Rollout of ‘Beyond the Guidebook 2010’ will continue at the ‘From Rain to Resource Workshop’ in Kelowna


Note to Readers:

The purpose of Day 2 of the From Rain to Resource Workshop on October 29 in Kelowna is to integrate the perspectives of the people working on-the-ground and those developing and adopting policy.

Ted van der Gulik, Chair of the Water Balance Model Inter-Governmental Partnership (and Vice-Chair of the Okanagan Watershed Stewardship Council) will represent the ‘convening for action’ partners to continue the rollout of Beyond the Guidebook 2010: Implementing a New Culture for Urban Watershed Protection and Restoration in British Columbia.

Educational rather than prescriptive approach

‘Design with Nature’ to Achieve Water Sustainability

“Water sustainability will be achieved through implementation of green infrastructure policies and practices,” states Ted van der Gulik. “Released in June, Beyond the Guidebook 2010 tells an important story of how communities throughout British Columbia are striving to prepare for climate change, choose to live water smart and build greener communities.”

Ted van der gulik (120p) - 2005 photo“A decade ago, British Columbia made a conscious decision to follow an educational rather than prescriptive path to change the way that land is developed and water is used. The Province has provided a ‘design with nature’ policy framework that enables local governments to build and/or rebuild communities in balance with ecology.”

“Desired outcomes are: create liveable communities; protect stream health. They go hand in hand.”

Guiding Principles

British Columbia experience shows that achieving these inter-connected outcomes depends upon a local government capacity-building process that is founded on ten guiding principles:

  1. Choose to be enabled.
  2. Establish high expectations.
  3. Embrace a shared vision.
  4. Collaborate as a ‘regional team’.
  5. Align and integrate efforts.
  6. Celebrate innovation.
  7. Connect with community advocates.
  8. Develop local government talent.
  9. Promote shared responsibility.
  10. Change the land ethic for the better

“It takes time to change the local government culture. British Columbia communities now have the tools and the case study experience to ‘design with nature’. British Columbia is at a tipping point. Beyond the Guidebook 2010 sets the stage for ensuring that future settlement change (development) is in balance with ecology,” concludes Ted van der Gulik.

To Learn More:

Click on Forging Gold Medal Standards for Urban Watershed Protection and Restoration in British Columbia — “Achieving water sustainability starts with alignment and embracing shared responsibility”, emphasize Glen Brown and Ray Fung at 2010 UBCM Convention.

Living water smart & building greener communities - call to action

Stormwater Planning: A Guidebook for British Columbia

In October 1997, a focus group workshop convened by the Union of British Columbia Municipalities set in motion a chain of actions that culminated in the Province producing Stormwater Planning: A Guidebook for British Columbia. Released in June 2002, the Guidebook quickly became a catalyst for action to implement a ‘design with nature’ approach to rainwater management and green infrastructure.

The Guidebook applied a science-based understanding, developed the water balance methodology to establish performance targets for rainfall capture, and demonstrated that urban watershed restoration could be accomplished over a 50-year timeframe as and when communities redevelop.

Beyond the Guidebook

By 2007, it was time to focus attention on how to truly protect and/or restore stream health in urban watersheds. Beyond the Guidebook 2007 initiated the paradigm-shift from the single-function view of traditional ‘stormwater management’ to the integrated and holistic perspective that is captured by the term ‘RAINwater Management’.

Building on case study experience, Beyond the Guidebook 2010 provides local governments with ‘how to’ guidance for developing outcome-oriented urban watershed plans. The foundation for ‘RAINwater management’ is the ‘runoff-based’ approach to establishing targets for rainfall capture at a watershed scale.

Keyed to the estimation of the amount of water in the stream over a long period of time, the ‘runoff-based’ approach connects these dots: impacts to a stream; the causes in the urban landscape; and the mitigation methods needed to restore the natural water balance in the stream. RAINwater management is about protecting streams, not how much volume one can infiltrate on sites.

To Learn More:

Click on Beyond the Guidebook 2010 Advances Runoff-Based Approach to Setting Watershed Performance Targets — A framework for developing integrated and holistic plans is consolidated in a single table. This ‘mind-map’ lays out the cascading logic for establishing, evaluating and implementing watershed-specific runoff targets that will protect stream health.

Building on  2002 guidebook foundation