Water Sustainability & “Green” Subdivision Design: City of Kelowna hosted Water Balance Model Seminar in 2005

Convening for Action in the Thompson-Okanagan Regions

The Water Sustainability Action Plan for British Columbia provided the over-arching context for three learning events that were held in Kelowna (twice) and Kamloops in 2005 during the October/November period. These events provided Thompson/Okanagan municipalities and practitioners with the opportunity to gain insight into emerging practices and products for achieving rainwater management objectives in British Columbia.

“Land development practices and the way we manage rainwater runoff are changing in British Columbia. Increasingly, the emphasis is on ‘designing with nature’ to achieve a ‘light hydrologic footprint’. Two technical sessions organized in collaboration with the Emco Corporation set the scene for a half-day seminar co-sponsored by the City of Kelowna and the Association of Professional Engineers and Geoscientists (APEGBC),” reports Kim Stephens, Program Coordinator for the Action Plan.

The seminar was titled Water Sustainability & “Green” Subdivision Design: A Seminar on the Water Balance Model for British Columbia. The purpose of the seminar was to inform the development community and design professionals about the Water Balance Model for British Columbia. This Internet-accessible tool quantifies the effectiveness of rainwater source controls under different combinations of land use, soil and climate conditions.

To Learn More:

To download an ‘info-flyer’ on the seminar program, click on A Design with Approach to Rainwater Management. This document elaborates on the Action Plan context. The Kelowna seminar was organized as an element of the Outreach and Continuing Education Program for the Action Plan.

To download the PowerPoint presentation that guided the seminar program, click on Water Sustainability & “Green” Subdivision Design: A Seminar on the Water Balance Model for British Columbia.

Design with Nature Game Show

One of the features of the second seminar in Kelowna was the Design with Nature Game Show. Created by Richard Boase and Kim Stephens to stimulate the creative thinking of seminar participants, the ‘game show’ is similar to the tv show Jeopardy in that participants work in teams and are asked to respond to photographs by stating “What design with nature means is…”

UBC-Okanagan workshop - richard boaseAccording to Richard Boase, “It is a way of having some fun at the start of the workshop. It loosens the group up. It gets them thinking about real things, on the ground, so that they can begin to see how use of the Water Balance Model will help them in their day jobs. We have them work in teams, and we award them points for a correct answer.”

“It is fascinating to see how excited and ‘into it’ people get after a few minutes. The irony is that the grand prize is one hour of personal tutoring by me by phone. Just imagine what they would be like if there was a real prize!  It just goes to show how  important it is to make a computer modeling workshop fun. If people have fun, they will get more out of the day and perhaps some of the philosophical stuff will actually stick.”

To Learn More:

To watch a video clip of Richard Boase that is posted on YouTube, click on Design with Nature Game Show.

To download the set of images used in the “game show”, click here.