“Cities are finally treating water as a resource, not a nuisance,” writes Erica Gies

The extent to which cities are making natural infrastructure an integral part of their water management plans is new, writes Erica Gies. Around the world — from Melbourne, Australia, to China’s “sponge cities” to coastal cities in New Jersey and Belize — urban planners are formally expanding natural stream and wetlands hydrology and ecosystems to better protect communities.

Metro Vancouver releases ‘Integrated Liquid Waste and Resource Management Plan’

“It is great that the treatment plant timelines issue has finally been resolved as a result of the Board making a decision on May 21. From the beginning of our involvement in the consultation process, however, the Reference Panel has placed equal importance on what happens ON THE LAND, AT THE SOURCE. Connecting people to the land is essential if the region is to truly achieve the Sustainable Region Vision,” stated Kim Stephens.

Partnership Supports Cutting-Edge Wastewater Research Centre in Vancouver

Centre will give partners from various agencies and organizations the opportunity to develop innovative responses to the challenges of sustainability and integrated resource management. “This generous support ensures the region can now build the first of a planned system of academies. The first one will look for new ways to recover energy, nutrients and other resources from waste water,” Metro Vancouver Chair Lois Jackson said.

Metro Vancouver Reference Panel recommends establishing a “stewarding committee” to ensure Liquid Resource Management Plan stays true to the vision


"There is a need for fresh, objective eyes bolstered by a strong political mandate to keep asking questions, prod Metro Vancouver and members toward the vision, and assist with the waste-to-resource paradigm-shift over time. A 'stewarding committee' would play an expert and non-partisan role. It report directly to the Waste Management Committee," stated Susan Rutherford.

Three Metro Vancouver examples demonstrate a progression in scale for Integrated Resource Recovery


Integrated Resource Recovery (IRR) is now part of the Metro Vancouver vision. Three examples illustrate a progression by scale – from treatment plant to neighbourhood (Southeast False Creek) to community (University of BC). IRR begins when waste is viewed as a potential resource. ”The community at UBC has embraced a bold vision to disconnect the University Endowment Lands from the Iona sewage treatment plant," stated Dr. Don Mavinic.