Kelowna, Chilliwack, Surrey and Courtenay: Four cities in four regions of British Columbia were early adopters in embracing the Water Balance Model


Note to Readers:

The following story about Water Balance Model early adopters is extracted from Chapter 5 of Beyond the Guidebook 2010, released in June 2010. This water-centric guidance document tells the stories of how change is being implemented on the ground in British Columbia. To download a PDF copy of the article below, click on Early Adopters: Chilliwack, Surrey, Kelowna and Courtenay 

Early Adopters

Four cities in four regions – Chilliwack (Fraser Valley), Surrey (Metro Vancouver), Kelowna (Okanagan) and Courtenay (Vancouver Island) – were early adopters in embracing the ‘design with nature’ paradigm-shift and were Water Balance Model founding partners in 2002. Also, Chilliwack and Surrey were original members of the Inter-Governmental Partnership steering committee. All four played key roles in helping to deliver early outreach.

During the two-year period preceding release of Stormwater Planning: A Guidebook for British Columbia in 2002, three of these cities – namely Chilliwack, Surrey and Kelowna – each contributed case study experience that facilitated development and verification of the water balance methodology.

Launch of WBM in 2003

“The City of Kelowna assisted with the rollout of the Guidebook and pre-launch of the WBM in Spring 2003 in communities such as Penticton and Prince George,” recalls Ted van der Gulik, Chair of the Inter-Governmental Partnership (IGP) that developed and maintains the Water Balance Model.

“The participation of the City’s Alan Newcombe (Drainage Manager) in our road show added credibility; and City case study experience provided on the ground examples that reassured participants about the paradigm-shift.”

Ted van der gulik (120p)“The WBM pre-launch created awareness and interest that led UBCM to provide the IGP with a platform for the formal launch of the WBM at their September 2003 Annual Conference. The support of two mayors was key: Mayor Barry Janyk of the Town of Gibsons and Mayor Clint Hames of Chilliwack were the WBM champions.”

“Mayor Janyk, Dipak Basu (City of Chilliwack) and Kim Stephens tag-teamed to tell the WBM story at the UBCM Urban Forum. Dipak provided the core content; he showcased Chilliwack examples.”

To Learn More:

To download a PDF copy of the 2003 presentation to UBCM, click on Designing with Nature – Walking the Talk for Sustainable Community Design (16MB)

WBM Events in Thompson-Okanagan

“In 2005, the City of Kelowna (John Vos) was the catalyst for a series of events that broadened the reach of the WBM. First, the City connected us with the EMCO Corporation (Keith Lumby). This industry collaboration provided us with access to a new audience when EMCO organized a trade event in Kelowna. Success led to an event in Kamloops,” states Ted van der Gulik.

“Capitalizing on the momentum created by this success, the City and APEGBC jointly sponsored a WBM seminar. In turn, this set the stage for 4-way collaboration with UBC-Okanagan. Thanks to Bernie Bauer of UBC-Okanagan, we held a training workshop at the university in February 2006. This reinforced the early support that the City’s John Vos provided.”

To Learn More:

To read the complete story posted on the Rainwater Management Community-of-Interest, click on Chilliwack, Surrey, Kelowna and Courtenay: Four cities in four regions of British Columbia were early adopters in embracing the Water Balance Model