Rainwater Management in the Okanagan: first in series of three regional events sponsored by EMCO


What is Rainwater Management?

Kelowna was the venue for an evening technical session on October 19, 2005 that provided Okanagan municipalities and practitioners with the opportunity to gain insight into emerging practices and products for achieving rainwater management objectives in British Columbia. To download a context document that was a handout, click on Well, What is Rainwater Management, Really?

The event attracted over 60 attendees, including representatives of all the major municipalities in the Okanagan and Thompson regions. Attendees came from as far away as Osoyoos in the south and Kamloops in the north.

Featured Speakers

The evening featured two presentations: one by Conrad Pryce of the Ministry of Environment, and the other by Kim Stephens representing the Inter-Governmental Partnership that has developed the Water Balance Model for British Columbia.

“Stormwater management is a priority for the Ministry in the Okanagan because of the water quality and fisheries consequences for Okanagan Lake and tributaries when land is developed for urban purposes. In 1985, in fact, the Minister of Environment declared the Okanagan Basin as an environmentally sensitive area. Release of the Stormwater Planning Guidebook in 2002 means that local governments now have direction to move forward with a change in thinking so that land-use planning will be integrated with volume-based analysis of rainwater management strategies,” stated Conrad Pryce.

“There has been a change in thinking among drainage practitioners, and the technical language is in transition. This change has seen the single function view of traditional ‘stormwater management’  give way to the integrated and comprehensive perspective that is captured by the term rainwater management. Stormwater suggests there is a problem, whereas rainwater is a resource,” emphasized Kim Stephens.

To Learn More:

To download their presentations, click on the links below:

The two presentations are cascading in providing the regulatory context for rainwater management. “The Stormwater Planning Guidebook was developed to support implementation of Liquid Waste Management Plans; and the Water Balance Model was developed as an extension of the Guidebook to quantify the benefits in reducing rainwater runoff volume,” explained Kim Stephens.

About the Rainwater Management Series

This technical session was the first in a series of three events, and set the stage for:

  • November 2005: The City of Kelowna and the Association of Professional Engineers and Geoscientists (APEGBC) co-sponsored a half-day seminar titled Water Sustainability & “Green” Subdivision Design: A Seminar on the Water Balance Model for British Columbia. The seminar program was structured around an online demonstration in order to provide attendees with a participatory experience.
  • February 2006: APEGBC and the University of British Columbia Okanagan Depending are co-sponsoring a full-day training workshop on how to use the Water Balance Model.

The Kelowna event was sponsored by the EMCO Corporation.