Vancouver Island Water

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Rainwater Management & Green Infrastructure: City of Courtenay hosted Comox Valley Learning Lunch Seminar #2 on October 24, 2008

“We structured the seminar in two parts. Before lunch our focus was on establishing expectations in order to influence the greening of the built environment; after lunch the theme was delivering on expectations. Establishing expectations essentially means drawing a picture of what we want. Delivering on expectations means this is how we can and will get there,” reported Kevin Lagan.

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Rainwater Management & Green Infrastructure: City of Courtenay hosted Comox Valley Learning Lunch Seminar #3 on November 21, 2008

“Nature has no borders; it does not recognize political or philosophical boundaries and it is essential for the health of human and non-human communities alike. To view nature in this way represents not a “special interest” approach but a modern advance in civil society. We are realizing that the current loss of ecosystems and biodiversity cannot continue, yet pressures to develop land for human use is placing huge demands on what remains,” stated Jack Minard.

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Convening for Action in the Comox Valley: 2008 Learning Lunch Seminar Series informs and educates local governments

“Looking back at my 35 years of experience, we have always been very good at planning; but we have difficulty going from planning…or talk…to action,” stated Kim Stephens when he explained the Convening for Action mind-map. “At the end of today, we want you to come out of here so inspired that you will actually do something…not just say that was a great day that we had.”

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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.

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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.”

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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.”

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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.”

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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.

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