding,” wrote Kate Miller.

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"In the 1990s, Puget Sound research by Horner and May made it clear that stormwater management was as much or more about land use decisions as engineering solutions," recalls Bill Derry, watershed champion


“In 1996, Richard Horner and Chris May published a seminal paper that synthesized a decade of Puget Sound research to identify and rank the four factors that degrade urban streams and negatively influence aquatic productivity and fish survival. This science-based ranking provides a framework for Integrated Watershed Management,” reports Bill Derry. In the 1980s, he was one of the first stormwater utility managers in Washington State.

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Georgia Basin Inter-Regional Education Initiative Update: "Sustainable Watershed Systems, through Asset Management" – title for Beyond the Guidebook 2015 deliverable announced at Metro Vancouver presentation


The ‘Beyond the Guidebook Series’ documents the progress of local government champions who are leading implementation of practices that would restore hydrologic integrity after land is urbanized. “Over the next two years, we will progressively inform and educate an expanding network of practitioners on how to integrate watershed systems thinking and climate change adaptation into asset management,” stated Kim Stephens.

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Connecting Dots: "2005 Metro Vancouver Consultation Workshop" led to "Showcasing Green Infrastructure Innovation Series" and then to IREI


The Georgia Basin Inter-Regional Education Initiative (IREI) provides local governments on the east coast of Vancouver Island and in Metro Vancouver with a mechanism to share outcomes and cross-pollinate experience. “Sharing of knowledge and experience through ‘organic collaboration’ is vital because peer-to-peer learning is what practitioners respect most,” observes Thomas White.

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Convening for Action in BC: Five regional districts endorse inter-regional education program to “Integrate Natural Systems Thinking Into Asset Management”


The program provides local governments with a mechanism to share outcomes and cross-pollinate experience with each other. “This partnership arrangement of sharing information related to rainwater management and watershed health provides the collaboration needed to further the work and education across multiple sectors leading to positive and continuous improvement,” stated Simon So.

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Cowichan Valley Regional Board reaffirms support for inter-regional collaboration within Georgia Basin


“The initiative is a unique format for Georgia Basin local governments to learn from each other by sharing approaches and successes in managing our water resources. The program will integrate natural systems and climate change thinking into asset management, as well as demonstrate how local governments can progress along the ‘asset management continuum’ to achieve the goal of sustainable service delivery for watershed systems,” stated Brian Carruthers.

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